The Politics of Losing : Trump, the Klan, and the Mainstreaming of Resentment
The Ku Klux Klan has peaked three times in American history: after the Civil War, around the 1960s Civil Rights Movement, and in the 1920s, when the Klan spread farthest and fastest.
Recruiting millions of members even in non-Southern states, the Klan's nationalist insurgency burst into mainstream politics.
Almost one hundred years later, the pent-up anger of white Americans left behind by a changing economy has once again directed itself at immigrants and cultural outsiders and roiled a presidential election. In The Politics of Losing, Rory McVeigh and Kevin Estep trace the parallels between the 1920s Klan and today's right-wing backlash, identifying the conditions that allow white nationalism to emerge from the shadows.
White middle-class Protestant Americans in the 1920s found themselves stranded by an economy that was increasingly industrialized and fueled by immigrant labor.
Mirroring the Klan's earlier tactics, Donald Trump delivered a message that mingled economic populism with deep cultural resentments.
McVeigh and Estep present a sociological analysis of the Klan's outbreaks that goes beyond Trump the individual to show how his rise to power was made possible by a convergence of circumstances.
White Americans' experience of declining privilege and perceptions of lost power can trigger a political backlash that overtly asserts white-nationalist goals.
The Politics of Losing offers a rigorous and lucid explanation for a recurrent phenomenon in American history, with important lessons about the origins of our alarming political climate.
1KBB USA, 3JJG c 1918 to c 1939 (Inter-war period), 3JMG c 2010 to c 2020, HBJK History of the Americas, JHB Sociology, JPFM Conservatism & right-of-centre democratic ideologies, JPHL Political leaders & leadership