Trump Is Right That the System Is “Rigged”—and He’s Stacking It More
Average Americans Are Losing Power While Self-Serving Elites Lose Public Trust
Pundits nearly always attribute Donald Trump’s success to right-wing “populism.” This conclusion is dangerously misleading. Trump’s rise is rooted firmly in his ability to make an old-fashioned word—“rigged”—work in surprisingly fresh ways. Trump correctly diagnosed a feeling among working people that the system was rigged against them, and then leveraged that against his seemingly more sophisticated and better-funded opponents in both parties. That he went into the election proclaiming that it was “rigged” against him was yet another ironic flourish.
As a social anthropologist who studies both “influence elites” and the …