… the herds and hordes of journalists and political scientists are not coming to grips with this. Rather than come to grips with this, they work hard to “save the phenomena” and save their models–analyzing the rise and durability of Donald Trump by making the smallest possible tweaks to what they thought last year. They are not stepping back and absorbing the lesson. They do not want to recognize that the rise and durability of Trump teaches them that what they thought last year was wrong. They do not want to face the reality that they need to pretty much throw everything away and start over.
I think this is correct. But I think it has to do with more than rhetoric, as this piece suggests. I think Trump has accurately assessed that the political professionals — especially Republican political operatives — have been gaming the system for quite some time, and he is calling them on it, and that resonates with voters who feel they have got little in return for their votes. The idea that Trump will be a pushover to beat in the general election strikes me as bizarre. He has maintained a lead over all comers in the primary season. And if he does win the election, a seismic change in American politics will have taken place. One thing you can be sure of: The professional politicians will adapt quickly and, as much as possible, to their own advantage (the country's advantage being a distinctly secondary concern among them). But they will have a dealmeister to contend with.