Republican Party unravels over Donald Trump's takeover

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Presidential Election 2016
Here’s the latest news and analysis of the candidates and issues shaping the presidential race.
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RECENT COMMENTS

pgp 5 minutes ago
Hmmm. Is what we’re witnessing really the rekindling of ” atavistic nationalism”? From where I’m standing, it looks more like the cynical…
Paul 5 minutes ago
It’s sort of funny reading Healy and Martin, who manage to completely omit that the paper that pays their salaries was prominent among those…
Carolyn M 5 minutes ago
“He understood the Republican Party’s customers better than its leaders did”Isn’t that the problem? Politics that thinks of citizens as…
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Mr. Trump’s arsenal was far more fearsome. Combining modern-day fame and an age-old demagogy, he bypassed the ossified gatekeepers and appealed directly to voters through a constant Twitter stream that seemed interrupted only by television appearances.

In doing so, he seemed to grasp that a new twist on direct democracy was in the offing: that disaffected voters who tune out the traditional modes of political communication might be reachable through their smartphones, and Twitter messages or Reddits might be more relevant to those voters than the findings of a more scientific poll…

“The economic deprivation of the last 30 years for working-class whites, combined with growing social isolation, was really dry tinder,” said Robert D. Putnam, the Harvard political scientist who wrote “Bowling Alone.” And Mr. Trump, Mr. Putnam contended, “lit a spark.”

“He constructed a series of scapegoats that these folks would find plausible,” said Mr. Putnam, citing Mr. Trump’s attacks on Muslims and immigrants. “He was willing to say things that might have always been popular, but you couldn’t say it.”