Donald Trump, American Preacher

Jeff Sharlet, writing for The New York Times Magazine:

The ethos of the prosperity gospel is the key to Trump’s power to persuade people that his victories can be theirs — that the greatness of Trump is the means of making America great again. All that is ugly within it, the violence and the hate, is part of an expression of the sense of lack Trumpism both feeds and assuages. It is sorrow, a mourning of the chance that never was or won’t be. The left responds with redemption, the promise of justice; Trump sells revenge, “hitting back 10 times as hard.” But that’s just the drama, the conflict before the resolution, the sales pitch for which Trumpism is the solution: greatness, the truths all prosperity-gospel preachers embody for those who believe.

Trump knows his followers want what he has, and that what Trump has, that for which the plane and the gold and all the “green,” too, are merely symbols, is freedom from want. Trump does not want; Trump is. “Is Trump strong?” Trump asks rhetorically. Those constrained by ordinary manners hear in the question evidence of insecurity. His admirers hear rejoicing. Why not take pleasure in power? It feels good to be strong. It is, for the believers, those whom Trump calls “my people,” a blessing.

I've read, and posted, a lot of great writing about Donald Trump's presidential run. This one might be my favorite. I think it gets the closest, in the clearest language, to understanding just what is going on here. To what is fueling all of this.