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Heard on Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson

David Frum On How the Tea Party Led to Donald Trump

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Image credit: whitehouse.gov

How the evolution of the Republican party and redistricting led to the Trump presidency.

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The Trump presidency has been marked by a dizzying amount of political controversy and cultural division. The sheer amount of news, dissension and criticism in the era of Trump can feel disorienting.

The rise of Donald Trump has roots. And the radicalization of the Republican Party is a big part of the story.” — David Frum, author

David Frum, staff writer at The Atlantic and the author of “Trumpocalypse: Restoring American Democracy,” wades through the chaos to make sense of how the nation got to this point and what needs to be done to move forward.

Listen: David Frum on Trump’s pandemic response, the Bush presidency and what’s next. 


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David Frum, author of the new book “Trumpocalypse: Restoring American Democracy,” says that the core base of support Trump enjoys will be fixed no matter what and that it’s now important to shift focus away from changing minds toward restoring order.

Because of redistricting, Trump’s base now wields outsized political influence. As the Tea Party movement emerged in 2009, Frum says that the Republican party realized those radical ideals were not consistent with winning elections, so the party turned to shrinking the electorate in order to win. This gaming of the system, Frum says, brought the country where it is today.

The rise of Donald Trump has roots. And the radicalization of the Republican Party is a big part of the story,” says Frum.

The Donald Trump presidency has also ushered in an era of conspiracy and political polarization according to Frum.

Old ideas of left and right are dissolving. And now it’s hard sometimes to tell who’s on the right or the left.”

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Detroit Today

Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.

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