Following Recent Elections, Holy Cross Professor Explains ‘Why Democrats Are Wrong About the End of Trumpism’

Fortune
December 1st, 2017 by 

Professor Gregory Burnep of the Political Science Department
Photo by: Austin Bosworth

A wave of state legislative election victories by Democrats has been taken by some as a sign that the country is officially responding to Trumpism in the voting booth, and that this trend is likely to continue. However, Greg Burnep, assistant professor of political science, urges caution, saying “talk of the end of ‘Trumpism’ and a resurgence of the Democratic Party is premature.”

Burnep went on to discuss how political polarization and retaliatory policies factored into many of these most recent elections. “Americans of all political stripes should resist the temptation to draw sweeping conclusions from the events of last Tuesday (November 2017 special elections),” Burnep concludes.

Read the full piece on Fortune.

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Comments (1)
  1. Conor Larkin says:

    Professor Burnep provides a good analysis of the recent swing in support in favour of the Democrats, and he’s correct to conclude that Democrats are wrong to celebrate the end of Trumpism. But Professor Burnep does not address the more fundamental reasons that will continue to fuel Trumpism in the near future. Trump was largely a consequence of a broad dissatisfaction with the degrading economic situation in the United States, the concentration of wealth at the top, and the seeming indifference of the political establishment to the plight of millions of working Americans. Beginning with the economic catastrophe in 2008, a new wave of political radicalism (populism, perhaps) emerged. That emergence was visible on both the left (Occupy Wall Street) and the right (Tea Party). Both strains coalesced into more formal movements, and both made waves in the 2016 presidential election (Bernie Sanders and the progressives on the left, and Donald Trump and the alt-right on the right). Despite Trump’s repeated insistence that the economy is booming, it is not, and the same financial strains on American families that existed before Trump will likely remain for the foreseeable future. Trump skillfully played to his base’s racial and ethnic fears–but those fears are not standalone. They are symptoms of the deeper economic inequalities and difficulties that plague this country. Trumpism is far from dead because the real grievances that affect his base are far from being alleviated. Burnep concludes that the Democrats could feasibly win back the House in 2018 (more so as a consequence of historical trends than anything the Democrats stand for today), but if they want to experience long-term success and defeat the likes of Donald Trump, they must shift their platform to the left and champion the progressive policies of Bernie Sanders and the Occupy Wall Street movement. Trump isn’t going away until the legitimate grievances of American families are alleviated, and the Democrats should recognise that fact and plan accordingly.

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