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At this point in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, the noble, elusive stag of political rhetoric is pretty much road kill.Donald Trump, well, opens his mouth.Trump's success is clarifying about the nature of the populism we are seeing.Trump is a recent heretic on nearly every issue important to conservatives, from taxes (raise them on the rich) to immigration (Mitt Romney was too harsh) to health care (more liberal than President Barack Obama).So Trump's candidacy can't primarily be about ideological purification.Trump's appeal is pure style. Trump, who has changed his entire political worldview to capture the political moment, represents the brand of authenticity.The Trump candidacy has revealed a huge attitudinal division in American life. I know that Trump is encouraging political fantasies.And I know that the success of Trump would be the downfall of the Republicans. The distance from Washington to Trump is not merely change but descent.
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