The genius of Trump’s political brand is that he says what we all know to be true: that political discourse in America is about power, not truth. We have all known for some time that the real rules governing discourse are managed by backroom deals, political funding, an uninformed or misinformed populace, voting blocs who reliably or periodically following certain voting trends, etc. We watch pundits contort themselves to follow this basic rule:
This has always been the case in democratic politics to some extent, but in recent decades the existence of the for-profit 24/7 news channel, and now life-absorbing social media networks, has elevated it to proportions undeniable to the average voter.
Donald Trump, because he is entirely cynical and amoral, not only exploits this but openly points it out. And he not only points it out in others, but effectively owns it in himself. This is why he is scandal proof to those who have bought into his message. They recognize that scandals are only scandals to the extent that they are committed by a political opponent. Post-truth, indeed.
This is the genius of Trump’s brand of politics. And in this sense, the election of Trump is not a disruptive event, but is the inevitable result of our entire political culture.