“We were too willing to turn the other cheek,” she continued, speaking of the Bush administration. “It’s how we were raised. It’s how he wanted the White House to be represented. But politically, if we had fought back more, I think that his approval rating probably would have held better. And it is possible that additional pieces of legislation that he wanted to get done could have been achieved—in particular, immigration reform.”

Trump is a symptom, not a cause. The fact that blaming others gets you ahead is a commentary on our society. And his success will spawn imitators. Because people respond to incentives, what this means is that we are now systemically rewarding bad behavior—and will get more of it. Economist F.A. Hayek said that in a totalitarian regime, the worst get on top. Our political process now seems to be following a similar formula.