Liberals, Trump, and the Anti-hero

Liberals are wondering how anyone could have voted for Trump. No single answer explains it all, but here’s what I think is part of it.

Liberals, not alone, love their comic book anti-heroes, the guy who rejects the establishment and its rules and swaggers across the stage smashing and breaking things in the name of what he thinks is right. For the fans of the anti-hero, the rules must be set aside when they get in the way.

Liberals love those characters as much as anyone else.

And so they praised Obama when he acted unilaterally in the face of a recalcitrant Congress exercising its check and balance. They even treated the Congressional majority’s exercise of its constitutional authority as illegitimate.

You don’t think Obama is an anti-hero? Of course he is. He has his dark side, bombing relentlessly in multiple countries in pursuit of goals, with no clearly defined strategic objectives. But he’s good at heart, seeking what is right and good. And when the rules get in the way, he ignores them.

But you’re not the only ones who like anti-heroes.

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About James Hanley

James Hanley is Associate Professor of Political Science at Adrian College and a Fellow of the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding. The views expressed here do not reflect the views of either organization.
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4 Responses to Liberals, Trump, and the Anti-hero

  1. lancifer666 says:

    I live with an ardent Trump supporter, my immigrant, African American wife. Wrap your head around that. I tried, in vain, to convince her that Trump was an opportunistic buffoon. She was having none of it.

    She works in a VA hospital as a nursing assistant. She sees Trump as “one of us”. By that she means a hard working average American. She is disillusioned with the America that she lives in, as opposed to the America she envisioned from her African homeland. She wants to believe in an America where hard work and playing by the rules brings you the life you deserve.

    She wipes the wounds, and various orifices, of the broken veterans of America’s interventionist wars. She feels that Trump will stop these wars and restore the America she envisioned as an aspiring immigrant from the hills of Addis Ababa.

    I fear the bastard is going to disappoint her.

  2. Oscar Gordon says:

    This is (IMHO) pretty clearly a big ‘Fuck You’ to both parties.

    I mentioned this to a friend, and they still couldn’t understand why Trump was more attractive than Hillary. I said he isn’t, he’s the ‘Fuck You’ candidate.

  3. I used to pride myself as someone critical of other liberals who live in their own little bubble without realizing there’s a whole world of other people out there with their own feelings and their own views about things. It turns out that I was one of those liberals this time around.

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