May 3, 2016

NEITHER A REPUBLICAN, NOR A rEPUBLICAN

A surprising number of Americans dislike how messy democracy is. They like Trump. (John R. Hibbing and Elizabeth Theiss-Morse, 5/02/16, Washington Post)

[F]ew have noticed another side of Trump's supporters. A surprising number of Americans feel dismissive about such core features of democratic government as deliberation, compromise and decision-making by elected, accountable officials. They believe that governing is (or should be) simple, and best undertaken by a few smart, capable people who are not overtly self-interested and can solve challenging issues without boring discussions and unsatisfying compromises.

Because that's just what Trump promises, his candidacy is attracting those who think someone should just walk in and get it done. His message is that our country's problems are straightforward. All we need is to get "great people, really great people" to solve them. No muss, no fuss, no need to hear or take seriously opposing viewpoints. Trump's straight-talking, unfiltered, shoot-from-the-hip style promises a leader who will take action - instead of working toward a consensus among competing interests. That sounds perfect to the millions of Americans who are just as impatient with standard democratic procedures.


For Hoffer's hero is 'the autonomous man,' the content man at peace with himself, engaged in the 
    present.  In Hoffer's book, this hero, nourished by free societies, is set off against 'the true believer,' 
    who begins as a frustrated man driven by guilt, failure and self-disgust to bury his own identity in a 
    cause oriented to some future goal. -Editor's Preface to the Time-Life Books edition of The True Believer

"Make America great again!"

Posted by at May 3, 2016 6:17 PM

  

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