Sunday, July 31, 2016
The Creative Class is Underestimating Donald Trump. Again. //David Atkins/Washington Monthly
I don't know where I stand in this discussion except that I see Trump as a mortal danger to democracy and can't believe that he will triumph. But eight years ago we though Sarah Palin was an impossibility. But she demonstrated that the politics of crazy has alot of resonance. Now we have Palin on steroids. She's back - as a man- and she is really pissed off.- gwc
Washington Monthly | The Creative Class is Underestimating Donald Trump. Again.
by David Atkins
Human beings are creatures of habit. We don’t like change, and are discomfited by the idea that our world may be more of a precariously constructed house of cards than we had imagined. This is true not only of our everyday jobs and family lives, but also of our politics. It is disturbing to think that our nation was one scandal or terrorist attack away from putting an ignoramus like Sarah Palin a heartbeat from the presidency. Few of us want to believe that the dignity of the Oval Office and our nation’s nuclear arsenals could easily fall into the hands of a deranged lunatic with no knowledge of global affairs. This is especially true for if one belongs to the Ivy-League-educated upwardly mobile creative class in the Acela corridor, for whom “temperament,” “seriousness,” “fitness” and “qualifications” are highly-prized cultural commodities.
So we (and the creative class in particular) tell ourselves that no such thing could actually happen: the United States would never really elect a Silvio Berlusconi–much less a Benito Mussolini–to our highest office. It’s just not possible. Columnists like Michael Cohen insist that Trump’s support will diminish toward election day in the mold of 3rd party candidates, or that he will lose in a landslide because he has already proven himself disqualified and unfit for office (as Ezra Klein reminds us daily in increasingly, almost amusingly alarmed tones.)
The mistake these pundits make is assuming that the American people are remotely as invested in the notions of temperament, fitness and qualifications as they are. Writers, wonks organizers and campaign types who live in the greater D.C. and New York areas, who went to the same schools, attend the same musicals, go to the same trendy bars and parties and share the same workaholic gossip-fueled lifestyles find it difficult to imagine that anyone but trailer-park-living mouth-breathers could possibly support a candidate like Donald Trump. These same mostly clueless elites are the ones who failed to predict the housing bubble crash and excused their failure by calling it a “black swan event,” the preferred Malcolm Gladwell-popularized term for any predictable event that the connected creative classes were too insular to see coming in their bubble of epistemic closure....