Professor John Torpey ‘Defines Trumpism’ and Outlines Risks in Op-ed for The Hill

Professor John Torpey (Sociology) published an op-ed, “Defining Trumpism: Making Sense of the First 100 Days,” in The Hill in which he argues this is a particularly dangerous moment in the presidency, as the administration shifts its focus to the international arena.

“It is dangerous because the president’s only real political capital is his charisma, and charismatic leaders must deliver heroic feats,” Torpey wrote. “With the morass on the domestic side, Trump has turned his limited attention span to international affairs, where the risks of miscalculation and violent death are much greater.”

“Trumpism” is hard to define, Torpey wrote, because “it is difficult to give a name to lack of direction, psychological emptiness, and familial self-dealing.” Torpey suggests “capitalist neo-traditionalism,” which hints at a way of life and capitalism that favors “tough-guy entrepreneurs,” “families headed by a patriarch,” and white men.
The current lull in the administration’s activities might be a prelude to more “shock and awe” tactics, Torpey warned. “Capitalist neo-traditionalism may look good from the gilded halls of Trump Tower and Mar-a-Lago,” he wrote in his conclusion, “but the pressure on the charismatic entrepreneur-patriarch to ‘produce’ may lead us down a very dangerous path.”

Submitted on: APR 27, 2017

Category: Faculty Activities | General GC News