Philosophers on U.S. Presidential Politics
With the U.S. presidential race imminent, Routledge authors have been weighing in on the state of U.S. politics over on the Daily Nous
, as possibly the most principled, and possibly the least principled politicians in the U.S. are currently going head to head for the American presidency.
Robert Talisse (author of Engaging Political Philosophy
, and co-author of Why We Argue and Why We Should) and Scott Aikin (co-author of Why We Argue and Why We Should
), have weighed in on the debate with an exploration of the trouble with political conservatism in America today, and how such concerns have presented a challenge to the Republican Party. According to Talisse and Aikin, the central ideas of political conservatism are becoming increasingly unpopular, as they place high regard upon insatiable appetites for luxury, excess, spectacle, and power, all of which are social forces that dissolve tradition and foster divisions. Such unpopularity has therefore led the Republican Party to build a political coalition among people who ultimately have little in common, which requires a strategy by which divisions are overshadowed by some unifying purpose.
Comparatively, Jason Brennan (author of Why Not Capitalism
? and co-author of Markets without Limits
) adds that democracy works because it doesn’t work. Brennan qualifies this by explaining that Trump has become a populist candidate in the presidential race as he has played to misinformation, anger, and prejudice, as the mean, median, and modal amounts of basic political knowledge among voters is generally quite low. Therefore, Trump is doing well because democracy is working, because there has been a break down in various checks parties place on voter ignorance. Moreover, he is rising as the likely Republican nominee despite widespread opposition, because he strongly appeals to disaffected, middle-of-the-road Americans who have become divided from traditional conservative politics due to the unpopularity of such ideals, of which Talisse and Aikin speak of.
Donald John Trump, Sr., born June 14, 1946, is an American business magnate, investor, television personality, author, and 2016 US Presidential candidate. | Photo: Gage Skidmore | Donald Trump, Investor, Presidential Candidate, Money, Real Estate, Hair, Personality, Wealth,
In this way, Trump has consequently become the manufactured unifying purpose that is needed to overshadow the divisions that have arisen. He has demonstrated that in order to get the support of voters who identify with the Republican Party, would-be candidates must vilify ideas and instead communicate solely in one-liners - all this in the service of selling what is promoted as a brand. As, Talisse and Aikin remark that conservatism was supposed to be the idea that values were more than brands, but branding is now all the Republican Party has at its core as a political faction.
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