Fellow Patriots:

I asked our team to pause for family time this week before kids return to school. The homepage is updated daily. The Digest returns on Monday, August 2. —Mark Alexander

Mark Elsasser / Aug. 21, 2015

The Donald Rises: Trump’s Anti-Heroism

“I am Batman.”

That was the bold declaration from Republican Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump to a young child who rode in his helicopter last week at the Iowa State fair.

Outlandish as it sounds, he’s not far from the truth. Though Batman is long acknowledged as more of a traditional "superhero,“ he has an edge to him that other heroes don't — Batman is a billionaire who, dissatisfied with the way things were going in Gotham, decided to operate outside of the"establishment," and take matters into his own hands. While similar, Trump more closely exhibits characteristics of another heroic archetype — the anti-hero.

An anti-hero is someone who, while admired, is not always known for virtue or character. Often, their appeal is defined by the fact that the average person admires their unconventional qualities and wishes to live vicariously through their exploits.

Which bring us to Trump. The groundswell of support for Trump has frequently been pegged as the byproduct of anger, frustration, and disillusionment with the political establishment. And to be sure, all of these are factors. But I wonder how many of Trump’s supporters, if you were to have a conversation with them, would come across as "angry?”

To define Trump’s supporters as such is to isolate them as fringe people who cannot control their emotions. However, the political establishment appears to have overlooked another reason for Trump’s success — Trump’s supporters view him as a symbol of American prosperity.

After 10 years of economic stagnation, it’s no wonder that voters would come to admire an icon of business success who promises to shake up the establishment. Trump has built a recognizable brand, dominating business endeavors from real estate to reality television, and frequently touts his $10 billion net worth. In fact, Trump’s rise in power makes a cogent point that America is still a country that greatly admires success, despite the class warfare talking points of the GOP’s opponents.

Wages are stagnant, the labor force participation rate remains at records lows, and so far this year the economy has expanded at an abysmal rate of 1.5%. Congressman Kevin Brady (who has championed significant economic legislation such as the Centennial Monetary Commission) has noted that by the time President Obama leaves the White House, the "growth gap" between this "recovery" and previous recoveries will be $1.6 trillion. No wonder voters feel as though America needs a hero… or an anti-hero.

Trump’s qualities as an anti-hero are obvious — he doesn’t play nice, he is never politically correct, and he is bold enough to claim that he can arm wrestle Mexico into building a border fence.  Realistic or not, it excites people who have felt powerless under a string of poor leadership from Washington D.C that has led to a decade of economic stagnation.

Trump’s supporters see the billionaire as someone who can restore an American dream that many view as increasingly unattainable for a myriad of reasons. With a political class that has turned a blind eye towards stagnating wages, the costs of government regulation, and the effects of ultra-loose monetary policy on the middle class, who can blame voters for putting faith in someone who personifies wealth? While Trump may not offer the right policy prescriptions for America, hopefully the GOP candidates will realize that his rise was fueled, in large part, by voters eager to restore American prosperity. If Trump’s supporters force the GOP candidates to explain how they will ignite our slow growth economy, and restore faith in the American dream, then Trump really is Batman.


Mark Elsasser is the Editor in Chief of Conservative Force.

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

★ PUBLIUS ★

“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2021 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.