The Donald Trump Phenomenon

Written by Tim Dukeman

To grasp the Trump phenomenon, you MUST understand that Trump is selling nostalgia. Specifically, he’s selling nostalgia for the days when America used to “win” and make “good deals.”

This is why his slogan is “Make America Great Again,” not just “Make America Great.” The whole narrative is premised on America’s former greatness that has been lost because of inept leadership.

It’s precisely **because Trump is selling nostalgia** that we should take very seriously anything he says that appeals to “the old days.” The Old Days are what America used to be, before poor leadership diminished her greatness. The Old Days are what we must return to, or we will continue to suffer.

-In The Old Days, people weren’t paralyzed by political correctness.

-In The Old Days, America fought and defeated her enemies, instead of being hamstrung by impractical regulations and conventions.

-In The Old Days, strong men did what must be done.

-In The Old Days, it was America First.

-In The Old Days, America was the greatest country in the world.

-In The Old Days, other nations respected America, and wouldn’t dare cross her.

In short, Trump is selling a narrative of decline with one clear cause: elite incompetence. Those who wish to defeat Trump will have to do so by demonstrating why his narrative is wrong, why the Old Days weren’t the way Trump describes them, and why America’s decline is the result of wrong ideas, rather than inept leadership.

If you don’t want Trump to be the nominee, that’s your task. Better get started.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

About the author

Tim Dukeman

Tim is a graduate of the University of Memphis, earning his Master's in Political Science with concentrations in American Politics and Political Theory. He lives in Louisville with his wife. You can find him on Twitter @TDukeman

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