Is America ‘ripe for tyranny?’ If so, who you gonna blame?

Is America ‘ripe for tyranny?’ If so, who you gonna blame?
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Andrew Sullivan has written an admirably informed — though crucially flawed — essay on Donald Trump for the May 2 issue of New York, in which he draws attention to the perhaps ironic underside of the liberal triumph in the culture wars:

This is an age in which a woman might succeed a black man as president, but also one in which a member of the white working class has declining options to make a decent living…. A struggling white man in the heartland is now told to “check his privilege” by students at Ivy League colleges.

Rather than respond to their victory in the culture wars with “magnanimity,” as Sullivan suggests, the so-called social-justice warriors stepped up their attack on the losers in the culture wars, rubbing their noses against the grates of political correctness.

But Trump, aided and abetted by his media-savvy, Twitter, and Internet forays, arose from the rubble like an angry genie. “The web,” notes Sullivan, fuels “precisely what the Founders feared about democratic culture.” It encourages “feeling, emotion, and narcissism, rather than reason, empiricism, and public-spiritedness.” Trump, notes Sullivan, pledged above all “to take on the increasingly despised elites. And as the people thrill to him as a kind of solution, a democracy willingly, even impetuously, repeals itself.”


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