Where Does All the White Rage Go When Donald Trump Loses?
For all Donald Trump’s dark pronouncements about immigrants and Muslims and the sporadic fistfights at his rallies, the Republican front runner has so far channeled the rage and fear felt by his constituents into an election campaign. Violence is never far from the surface at a Trump rally, and as has happened with sickening regularity in recent weeks, it occasionally breaks through in wild sucker punches and outright beatings of protesters, but the goal of the Trump campaign could not be more conventionally political: to propel its candidate to the Republican Party nomination, and from there, to the presidency.
But what happens when his campaign fails, as it almost certainly will? Trump is openly at war with his own party, and even if that badly splintered organization magically unites behind him after the convention, there simply are not enough angry white people in America to elect him president. Where will all that anger, which has been slowly building among America’s white working class for half a century, go once it is left without a viable political outlet?
In the months since Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has shifted from amusing diversion to cold political reality, the narrative favored by America’s political and media elite has been one of chickens coming home to roost. The Republican Party, the story goes, having for too long cynically played upon the ignorance and fears of its white lower-middle class base to gain the votes to pass ever more lavish tax breaks for its wealthy donor class, has had its electorate stolen by a clownish billionaire willing to say in plain English what Republican leaders have for decades been communicating to their constituents only in whispers and dog whistles.