The 2016 presidential election was unlike any other in recent memory, and Donald Trump was an entirely different kind of candidate than voters were used to seeing. He was the first true outsider to win the White House in over a century and the wealthiest populist in American history. Democrats and Republicans alike were left scratching their heads-how did this happen?
In American Discontent, John L. Campbell contextualizes Donald Trump's ascendance to the presidency by focusing on the long-developing economic, racial, ideological, and political shifts that enabled Trump to win the White House. Campbell argues that Trump's rise to power was the culmination of a half-century of deep, slow-moving change in America, beginning with the decline of the Golden Age of prosperity that followed the Second World War. The worsening economics anxieties of many
Americans reached a tipping point when the 2008 financial crisis and Barack Obama's election, as the first African American president, finally precipitated the worst political gridlock in generations.
Campbell emphasizes the deep structural and historical factors that enabled Trump's rise to power. Since the 1970s and particularly since the mid-1990s, conflicts over how to restore American economic prosperity, how to cope with immigration and racial issues, and the failings of neoliberalism have been gradually dividing liberals from conservatives, whites from minorities, and Republicans from Democrats. Because of the general ideological polarization of politics, voters were increasingly
inclined to believe alternative facts and fake news.
Grounded in the underlying economic and political changes in America that stretch back decades, American Discontent provides a short, accessible, and nonpartisan explanation to Trump's rise to power.
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Number of pages: 240
Weight: 492 g
Dimensions: 243 x 163 x 20 mm
After acknowledging that he too was perturbed and surprised by Donald Trump's 2016 election, in this reflective analysis, Campbell argues that Trump's victory was created by what has become the usual cast of causal suspects: economic transformation, such as growing income inequality; racial division exacerbated by the reactions of many whites to Barack Obama's presidency; a rising ideological divide fed by media narratives (MSNBC versus Fox News); and sharpening
party polarization, initially at the elite level but now also among the voting public. Drawing upon a wide range of social science sources and applying his insightful interpretation, Campbell gives a succinct but sophisticated context for trying to make sense of this radical development.This is a timely
and important book. * E. T. Jones, emeritus, University of Missouri, St. Louis, CHOICE *