Donald Trump and the Other Class Warfare

Bruce S. Thornton has a great post up over at (originally posted at FrontPage Magazine) — the title of it is above, here’s the subtitle: “When democratic masses tire of being condescended to.” Here are three paragraphs — the first, one from the middle, and the close (follow the link to read the entire article):

The rise and continuing popularity of Donald Trump reminds us that “class warfare” is an eternal constant of democracies, for as Plato said, every city is in fact two cities, “one the city of the poor, the other of the rich; these are at war with one another.” But possession of wealth is not the only factor in this eternal conflict between the few and the many. The masses of course resent the elites’ greater wealth, but even more they dislike the assumption of superior wisdom and virtue that elites have always claimed as justifications for their status. It is this galling assumption and the anger it arouses in people that Donald Trump has brilliantly exploited.

Trump’s willingness to brutally slap down the pretensions of the elite establishment makes his wealth irrelevant. Indeed, his billions endear him even more. In this Trump reminds me of the aristocrat Alcibiades of ancient Athens, who bragged about his lavish spending, understanding that the masses often will forget their envy of wealth if a leader turns against his own class and their arrogant assumption of superiority.

Whether tapping into this ancient impulse can carry Trump to the nomination, let alone the presidency, is another matter. But the Republican Party had better take heed of the anti-elitist sentiments that have always roiled the democratic masses. By election day next year Republicans will have controlled Congress for two years, and they’d better have something more to show for it than a bipartisan trade agreement and endless appearances on Fox News and Meet the Press.

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Image credit: Page Magazine.