Media, political elites faulted for enabling Trump’s rise

14 September 2016
Luke Vargas

Media and political elites, not rank-and-file voters, are responsible for the unlikely rise of Donald Trump.

That was the overwhelming consensus among attendees at Tuesday’s season opener of Open to Debate formerly known as Intelligence Squared U.S., the Oxford-style debate series in which four journalists defend or challenge a given prompt. In New York City on Tuesday, it was a premise familiar to 2016 politicos: Blame the Elites for the Trump Phenomenon.

When several hundred paying attendees weighed in at the event’s start, the majority were undecided, with about 30 percent siding with each opposing view. But by night’s end, The Federalist’s Ben Domenech and The Washington Examiner’s Timothy Carney emerged victorious, convincing 58 percent of the audience that the widespread failure of elites at the helm of America’s once-cherished institutions, not the inherent appeal of Trump’s anti-immigrant or anti-minority viewpoints, have enabled his success.