Thursday, October 08, 2015

Middle American Radicals Want a Demagogue

John Judis has an interesting take on "The Intellectual History of Trump Supporters".  He connects them with an analysis from the 1970s of "Middle American Radicals," moderately educated white populists who strongly oppose the government and the bankers, the non-whites and the immigrants. They have a strong affinity with the Tea Party constituency.  And the Tea Party is drawn to Donald Trump.

The main things the MARS voters want is a strong man to fight all their enemies.  Or, as I argued recently, they want a demagogue.

Fortunately, Judis points out, there are not enough of them to elect a demagogue.  They may make up as much as 20% of the electorate, but that still does not get their guy elected.  He predicts that Trump - like George Wallace, Ross Perot, and Pat Buchanan before him - will fade away.


Mac said...

Judis's article is excellent. I believe that you have resorted to hyperbole by saying the the article supports your conclusion that Middle America wants a demagogue. (I suspect that you will quibble that there is a difference between "middle America" and "Middle American Radicals." So be it.)

Judis says that the American Middle Class, especially what he refers to as the lower middle class, are hungry for a leader. He is right. The mainstream of the Democrat and Republican Parties have failed to introduce such a leader--favoring, instead, leftists (Clinton, Sanders, and Warren) in the Democrat Party and Tea Party hardliners/doctrinaires on the far right of the Republican Party. When someone like Trump comes along who speaks in language the man in the street understands and can identify with, the people turn thirstily to him. To an eastern intellectual (and even to me, a midwesterner born and bred), Trump may appear to be a demagogue. To the guy in rural America, the unemployed guy in the rust belt, and the family tired of seeing their taxes redistributed to free-loaders, he sounds like a savior.

Gruntled said...

The American middle class and middle America includes me. Middle American Radicals, by contrast, does not. In fact, as Judis describes them, the Middle American Radicals are petite bourgeois, and are driven to their angry positions from fear of falling out of the middle class.