The American Right is divided between those who think our country has serious problems and those who think it is teetering on the edge of collapse. Donald Trump’s rise has been fueled by the latter group, which sees itself as Cassandra, accurately surveying and desperately trying to revive a “crippled America,” as Trump titled his book.
The edge-of-extinction crowd hasn’t just failed to persuade the rest of the Right; they’ve failed to persuade the mass of voters. Americans tell pollsters the country is headed in the wrong direction, but they’re not apocalyptic about it. To everyone else, the Doomsayers come across as paranoid, race-obsessed hysterics.
Conservative columnist Diana West, arguing that it’s time for “American Patriots” to rally around Trump, offers a concise summary of the apocalyptic vision that has taken hold among quite a few self-identified conservatives.