On November 8, 2016, American voters elected Donald J. Trump to become the 45th President of the United States. Peter Kivisto analyses how this happened, focusing on who Trump is, who his supporters are, and the role of the media, right-wing Christians, and the Republican Party in making Trump’s victory possible. The book concludes with an analysis of this phenomenon as America’s version of right-wing populism and illustrates how it poses a threat to democracy.
In looking at who supported Trump, the book offers a demographic portrait of his white electoral base and an analysis of their worldview and positions on such hot button issues as white privilege, racial discrimination, immigration, and gender inequality. Kivisto goes on to explore the role of the media in assisting Trump’s rise to power, including an analysis of the mainstream’s uncritical embrace of Trump as a ratings bonanza, and the role played by Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News.
Finally, the book assesses the way that the Republican Party has been transformed into a party that is dependent on a core constituency of right-wing extremists, reflecting on the Trump phenomenon as America’s manifestation of right-wing populism - a movement that, it is argued, poses a threat to democratic values and practices.