Donald Trump and the Seven Broken Guardrails of Democracy - The Atlantic
Outright lying, however, happens more rarely than you think in politics, especially in high and visible offices like the presidency Political scientists estimate that presidents keep about three-quarters of their campaign promises. When presidents break their word, the reason is far more likely to be congressional opposition than the president’s own flip-flopping.
Tue May 31 10:57:40 2016 - permalink -
But Scarborough’s list of betrayals weren’t “lies.” They were failures, failures made inevitable by the impossibility of the Republican base’s own demands. (How do you balance the budget while cutting taxes, without touching either defense or Medicare?) As one unfriendly critic noted, the Republican rank-and-file weren’t exactly innocent victims of elite deception.
Republican voters … wanted everything, and, after all, GOP leaders promised them that it was possible—even though those same leaders knew it was not.
It’s a fair generalization that Republicans demand less policy expertise from their national leaders than Democrats have usually expected from theirs.
Yet both Reagan and Bush had at least proven themselves successful governors of important states.
What’s different now is the massive Republican and conservative rejection of the idea that a candidate for president should know anything substantive about governing at all.
62 percent of Republicans insisted that “ordinary Americans” would do a better job solving the country’s problems than professional politicians. While 80 percent of Democrats wanted experience in government in the next president, according to post-Super Tuesday 2016 exit polls, only 40 percent of Republicans did so. The larger share, 50 percent, preferred an “outsider.”
Government is a complex science and a sophisticated art. Its details matter, its trade-offs reverberate into four and five dimensions. Although Republican voters in the aggregate are better informed than Democratic voters in the aggregate, their votes are guided by two more urgent and immediate feelings: bleak pessimism
unyielding refusal to compromise with opponents (while 63 percent of Democrats favor a president who’ll compromise with the other party, only 35 percent of Republicans do so).
Despairing yet obdurate, Republicans have come to value willpower over intellect, combativeness over expertise.
Instead of a political program, conservatism had become an individual identity. What this meant, for politicians, was that the measure of your “conservatism” stopped being the measures you passed in office—and became much more a matter of style, affect, and manner.
But compared to Sarah Palin’s folksy attacks on big city elites … or Ron Paul’s dark allegations of conspiracy at the Federal Reserve … or Ted Cruz’s government filibusters and shutdowns–none of those real-world achievements weighed much in the balance.
As conservatism’s positive program has fallen ever more badly out of date, as it has delivered ever fewer benefits to its supporters and constituents, those supporters have increasingly defined their conservatism not by their beliefs, but by their adversaries.
But he functions as a conservative in silhouette, defined by the animosity of all the groups that revile him.
an apocalyptic vision of the United States as a weak and fading country, no longer able to shoulder the costs and burdens of world leadership.
His instinct is always to abandon friends and allies, to smash up alliances that have kept the peace, to leave the world to fend for itself against aggressors and predators.
Trump’s online presence is strongly reinforced by pro-Putin trolls and bots.
What they seem no longer to care about is the larger architecture of security built since 1941 to keep America and its friends safe, prosperous, and free.
Trump has appealed to white identity more explicitly than any national political figure since George Wallace. But whereas Wallace was marginalized first within the Democratic Party, and then within national politics, Trump has increasingly been accommodated.
These results suggest that rather than ushering in a more tolerant future, the increasing diversity of the nation may instead yield intergroup hostility.
most famously a 2007 paper by Robert Putnam showing that increases in ethnic diversity lead to collapses in civic health. Trust among neighbors declines, as does voting, charitable giving, and volunteering.
As community cohesion weakens, moral norms change. What would have been unacceptable behavior in a more homogenous national community becomes tolerable when a formerly ascendant group sees itself at risk from aggressive new claims by new competitors. Trump is running not to be president of all Americans, but to be the clan leader of white Americans. Those white Americans who respond to his message hear his abusive comments, not as evidence of his unfitness for office, but as proof of his commitment to their tribe.
Negative partisanship is the argument deployed to reconcile anti-Trump Republicans to their party’s nominee.
Partisan identities have hardened since then. “Today, far larger proportions of Democratic and Republican voters hold strongly negative views of the opposing party than in the past,”
Once you’ve convinced yourself that a president of the other party is the very worst possible thing that could befall America, then any nominee of your party—literally no matter who—becomes a lesser evil.
we know Hillary will be terrible, while we can only suspect Trump will be. Trump will probably do some things conservatives will like—Supreme Court appointments, etc.—while we know for a fact Hillary will not.
et they have found it impossible to protect things they hold dear—in large part because they have continue to fix all blame outward and elsewhere. “