Are Elites to Blame for Trump’s Political Success? Yes, According to a New York Debate Audience

15 September 2016
Alexander Reed Kelly

The nonprofit debate organization Open to Debate formerly known as Intelligence Squared U.S. facilitated a remarkable spectacle Tuesday evening: two elite conservative media pundits arguing that the failures of their social and economic class are responsible for the rise of Donald Trump and for his winning by a large margin.

Ben Domenech, publisher of The Federalist and host of “The Federalist Radio Hour,” began by sounding like historian and author Thomas Frank. Frank’s latest book, “Listen, Liberal,” accused Democrats of ignoring the plight of the working class.

Trump “is neither a disease nor a symptom,” Domenech said. “He is a beta test for a cure. Americans are turning to him because he represents the breakdown of the post-Cold War left/right politics of the nation, a breakdown that has been happening in slow motion for the past two decades, fueled by a dramatic decline of trust in America’s elites.