In Donald Trump’s America, women fit into two categories: “nasty” or “suburban housewives.” Conservative evangelicals are dupes who can be manipulated into believing Joe Biden is “against God” and “against guns.” African-Americans are a monolithic voting bloc who will pull the lever for a rapper, presumably because he’s Black. And Trump once suggested that Jewish people who vote for Democrats are disloyal—and that immigrants and foreigners are dirty and can never be considered real Americans. I could go on.
Trump’s America is a cynical and base place where people are identified as extreme avatars and insulting stereotypes instead of as complex individuals. But is it reality? This worldview helped him win in 2016, because enough voters believed the caricature he sold us about himself (a bogus image of wealth and success), as well as the image he sold us about others (Lyin’ Ted Cruz, Crooked Hillary, the “fake news” media, you get it). But after nearly four years, it is helping him lose bigly in 2020.
Trump sees the world in a perverse and superficial way—and he thinks you and I do, too. This projection is sometimes effective and has been reinforced by his success. But at some point, the twisted way he views the world went from being an asset to a detriment.