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(76,554 posts)
Sat Jan 23, 2021, 10:33 AM Jan 2021

Trumpism isn't "history": But our blindness to history could lead to its comeback [View all]

Trumpism isn't "history": But our blindness to history could lead to its comeback
This national trauma should remind us that history is more than the rear-view mirror. It's also our necessary armor

JANUARY 23, 2021 12:00PM

(Salon) In March 2016, when few political consultants, pollsters, data-jockeys, psy-ops masterminds or media maestros thought that Donald Trump could or would ever win the White House, I assessed his rise differently in a long Salon essay that few can read now because Americans barely glance into what we always call "the rear-view mirror."

History is more than a rear-view mirror. It enables people who give it more than a quick glance to know that someone like Trump surfs a tsunami of ressentiment — a public psychopathology in which gnawing insecurities, envy and hatred, nursed by many in private, converge in scary social eruptions that present themselves as noble crusades but that diminish their participants even in seeming to make them big.

"Ressentiment's gloves really come off once there are enough angry 'little-big men' to step out en masse, with a Sarah Palin or a Glenn Beck," I warned nearly five years ago, adding:

Trump is leading them across the Rubicon, signaling that he'll mow down anyone and anything in his way. Legitimate grievances that fuel ressentiment sometimes drive its eruptions to a fleeting brilliance, as when Palin tapped currents of thwarted love and hope in her speeches in the 2008 campaign. But, like her public persona, such gestures soon curdle and collapse, tragicomically or catastrophically, into their own cowardice, ignorance and lies.

But how "soon" do they collapse? Trumpian ressentiment lasted for four years, which is more than just the blink of an eye in the short history of our republic. During those years I found myself elaborating my warning in many venues, including again here in Salon in 2018 (when I reported reactions to the 2016 essay) and, more recently, in Democracy Journal. ........(more)


K&R for visibility. nt tblue37 Jan 2021 #1
KnR...nt N_E_1 for Tennis Jan 2021 #2
Blindness is just another word for ignorance. Baitball Blogger Jan 2021 #3
K&R 2naSalit Jan 2021 #4
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