Whose Fault is Trump?

1) Trump.

2) A Republican Party that for decades has, in its sycophantic panting after a hyperrich donor class, ignored the people who have now turned to Trump as their only savior.

3) A television-generated cult of pure celebrity, one which makes no distinction between being famous for having achieved something significant (in political life, for instance) and being famous for being famous.

4) Social media, which generally impede rational thought and inflame hatreds and resentment of all kinds — but especially the racist/nativist wing of social media, which is highly effective in making ludicrous falsehoods disguised as “facts” go viral.

5) A mainstream media world that, by devoting decades to scorning and misrepresenting working-class people — and indeed anyone in flyover land — has ensured that its attempts to correct the falsehoods mentioned above will be seen as merely more leftist propaganda.

6) George W. Bush and Barack Obama, for dramatically expanding the power of an un-checked, un-balanced executive branch, thus making the prospect of a Trump presidency far, far more frightening than it would have been in an age in which Presidents respected the separation of powers.

7) American schools, especially public schools, for their long-term abandonment of instruction in history — since even the slightest acquaintance with history would reveal Trump’s real character as a reflexively narcissistic demagogue, a would-be strongman, who has nothing but contempt for the hard-won, beautifully designed American political system that has served us well for more than 200 years.

8) American churches, especially evangelical churches, for a nearly-complete indifference to Christian formation, and an unwillingness to confront the possibility that faithful Christian presence in the world might be counter-cultural — that God might demand something from us, some hard and costly love, rather than seeking merely give us more of the treasure we already crave.