Donald Trump's demagoguery has been so successful for the same reason rightwing extremism is on the rise
By Conor Lynch
And here lies a major contradiction with this man, who talks endlessly about the concerns of conservatives, yet promises to address them with the strength of the federal government and executive office—something which conservatives are supposed to oppose.
When given a choice, it seems that followers of the extreme right are willing to use the strength of the federal government, as long as it is addressing their concerns (e.g. national security, illegal immigration, abortion, gay marriage). Of course, not all conservatives have embraced Trump, and many see through his demagoguery—but the people (at least a current plurality of GOP voters) have been enamored by his strongman shtick.
Trump is just one person, and may very well fade away in the months to come—but it is becoming clear that the right wing has increasingly retreated into a “mythical self-glorification,” as Hedges put it. Trump and his followers want to “make America great again.” But what does this mean? No doubt, Trump would say cutting our debt and bringing back jobs from China and Mexico, which is something most Americans would agree on. But the overwhelming rhetoric against immigration, foreign nations, and diplomacy (and diplomats) does point to a kind of retreat from reality into a hyper-nationalist mythology of American exceptionalism. Conservatives seem to be craving a strong personality like Trump, who can come into office and restore traditional values and America’s global supremacy with his superhuman business know-how. This similarly happened in the early 20th century, when strongmen like Mussolini and Hitler rose to power with a promise to restore national supremacy, while creating scapegoats for their problems. Trump wants to restore America’s greatness, and is going after immigrants and foreign nations to provoke much of white America.
Democrats have been having a good laugh at Trump's expense this summer. Here's why we shouldn't be laughing
By Heather Digby Parton
Still, history is littered with strongmen nobody took seriously until it was too late. When someone like Trump captures the imagination of millions of people it’s important to pay attention to what he’s saying. For all his ranting, you’ll notice that the one thing Trump never mentions is the constitution.