Catherine Rampell hits the bull’s-eye in her Dec. 28 column “The political fallout of U.S sense of superiority” in saying that Americans long for a “political strongman.”
Donald Trump’s primary message is that a disease has infected America. It is a weakness, he holds, that has kept people from speaking out about how “losers,” i.e. women, Muslims, blacks, Mexicans, refugees and the physically and mentally challenged, are taking over. Opening up about our prejudices, without excuses, he maintains will set us free and make America strong and exceptional once again.
Many Americans, including a number of presidential hopefuls, have cravenly warmed to his message. They feel that the acceptance of an increasingly diverse America has cramped their style, and that civility and tolerance have been unjustly thrust upon them.
Why has this message coalesced so many? The 19th century Christian pastor, Henry Ward Beecher, suggested the answer when he wrote: “Nothing dies so hard, or rallies so often as intolerance.”
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What should be of grave concern to the nation as a whole, and to voters of every stripe, is why this unabashed ugliness hasn’t long since died, and why it continues to rally so many.