Populism is typically analyzed by political scientists, who look at the ideological frameworks and political dynamics at play; historians, who delve into the roots of the different movements; and journalists, who take a more contingent approach to the parties and personalities. Beyond Populism enriches these perspectives with a primarily anthropological view of the political projects typically labeled as populist.
I do not hate Trump. I am appalled by him. There is a difference. I see Trump as a massive and dangerous symptom of a political disease that has been festering and growing in this country for most of my adult life. Ideological extreme partisanship, now fueled by social media, is as bad for our political well-being as the forest fires in Australia were bad for the entire ecology.
Scott Adams, creator of the “Dilbert” cartoon strip, exemplifies the “Manosphere” perfectly by writing that “… the psychological state of American men in 2016 is one of persistent humiliation for simply being male. Perhaps the biggest unreported story of this presidential election is the humiliation of the American male. You’re seeing a celebration that your role in society is permanently diminished.”
Dr. Raymond W. Smock is an American historian, currently serving as director of the Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education at Shepherd University. The Observer interviewed him recently to discuss his career, the cottage industry of “Trump books” that has emerged in the last several years, and where his new book, Trump Tsunami: A Historian’s Diary of the Trump Campaign and His First Year in Office, lands in the context of this new literature.
On November 8, 2016, Donald J. Trump was elected 45th President of the United States, and on November 9, a group of media students and innovators at West Virginia University (WVU) knew what their newest project needed to entail—a truthful outlet from which Appalachia could be heard.