In his column today Paul Krugman writes:
But it’s important to realize that [Donald Trump] isn’t someone who suddenly intruded into Republican politics from an alternative universe. He, or someone like him, is where the party has been headed for a long time.
People turn to the right under strenuous economic conditions. While many Americans (the One Percent) are doing extremely well, the Rest of Us struggle. Nearly 15 percent of the population lives in poverty. While hardly justified, we may understand the urge to blame others for misfortune and to seek a strong-man solution to our problems.
In June of 2012 I wrote about austerity’s victims and the rise of right-wing parties. I included this graphic:
The vertical axis represents Germany’s unemployment rate. The horizontal axis shows the percentage of the parliamentary vote secured by the Nazi party (NSDAP) from May 1928 to March 1933. As unemployment rose so did Hitler’s political success. I concluded my essay:
We would do well to keep in mind that even Hitler, for all of his dastard ideology and actions, was legitimately elected by the German people. If enough of us begin to break under pressure, we can go apeshit.
After all, we’re busy electing our own brand of right-wing ideologues. They’re called ‘Republicans.’
It seems to me that Republicans and their benefactors, especially the wealthy, appreciate the relationship between economic insecurity and voters’ preference for conservatives. Which, of course, begs a question.