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Blame the Elites for the Trump Phenomenon

The BriefGet Up To Speed
The elites of both parties have expressed contempt for Donald Trump, and Trump has succeeded in part by channeling his voters’ contempt for the elites.  Does support for Trump reflect an uninformed populism and misplaced anger by a large swath of the American electorate?   Or have the elites failed to empathize with their struggles, and failed to craft effective policies to help them cope? 

The story is also one of a party elite that abandoned its most faithful voters, blue-collar white Americans, who faced economic pain and uncertainty over the past decade as the party’s donors, lawmakers and lobbyists prospered.

Monday, March 28, 2016
Nicholas Confessore
It was only a matter of time before we had a populist backlash to 30 years of flawed globalization policies that both parties embraced.
Sunday, February 28, 2016
Michael Hirsch

The GOP planned a dynastic restoration in 2016. Instead, it triggered an internal class war. Can the party reconcile the demands of its donors with the interests of its rank and file?

Saturday, January 30, 2016
David Frum

To save itself, the Republican Party must finally put the working class ahead of the donor class.

Monday, February 29, 2016
Reihan Salam
At the core of Donald Trump’s political success this year are the grievances of a sizable and now vocal block of disaffected voters, many of them white and working-class, and a Republican Party that has sought and benefited from their support while giving them almost nothing tangible in return.
Saturday, March 5, 2016
Dan Balz

Republicans thought sending a message was more important than beating Hillary Clinton and taking back the White House.

Friday, July 8, 2016
Charlie Cook
The Brexit has laid bare the political schism of our time.  It’s not about the left vs. the right; it’s about the sane vs. the mindlessly angry.
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
James Traub

In other words, millions of GOP voters chose to respond to failed elitism with something worse — aggressive, arrogant idiocy. 

Thursday, August 4, 2016
David French
Ted Cruz helped create an environment where populist demagoguery would flourish on the right. 
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Matt Lewis

Had the public not responded to the Trump phenomenon, he would have quickly been relegated to the undercard debates and dispatched to the potter’s field of failed presidential candidates.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Jack Shafer
Spreading the Blame

There’s blame enough to go around.

Sunday, May 15, 2016
Ramesh Ponnuru

Consider the five major planks of the “Everything is the fault of the Republican Party” argument.

Monday, May 23, 2016
Megan McArdle

However the Republican presidential primary turns out, the conditions that fostered the mogul’s rise have left their mark on the party—and America.

Monday, January 4, 2016
Norm Ornstein

The central task of the political class of every major Western economy now is to sustain support for the outward-facing, market-based economic policies that have been the foundation of recent decades of prosperity. Are our politicians up to the job?

Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Richard Reeves
Trump Supporters

What Trump’s critics have been getting wrong about his coalition—and why it is costing them big at the polls.

Thursday, March 3, 2016
Scott Bland

If you were targeting non-voters on the right, you would design a campaign that looked very much like Donald Trump’s. If you were targeting non-voters on the left, you would emphasize almost exactly the same issues as Bernie Sanders.

Friday, April 1, 2016
Benjamin Wallace-Wells

An inside look at the voters who took over the Republican Party.

Monday, June 20, 2016
Benjy Sarlin

An explanation and defense of Trump’s alternative right supporters.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Allum Bokhari and Milo Yiannopoulos

The data show that Americans who have a favorable opinion of Trump are slightly more likely to be employed and no more likely to be out of the labor force than those who see him unfavorably.

Friday, July 22, 2016
Jonathan Rothwell

Less than half of Republicans, 46%, are pleased that Donald Trump is their party's presidential nominee, while a slight majority, 52%, wish their party had nominated someone else.

Friday, August 19, 2016
Frank Newport

The candidates agree on the need to create more jobs, the need to spend more on infrastructure, and in their opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Frank Newport

Supporters of Donald Trump differ substantially from other Republican voters in many of their foreign policy attitudes. And these differences extend to their views of immigration and government scrutiny of Muslims in the U.S.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Samantha Smith

78% of white evangelical voters say they would vote for Trump if the election were held today, including about a third who “strongly” back his campaign.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016