Whatever happens next, the solidity of Trump’s support has confirmed that there is no going back. The voters know who he is. They are not interested in his morals, but in his politics. These are not just the politics of repudiation: they also contain the promise of economic and social recovery.
Now, politics is not morality. If it were, we would not have had Trump as president in the first place. But the narrowness of this result vindicates Trump’s unlikely moralizing: his attacks on elite corruption, his exposure of the contempt in which the governors hold the governed.
The issues that we summarize as ‘populism’ are real and cannot be wished away. Trump has remade American politics, because American politics are being remade by the voters. Trump’s endurance, let alone his possible victory, confirm this. He, of all people, has told the truth to Americans.