Een Trumpiaans sprookje

Translated title of the contribution: Trump’s fairy tale

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlePopular


Donald Trump told US voters the fairy tale that if they voted for him, as president he would make them all winners. While such fairy tales are usually meant to be a fantasy with an educational message, Trump's fairy tale was seen as true by many Americans. So much so that he won the elections in 2016 and in 2020 still over 70 million Americans voted for him. Michael J. Sandel's recent book: The Tyranny of Merit: What’s Become of the Common Good? argues how this could have come about. Sandel discusses how a wide gap has arisen in the United States between the better off and less fortunate in society. The meritocratic elite, as Sandel calls it, began to look down more and more on those who were unable to catch up in the competitive society. It was regarded as your own fault if you did not succeed to become a winner. As a result, the meritocratic elite became less and less interested in those who were not one of them, such as hard working but low educated Americans. Trump made good use of the resentment of these ‘losers’ in his election as President of the United States in 2016. His fairy tale made them believe he would make them winners too. But that failed in 2020 and Trump found it impossible to accept that he and his many voters had lost the election, and indeed were losers.
Translated title of the contributionTrump’s fairy tale
Original languageDutch
Number of pages1
Issue numberNovember 26
Publication statusPublished - 26 Nov 2020


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