By Michael Tomasky in the Daily Beast, March 20
Welcome to – new word alert! – ochlocracy.
Don’t know what that means? Better learn it fast. It basically means mob rule. No different from mobocracy, I suppose, but as Trump himself would say, much, much classier!
Does this not describe pretty perfectly what is happening in the Republican Party right now? The plebeians here are the working-class Republicans – you know, the “poorly educated!” – who’ve been voting for Republicans for four decades now because of God and guns but have been getting taken to the cleaners economically by a party that may sort of care about them on some level but that, when it attains power, actually executes actions only on behalf of the 1 percent; a party whose entire economic agenda is determined by the 1 percent. Or more likely the 0.1 percent. They’re the patricians who dictate Republican economic policy.
Well, the plebeians have finally risen up. It was bound to happen. Now, my sympathy for them is limited. Trump hooked them with xenophobia and racism. Make no mistake. That’s the opioid here. Without it, Trump wouldn’t have gained altitude with these people, and that’s to their shame.
But xenophobia and racism aren’t all this is about. It’s also about economic rage. That’s why there’s a kind of crossover between some Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders voters, some people out there who are deciding between the two of them. Sanders is Trump without the racism. Well, and a lot of the personal coarseness and human repugnance. But they’re the two candidates who are talking to struggling and angry white Americans.