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Blame the Elites for the Trump Phenomenon

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Live Transcript
  • Volley Round: What Are Your Opponents Missing?

    Clip: Debaters Ben Domenech, Bret Stephens, Jennifer Rubin, and Timothy Carney point out what they believe are flaws in their opponents' arguments.

  • Who's Supporting Donald Trump?

    Clip: Debaters Bret Stephens and Ben Domenech discuss why Donald Trump's base is so racially and economically homogeneous.

  • What Is Motivating Trump's Supporters?

    Clip: Debaters Bret Stephens, Timothy Carney, and Jennifer Rubin argue whether Donald Trump supporters are disenchanted by cronyism in the federal government.

  • Political Pornography

    Clip: Debater Bret Stephens explains why our obsession with Donald Trump's offensive statements is "political pornography."

Debate Details

The elites of both parties have expressed contempt for Donald Trump, and Trump has succeeded in part by channeling his voters’ contempt for the elites.  Does support for Trump reflect an uninformed populism and misplaced anger by a large swath of the American electorate?   Or have the elites failed to empathize with their struggles, and failed to craft effective policies to help them cope? 

The Debaters

For the motion

Timothy Carney

Senior Political Columnist, Washington Examiner & Visiting Fellow, AEI

Timothy P. Carney is senior political columnist for the Washington Examiner and a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. He helps direct... Read More

Ben Domenech

Publisher, The Federalist & Host, The Federalist Radio Hour

Benjamin Domenech is the publisher of The Federalist, host of The Federalist Radio Hour, and writes The Transom, a daily subscription newsletter for... Read More

Against the motion

Jennifer Rubin

Author, The Washington Post’s “Right Turn” Blog

Jennifer Rubin writes the “Right Turn” blog for the Washington Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective. She covers... Read More

Bret Stephens

Deputy Editor, Editorial Page and “Global View” columnist, The Wall Street Journal

Bret Stephens writes “Global View,” the foreign-affairs column for the Wall Street Journal, for which he won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for... Read More

Where Do You Stand?

For The Motion
  • Elites have pursued an agenda that has benefited corporations and the affluent, but largely ignored the plight of the working class.
  • With growing competition for jobs and manufacturing moving overseas, the pro-immigration and pro-trade elite are out of sync with America’s workers.
  • The establishment failed to recognize populism’s growing strength and essentially did too little, too late, to stem Trump’s popularity.
Against The Motion
  • The far right has been sowing the seeds of unrest and anger, paving the way for an outsider candidate who has appealed to voters’ frustration.
  • Globalization benefits the U.S.  Retreating from the world through protectionist policies would hurt the average American more than it would help.
  • There is an abundance of easily accessible information out there, and we can blame the people who voted for Trump for accepting his campaign of misinformation.  

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The Research

The Research

GOP Loses the Country Club

July 14, 2016

The Republican Party is no longer and can never again be the party of the country club, of the wealthy, of Wall Street.

Blame the Voters for Choosing Trump

March 15, 2016

At some point, one hopes that before it really is too late, GOP voters will come to their senses and reconsider entrusting vast power to a know-nothing bully.  

Who Caused Trump?

Ramesh Ponnuru
May 15, 2016

There’s blame enough to go around.

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