“I didn’t divide ‘em. We’re going to put it back together.” This was Donald Trump’s reaction to the sarcastic title conferred by the editors of Time magazine (“President of the Divided States of America”). This comment summarizes the mixture of impudence and brazen self-assurance that characterizes Trump. He hailed the news weekly’s recognition of him as person of the year, “for better or for worse,” as a “tremendous honor.”
This is the new normal of Trump’s again-great America. It is difficult to overestimate the devastating potential of a Trump government, an executive populism adopting fake news as a new political norm. In Trump’s daily blender, the sacred and profane are mixed. With equal nonchalance he attacks the satire of Saturday Night Live or the climate change that threatens the planet. This new formula has pushed the institutions out, paralyzed before the enormous conflict of interest.
His supporters love to point out the disruptive and innovative strength of the anti-system trumpism. But for many others — namely, the majority that voted against him (2.7 million votes and counting) — Trump’s style evokes the sinister era of American fascism, characterized by xenophobic and McCarthist drifts.