Middle Americans, feeling a gap in their lives, have chosen President Trump, much like they chose President Obama in 2008, to fill that gap, explains Timothy P. Carney in The American Conservative. Carney writes (abridged):
If you’ve ever been to a Donald Trump rally, you’ll notice it doesn’t match the impression left by the media coverage of the president’s base.
Anger, for instance, isn’t the prevailing mood. Hopefulness is more characteristic. But there’s more. There’s something about these rallies that goes beyond politics, and his harshest critics have found it fearful. “Trump has harnessed the kind of emotional intensity from his base that is more typical of a religious revival meeting than a political rally.
The secularization of America is eroding trust. The elites’ replacements for church are strong public schools, country clubs, travel sports teams, and so on. The working class and middle class, it seems, lack those secular institutions of civil society, particularly after the core institution, church, dries up.
It’s got to be a bitter irony for the secular Left. They cheered as they saw Americans turning away from church. But when Middle America turned away from church, they were missing something. And they sought it in Trump.
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