Ever since billionaire Donald Trump declared his candidacy for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination in June 2015, politicians (both Democratic and Republican), the media, and the global public have expressed an escalating concern with what Adorno might have called the “mild lunacy” of the man. No doubt the presumptive Republican nominee (at the time of writing) expresses many of the traits of the anti-democratic demagogue that Adorno isolates: he turns his personality into a commodity for sale; he has won supporters by “playing upon their unconscious mechanisms” rather than by presenting them with rational arguments; he has depended on the “bogey men” of Muslims and Mexicans; and he has favored “oratorical exhibitions” (including those driven home by his “vulgarian” fingers) rather than what Adorno calls “discursive logic.”

Read more of Rodney Taveira and Aaron Nyerges's article published by The Australasian Journal of American Studies.

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