I have argued that fear helps explain the evangelical embrace of Donald Trump in 2016. When I speak, blog, and tweet about Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump, I am often asked about the role fear might play in the political lives of anti-Trumpers. Are Trump’s opponents afraid of what he will do to the country? Of course they are. But I did not write a general book about the relationship between fear and politics. Instead, I wrote a book about why 81% of white evangelical voters pulled the lever for Donald Trump.
Historian and cultural critic Andrew Bacevich thinks that anti-Trumpers are paranoid and such paranoia is bad for the republic. Princeton historian Julian Zelizer disagrees. Here is a taste of his piece at CNN:
Making his opponents look paranoid has in fact been a conscious strategy of the President. This is why he warns that critical news is not real and how a “deep state” is driving the investigation against him.
Paranoia is certainly a relevant problem in US political history. But Hofstadter’s theory doesn’t capture most of what is going on with Trump’s opponents. Nor does the President when he sweeps aside the critics of his jaw-dropping press conference in Helsinki, Finland, as “haters.”
Brushing aside a majority of the President’s critics as showing signs of paranoia misses the new political reality of the Trump administration.
Read the entire piece here.