There are many reasons why Donald Trump and his presidential candidacy are so contemptible. One is that he deliberately inspires the worst in his supporters.
Robert Tracinski argues at The Federalist that Trump’s is different from traditional right-wing populism.
The latter tells ordinary Americans that while the elites may think they’re rotten, “the joke’s on them because you’re actually better than them.”
You’re honest, hard-working, salt-of-earth people with heartland values, unlike those corrupt, effete, cynical jerks.
That was never entirely true and could amount to reverse snobbery, writes Tracinski, “but there sure was something to it.”
Trump, however, tells his followers that if the elites think they’re rotten, they might as well give up trying to be good.
You’re never going to be politically correct enough, so throw out all standards of decency. They’re going to hate you anyway, so you might as well be what they hate you for.
It’s an appeal to popular vice instead of popular virtue. Instead of offering voters a better version of themselves, Trump wants them to be the worst version of themselves. “He wants to rise to highest office by dragging everybody else down,” is how Tracinski puts it.
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.