It was hard for the transnational progressives that dominate American politics and media empires to understand in their gut either President Trump’s successful 2016 campaign or his 2018 campaigning, because Trump’s campaign “dog whistles” are outside their frame of reference. The reason why is that the Trump political phenomena is very much Trump being a “fire and brimstone preacher from the non-denominational Low Church of American Exceptionalism” in the midst of the PC dominated American High Church outlawing displays of the American flag on Cinco De Mayo for “reasons of diversity.”
Two examples for your consideration:
1) My wife found this article below for me, because she is better at spotting the American fundamentalist Christian Right’s symbols than I.
Donald Trump and the Evangelical Vote
By Emily Johnson
December 8, 2015
And herein lies the political genius of Trump. Without tying himself to any particular group, Trump has captured the populist rhetoric of the most conservative elements of the GOP base. He spoke for more than 45 minutes in Knoxville and hardly referred to religion at all, focusing instead on issues related to immigration, defense, and trade. But religion was not absent from the event. It began with a prayer, given by a local law enforcement officer, beseeching God to bless America with a “guiding hand of direction” and a “guarding hedge of protection.” Corum, the 92-year-old first-time voter who warmed up Trump’s audience, also had a great deal to say about good, evil, and God. The United States, she said, “ought to be like it should have been in the beginning” when God bestowed a special blessing on the nation.
But direct appeals to religious rhetoric are less important to Trump’s campaign than is his appeal to far-right voters as a brutally honest man who is only a reluctant convert to the world of politics. For these voters, Trump is like them: a passionate American who was compelled to become involved in the political realm because of his commitment to return the nation to the way it ought to be.
This is the founding myth of General George Washington coming to the Constitutional Convention as the American republic’s Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus, and then dropping the reigns of power to return to Mt. Vernon for a second and final time.
Emily Johnson’s article is really good, and you should read it in full after seeing the following:
2) This video of a performance of the “USA Freedom Kids” at the beginning of a Trump for President campaign rally.
As a military kid, that performance pulled so many of my strings that I knew immediately that;
a. I was being purposefully manipulated by the symbols I grew up with, and
b. I loved it anyway.
Trump’s political rallies then and now are revival meeting of American exceptionalism for America’s Scots-Irish, and extended by assimilation, white ethnic Jacksonian faction.
This style of campaigning is 180 degrees out of phase with traditional negative campaigning, which is to paint other candidates as the enemy of you and yours — “OTHER.”
Trump’s campaign rallies have been about affirming Jacksonian tribal identity in much the way Slobodan Milosevic of Serbia did and Putin of Russia is currently doing in Russia.
The issues that Trump has chosen to run and govern on are all about American blood-and-soil nationalism at the expense of international politics and trade. And President Trump has been painting himself in the traditional role of Cincinnatus & George Washington coming down from his estates to set right the ills of the Republic.
The transnational progressives that dominate the political parties of the West simply cannot compete with this American tribal identity stuff because they are not nationalist.
National identity is outside their frame of reference. So are appeals to them.