What Liberal Leaders Can’t Grasp. The Allure Of Donald Trump.
I understood the attraction of Donald Trump for the duration of his political career, which is less than ten years now despite the feeling he has been with us forever.
In the attached article by David Brooks from The New York Times on August 4, the attraction of the man becomes even easier to understand. It’s captured in the title of the piece. “What If We’re the Bad Guys Here?”
It’s lengthy, but the essence is really quite simple. In this country, a very small elite run the show. They are mainly college-educated professionals and to a large extent, actually went to very few of the many universities around. “A 2018 study found that more than 50% of the staff writers at the beloved New York Times and The Wall Street Journal attended one of the 29 most elite universities in the nation.”
As the ability to manipulate symbols became more important than the ability to manipulate a construction crane when it came to wages, these elite dominated the jobs markets, the pricey neighborhoods, and the private schools. Their kids did well. They married other kids who were doing well. And this is perpetuated by legacy admissions and the impenetrability of the corner offices of America to those not in the elite class.
Those not in the elite class resent those who are in that class and Donald Trump figured that out long ago. Those who are not in the elite class are his voters. That does not mean that all college-educated folks don’t vote for Trump. Many do. But the bedrock support of the former President and those who will undoubtedly make sure he is the Republican nominee in 2024, even if he is a convicted felon by then, comes from those Americans who don’t like the changes being brought on by the elites and as such are devoted to the one person who sticks a finger in the eye of the elite, Donald Trump.
To some extent, this is what is happening in Israel as well. The European liberals that started the country in 1948 have been supplanted by a coalition of ultra-Orthodox, ultra-nationalist Israelis many of non-European origin. They had been the have nots. But, they are in charge now and they want to get even.
Once you put yourself in the shoes of the Trump voter or the Netanyahu supporter, it is no longer difficult to understand what is happening on the ground in Israel or in the United States. Furthermore, the elites in both places seem somewhat inept in their ability to handle difficult societal issues. In Israel, the Palestinian question remains unanswered after 75 years. In the United States, the issues of immigration, inflation, guns, and the question of the role of diversity in our lives also remain unanswered by the liberal elite. How can you blame those who are not in the elite from wanting a change at the top?
Brooks uses a quote from E. Digby Baltzell. “History is a graveyard of classes which have preferred caste privileges to leadership.”
The current Democratic Party is not leading the country in a productive direction despite having control of the White House and the Senate.
Many people see change all around them happening quickly and not in a way perceived to be for the better. After all, are we really better off now that we have Tik Tok? Did the world really need Twitter? And does 24-hour access to email make for a fuller life?
Are those of us considered the elite by dint of our educations and professional jobs really the good guys? If so, why was Donald Trump President? And why, despite a huge list of felony charges does he command the GOP primary scene and may well be elected President again, even if convicted of horrible crimes against the country? The answer may be that the elite are not such good guys after all and the rest of the country is ready once again to let us know it.
In all examples of leadership, good and bad decisions are made. One of the characteristics of good leadership is the ability to admit a mistake, apologize for it, and do better next time—if you get another chance. I find the leaders of today unable to say the magic words-I’m wrong, I’m lost, I’m sorry. Have you ever heard either Joe Biden or Barack Obama utter these words? Neither have I.
So don’t be surprised if Donald Trump is the nominee of the Republican Party in the fall and, if he runs against Joe Biden as seems inevitable, he may just win. One thing about the elite. They are almost always in the minority.
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