Two scary graphs about the rise of Donald. Fear fascism. Act now.

Summary: Here are two of the most important graphs about America today. They show the rise of Donald. Our experts assure us, as they have since July when Trump began his meteoric rise from 6% to 30%, that he is a flash in the pan — soon to implode. Perhaps he will. But Trump has revealed dark aspects of America, and changed the Republican Party in ways not likely to fade soon.

The GOP candidates (Donald is blue)

GOP Presidential Polls, as of 10 December 2015

(1) The Rise of Donald

After 3 months of fierce attacks on the Donald by the Great and Good of America — by both parties, journalists, political gurus, and academics — the net effect on his support is nil.  Worse, in match-up polls of Trump (red) vs. Clinton (blue), during the past three months he has remained only one to five  percentage points behind her — well able to win if he gets a break or two (e.g., recession, a large terrorist attack on America, a new Clinton scandal).

Trump vs Clinton Poll, 10 December 2015

The “5 stages of grief” is a useful way to frame what’s happening. US elites, and the “inner party” gurus and political engineers that serve them, first regarded Trump’s rise with denial. His support remains strong among GOP voters even after (or perhaps because of) his latest incendiary remarks, so they’re moving to anger.

I doubt that will accomplish much, giving how unpopular our elites are with many Americans. Soon they’ll shift to Dialogue and Bargaining. After attempts to cast him as an illegitimate candidate, they’ll attempt to engage him — some even to strike alliances with him. He has a formidable history as a skilled deal-maker. Trump could gain substantial support if he handles this well. He could break out ahead of Clinton, who I suspect is disliked by many who support her because she is the likely winner.

If that happens — if Trump successfully jumps though that hoop — our elites and their lackeys might move to Depression and Detachment. Depression will come easy to them, since by this point they will have tried everything and failed. Detachment will come easy to them since many of our elites are in fact detached from American society (for more about this see Christopher Lasch’s The Revolt of the Elites and the Betrayal of Democracy (1996).

If Donald wins our elites will move with little trouble to Acceptance, the easiest step of all since they will find Trump an obliging partner, making deals with them and respectful of his fellow plutocrat’s interests. Acceptance will prove more difficult for many other Americans.

  1. From August: The Donald Trump revolution, dismissed as all revolts are in the beginning.
  2. Donald Trump leads us back to the future, to the dark days of US history.
  3. A New America arises, perhaps with Trump as its first leader.
  4. Look to the Left to see the force powering Trump and Carson.

(2)  Causes of the Trump revolt

Many watch the Trump revolution with some schadenfreude, pleasure at the misfortune of US elites. After years of ignoring the public’s concern about the economic and social effects of rising inequality and high rates of immigration (probably related), trust in America’s leaders has eroded so that the system becomes like (using Allan Bloom’s analogy) a Potemkin Village which an outsider can occupy and declare himself sheriff.

While the Right’s role in stoking the angry whites that form Trump’s core supporters, the Left has played a large role by ignoring larger social problems in favor of overseas wars (responsibility to protect as the world’s police) and crusades about smaller or imaginary problems (e.g., treatment of the transgendered, the campus rape culture).

(3)  Fascism and revolutions

“Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition. Our weapons are surprise and fear…”
— Monty Python. It is true in real life, but not funny.

I have said for seven years that America was entering a pre-revolutionary situation, vulnerable to the endemic fascism that afflicts western civilization. If Germany, a center of the West’s science and culture, can fall then America can too. Others too have warned us, and been ignored. That’s more difficult to do so today. Trump isn’t a fascist, but the success so far of the Trump movement probably represents a step towards it.

Political structures often look enduring until a shock knocks them down. It’s easy to imagine that happening to America today, with public’s critically low confidence its institutions — excerpt for the military and police. You can make your own list of economic or geopolitical events that might do it.

The Republic remains standing, and will if enough Americans wake from their torpor and work the political machinery bequeathed us by the Founders. It remains there, rusty but still decisive when used. The Republic needs only us.

(4)  Elite blindness to the drivers of the Trump revold

Matthew Yglesias as usual speaking for America’s elites (after all, they can’t be doing anything wrong that drives voters to Trump): “Trumpism is a natural consequence of the GOP refusing to moderate on taxes or immigration” at Vox. It nicely illustrates why they are surprised but Trump’s success: they’re blind to the stresses created by the centrist elite policies of the past several decades that have crushed the middle class (including immigration).

To people like Yglesias, regular Americans have no agency. Much the same perspective appears in much geopolitical analysis, like that of Stratfor.

(5) For More Information

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts about the right wing of America’s political spectrum, about ways to reform our politics, and especially these…

  1. Forecast: Death of the American Constitution, 4 July 2006.
  2. We are alone in the defense of the Republic, 4 July 2012.
  3. Voices from the past describe the coming New America.
  4. The bad news about reforming America: time is our enemy.

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