Blogger Charles Pierce: Trump’s Rageful Rhetoric Descends From ‘Reagan's Smiling Demagoguery’

February 23rd, 2016 8:52 PM

Ronald Reagan’s admirers called him the Great Communicator, but to his detractors he was more like the Great Demonizer, crystallizing hostility toward groups ranging from the poor to left-wing protesters at UC Berkeley. In a Sunday post, Esquire blogger Charles Pierce argued that Donald Trump has a similar talent for focusing outrage, and because of it, he’s attracting the same kind of supporters that Reagan did.

Regarding the recent implication by Marco Rubio that "the children of the Reagan revolution” are flocking to his side, Pierce responded, in effect, “Not so fast, Marco” (bolding added):

[The Republican party has] gone truly rogue, burning and consuming itself, using itself as its own fuel like some great breeder reactor of rage and fear…

…The children of the Reagan revolution are older than Marco Rubio believes they are, and they're lining up behind Donald Trump. They like the way he defines the enemy, the way that Reagan always knew when to summon up that spectral welfare mom, or that imaginary black man buying steaks with his government checks. They like the way he builds a comfortable wall around them to hold back the change that scares them so. They like the way he makes them part of a movement against their fear and how he so embodies their confusion and rage…

…The forces unleashed in conservative America by Reagan's smiling demagoguery have gathered themselves into a whirlwind that blew away the last Bush brother on Saturday night. Yes, Young Marco Rubio, it's morning in America again, and it's a darker day than you can possibly imagine.