An Accurate Description of Trump/the State of the GOP

Matthew Continetti on the Trump:

It’s a joke. All of it: his candidacy, the apparatus of propaganda and grift surrounding it, the failures of governance and education and culture that have brought us to this place. What disturbs me most is the prospect that Donald Trump is what a very large number of Republican voters want: not a wonk, not an orator, not a statesman, not even a leader, really, if by leader you mean someone who persuades and inspires and manages a team to pursue a common good. They just want a man who vents their anger at targets above and below their status.

How cathartic it is to give voice to your fury, to wallow in self-righteousness, in helplessness, in self-serving self-pity. It’s what one expects of teenagers, artists, bloggers, pajama boys—immature, peevish, radical, self-destructive behavior.

Pretty much.

Now, it should be noted the Continetti writes for the Weekly Standard and wrote a book called The Persecution of Sarah Palin: How the Elite Media Tried to Bring Down a Rising Star which means he both knows of which he speaks and bears more than some responsibility for where the party currently is (because anyone who treated Palin as a serious voice helped pave the way for Trump).  Indeed, you could more or less change out “Trump” with “Palin” in the above passage and it very much still works.

Nonetheless, the above is accurate, unfortunately.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, Quick Takes, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. An Interested Party says:

    Wow…talk about a lack of self-awareness…it is hilariously pathetic that someone who championed Sarah Palin would now trash Donald Trump…Continetti and his party deserve whatever he/they get, just so long as the rest of the country doesn’t have to pay for it…

  2. Andre Kenji says:

    He also happen to be Bill Kristol´s Son in Law.

  3. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Andre Kenji: Why am i just not surprised at all?

  4. Dazedandconfused says:

    They just want a man who vents their anger at targets above and below their status.

    Shallow.

    Trump promises a(his) government. However much we take our democratic republic for granted it’s a very fragile construct. Committees are fundamentally schizoid and easily shed accountability. Government by committee? An accident looking for a place to happen. There’s a reason history is nearly all that of some other form of government.

    Our committee (through neglect -we have nobody to blame but ourselves ,which we will never, ever do… ) has become so self-serving, disconnected from reality and ineffective a movement towards something else is stirring in the working class. They have been getting poorer and that is a change they most definitely do believe in.

    This is how democracy typically ends. Nobody stands up and says we must have a dictator until quite late in the process.

  5. Michael Robinson says:

    I think that this critique goes back at least to _Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot_, the first book-length treatment of this phenomenon I can recall.

    The Republicans have been carefully cultivating this impotent rage as an electoral power source since the Reagan era. Trump is simply the inevitable endgame of 30 years of getting people to the polls with the same deliberately empty fantasies of cultural revenge.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Physician… Heal thyself.

  7. Franklin says:

    @An Interested Party: Geez, this just got me thinking of who I’d rather have as POTUS, Trump or Palin. That’s a tough one.

  8. DrDaveT says:

    @Dazedandconfused:

    However much we take our democratic republic for granted it’s a very fragile construct.

    It can’t be that fragile. Even after 8 years of the W administration poking sticks into hornet nests and 8 years of the Do-Nothing-Congress desperately trying to deny Obama any legacy, and a particularly fractious Supreme Court for the last decade or two, America still functions so smoothly that people can be lured into thinking Libertarianism makes sense.

  9. CSK says:

    Jonathan Chait has an excellent piece on how the Party of Palin gave rise to the Party of Trump in NY Mag.

  10. gVOR08 says:

    @DrDaveT:

    America still functions so smoothly that people can be lured into thinking Libertarianism makes sense.

    Perfect.

  11. Barry says:

    @Dazedandconfused: “Trump promises a(his) government. However much we take our democratic republic for granted it’s a very fragile construct. Committees are fundamentally schizoid and easily shed accountability. Government by committee? An accident looking for a place to happen. There’s a reason history is nearly all that of some other form of government.”

    I should have just read your nym and stopped there.