The political lexicon of a billionaire populist

From the start of his presidential campaign, Donald Trump pledged “total change,” delivering his promises with a scorched-earth political vocabulary — “Lyin’ Ted,” “Crooked Hillary,” “drain the swamp,” “lock her up.” Some found his language appalling, but others found it refreshing enough to make him president.

Now, in the Oval Office, Trump and his chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, have moved beyond the campaign’s embrace of political incorrectness to shake official Washington with a new vocabulary that breaks from the usual liberal-conservative terms of ­debate. …

The ideology that Bannon calls “economic nationalism” “is a very recognizable, quite common strategy that we’ve seen in Europe for many years,” said Bart Bonikowski, a sociologist at Harvard who studies the appeal of populism and nationalism. “They use language that vilifies elites, combined with glorification of the people and a pretty strong anti-intellectualism and skepticism about expertise. It’s a very powerful mix that taps anxieties and fears.” CONT.

Marc Fisher, Washington Post