In a nutshell it’s an election about insiders versus outsiders as Nick Cater explains. He makes mention of the Roger L Simon book about moral narcissism. I read this several months ago and it explains a similar phenomenon in Australia and in fact right through the Western hemisphere, about those who like to have you think of them through the prism of the way they think and what they say they believe rather than what they do.
“….Trump, meanwhile, stays in contention not because of who he is but who he is not. He’s the antithesis of Clinton and repudiates the political class she represents. When his critics describe him as politically inexperienced they inadvertently describe what is, in the his supporters’ eyes, Trump’s most appealing trait.
Opinion polls were not designed to withstand an event such as this. It is a contest fought on tribal lines that barely correspond to the lines on the conventional political map.
Exceptionally, neither candidate has moved towards the centre ground, the time-honoured formula in most presidential elections. Trump doesn’t do nuance and he wasn’t going to try.
In today’s polarised US, one is for the political class or against it; to seek refuge in the middle of the road, as Margaret Thatcher once said, is to risk being run over.
Clinton conspicuously failed to reach out to Trump’s “basket of deplorables”. Instead, she has sown disdain, confirming the forgotten Americans’ worst fears about the political class: that their interests have not been overlooked by accident but by design.
They are right. Clinton’s pitch for power is less a vision for perfecting the Union than a statement of personal virtue; it’s not what you do but how you think that matters, and results be damned. One votes for the respectable candidate because one is not among the low-life who vote for Trump.
Postwar politics in the US brought the Republicans and Democrats closer together. This contest is being fought between people who appear to live on different planets, revolving in separate orbits.
They shop in different stores, eat different food and drive different cars. They learn about the world through separate Facebook streams; the development of digital silos means they are barely conscious of how the other half thinks.
Clinton appeals to moral narcissism, a sentiment that defines the world view of the modern Left and more than a few on the Right. “It is a narcissism that emanates from a supposed personal virtue augmented by a supposed intellectual clarity,” screenwriter Roger L. Simon writes in his recent book I Know Best. Moral narcissism, he says, took Clinton from an undergraduate social campaigner to Chappaqua plutocrat with a net worth in the tens of millions without missing a beat.
“If your intentions are good, if they conform to the general received values of your friends, family and co-workers, what a person of your class and social milieu is supposed to think, everything is fine. You are that ‘good’ person.”
If Simon is right, it augurs badly for a Clinton presidency. A country led by good intentions rather than good policy is a troubling place, particularly if those intentions are informed by the progressive fashions of the day….”