Explanations for the rise and staying power of Donald Trump have become a subgenre.
In an excellent column headlined "Hegel, Sartre, Trump," Colonel Ralph Peters gives a very convincing one–and it's not as fancy as the title would leave you to believe. Peters writes:
Leaving aside G. W. F. Hegel’s concept of thesis provoking antithesis and leading to synthesis, which may apply ferociously this election year, Hegel offered one of our most valuable insights into the individual and his relationship to society: the concept of Anerkennung, or “recognition.” Simply put, Hegel proposed that all humans crave recognition from other humans.
He didn’t mean they expected adulation, but only that the individual requires the validation he receives when other men acknowledge his shared humanity (however humble his station). The janitor would like you to say, “Good morning!” as you rush past.
Donald Trump possessed the genius to grasp the craving for recognition in a huge swathe of the electorate ignored or actively insulted by the (previously) reigning political parties. Dismissed by the custodians of wealth; badgered by the politically correct; and taken for granted by those who make our laws; forgotten millions were ripe for Trump’s message — which reduces neatly to “You matter!”
. . .
The intelligentsia mocked the white working man and the working woman without a college degree (feminists must be slender and articulate). Financial elites exploited and discarded the paycheck poor. And our cultural elites championed those who live on government hand-outs while stereotyping the working class and lower-middle class as boorish, benighted, and bigoted.
Peters' explanation certainly accounts for the attitude on the part of Trump's supporters that their man can do no wrong. Given the disdain of the elite for people who once would have been seen as the backbone of the natin it is no wonder the Trump forces don't want to surrender and be forgotten again.