Sunday, March 27, 2016

Quote of the day: Why does Trump evoke such intense rapture and equally intense revulsion?

The Quote: "Trump has simply pitted the Republican brain against the Republican brain stem."

That is the bottom line thought from Jonathan Chait at the New York Magazine.

The true source of the schism is between Republicans who intellectualize conservative impulses and those who do not. The strongest demographic predictor of Republican support for Trump is education, with college-educated Republicans far less likely to support him than those without degrees. He epitomizes low-brow, reality-show values, making himself a kind of one-man cultural wedge.

But there is more to Trump’s high-low divide than that. The conservative movement has succeeded for decades by channeling racial resentment, nationalism, and authoritarianism into traditional policy proposals that can be justified in white papers on foreign policy, welfare, crime, taxes, and so on. Trump has made a mockery of this whole process, substituting boundless faith in his personality for a policy architecture constructed over generations. Conservative intellectuals understand and care about these ideas. They have articulated serious reasons for, say, restricting immigration levels, but Trump grasps the embarrassing reality that most Republican voters are driven by base animus toward immigrants. The rupture he’s opened does not divide one set of ideas from another. Trump has simply pitted the Republican brain against the Republican brain stem.

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