Rightwing populists weaponise culture as a way to protect privilege
I remember the first time I started to understand Donald Trump’s appeal to white, working-class Americans. It was in 2016, a few days before the Iowa caucuses, and he was being introduced by Jerry Falwell Jr, the eponymous son of the famous preacher, in Council Bluffs. Falwell told the crowd that Trump had picked him up in his private plane and offered him dinner. He had been expecting something lavish. “But you know what we had?” he asked the crowd. “Wendy’s.” The audience cheered and laughed along with him.
In that moment it occurred to me that many in that gymnasium, in a town where one in seven lived in poverty and the median household income was $47,097 (£36,813), saw something of themselves in this New York billionaire. His life might have been nothing like theirs, but his tastes appeared familiar. If they ever got rich – and a significant proportion of white working-class Americans sincerely believe that one day they might – then they could be like him, rather than a snob like Mitt Romney, whom they had rejected in a previous election.
How long do you think you can call people stupid and deplorable before they get mad?
Donald Trump | The Guardian
1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)