Nice analysis of Trumpism by Tom...
"Post-election, here was the shock for me: it turned out that I, too, was an American exceptionalist. I deeply believed that our country was simply too special for The Donald, and so his victory sent me on an unexpected journey back into the world of my childhood and youth, back into the 1950s and early 1960s when (despite the Soviet Union) the U.S. really did stand alone on the planet in so many ways. Of course, in those years, no one had to say such things. All those greatests, exceptionals, and indispensables were then dispensable and the recent political tic of insisting on them so publicly undoubtedly reflects a defensiveness that’s a sign of something slipping."
"Obviously, in those bedrock years of American power and strength and wealth and drive and dynamism (and McCarthyism, and segregation, and racism, and smog, and...), the very years that Donald Trump now yearns to bring back, I took in that feeling of American specialness in ways too deep to grasp. Which was why, decades later, when I least expected it, I couldn’t shake the feeling that it couldn’t happen here. In actuality, the rise to power of Trumpian figures -- Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines, Viktor Orban in Hungary, Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey, Vladimir Putin in Russia -- has been a dime-a-dozen event elsewhere and now looks to be a global trend. It’s just that I associated such rises with unexceptional, largely tinpot countries or ones truly down on their luck."
"So it’s taken me a few hard weeks to come to grips with my own exceptionalist soul and face just how Donald Trump could -- indeed did -- happen here."