Princeton Historian Sean Wilentz on How Trump May Change (If Not Destroy) the GOP

Around here, we mainly know Sean Wilentz as the “historian in residence” of Bob Dylan’s official website, and the author of the biography, Bob Dylan In America.

But, in his day job, Wilentz is Professor of American History at Princeton University, where has taught since 1979, and written books on everything from The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln, to The Age of Reagan: A History, 1974–2008. More than most, he’s well positioned to talk about what, in the bigger scheme of things, a Trump presidency could mean for the American political system. Above, Wilentz contends that we’d have a “crisis presidency,” hopefully constrained by the checks and balances built into our constitution. And he suggests that, if history offers any guide, the nativism fueling the Trump campaign could spell doom for the GOP. Whenever a party runs on “Making America Great Again,” says Wilentz, it “usually means that the party is going to fall under great pressure–it’s going to, if not collapse entirely, disintegrate or get pushed to the margins.” Few GOP leaders, Lindsey Graham excepted, seem to really get that. But can we really expect political nonentities to see that you’re actually losing when you think you’re winning? 

Related Content:

Noam Chomsky on Whether the Rise of Trump Resembles the Rise of Fascism in 1930s Germany

Stephen Hawking on the Rise of Trump: “He’s a Demagogue Who Seems to Appeal to the Lowest Common Denominator”

J.K. Rowling Defends Donald Trump’s Right to Be “Offensive and Bigoted”


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  • Jeanette Rolon says:

    American history as we know, which is what is taught in classrooms, is far different than American History facts. Our Constitutional form of government has been under attack long before Trump entered the picture. There is a reason why Trump makes comments like “I’m a Nationalist” and “The Constitution won’t allow me to do what I want”, because he’s right. Anyone born within the states of the Union are Nationalists and protected by the Constitution. No political party would disclose this to the People. Instead of accusing Trump of endangering our Constitutional rights; accuse the right individuals that are doing the endangering (Democrat Party). Why not question the fact that Obamacare was and continues to be extortion by slavery and servitude, because it was against the will of those that could not afford healthcare. Why not tell Americans, not U.S. citizens from Federal territories that Federal Income taxes are voluntary, unless We, the People give consent. Admit that the W2, W4, and 1099 forms are all Estate and Gift taxes and bribing the government is against the law. Why not tell the People that having a driver’s license isn’t a requirement unless driving Commercially. While your at it; why not admit that signing up for a Social Security number deems you a Public Officer, which is against the law to impersonate an Officer. The IRS cannot change a Tax Class 5 (Estate and Gift) to a Tax Class 2 (Liability). When it comes to trade and business, they mean the duties of the Public Office and it’s Officers. Not the Private individual nor their Private property. No, let’s blame Trump for something that was already done to the American People. Try reporting real news.

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