Remember the second-to-last scene of A Face in The Crowd? A live broadcast of a hugely popular TV show hosted by Lonesome Rhodes’ (Andy Griffith) has come to an end, and the closing credits are rolling. In a moment of arrogance, the demagogic Rhodes looks into the camera and, presuming the studio mikes have been turned off, tells his millions of loyal fans that he thinks they’re low and stupid. It triggers his downfall, or at least the beginning of the end.
I was thinking this morning that if a similar thing happened with Donald Trump, it could hurt him badly with the deplorables. Maybe. Consider, for example, a recently posted Jonathan Chait article, “Trump Is a Snob Who Secretly Despises His Own Supporters“:
“Conservatives have spent decades depicting liberals as coastal snobs. Entire campaigns were built from this theme, from Michael Dukakis’s ‘Harvard Yard boutique’ to various Democrats failing to display the requisite enthusiasm for Nascar. Every image of Barack Obama in the right-wing media cast him gazing downward imperiously, a pose that conservatives seemed to think captured his contempt for the good people of the heartland.
“Given the attention they have lavished on such picayune details as John Kerry’s failure to order cheesesteak properly, it’s not even possible to imagine what they would do with direct evidence of a president disdaining his attorney general’s University of Alabama law degree and regional accent. Imagine one of those scenes from a ’90s action movie where the bad guys are wearing night-vision goggles in the dark, and then suddenly faced with blinding light.
“But as is so often the case, the accusation that was made falsely against Democrats turns out to be true of Trump. For all his vaunted populism, Trump is filled with contempt for average people in general and his own supporters in particular.”