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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: January 2020

1 - What Divides Us? Race, Class, and Political Choice

from Part I - Fault Lines
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Summary

Donald J. Trump put his hand on Lincoln’s Bible on a cold, gray, and damp day in January 2017, and swore to faithfully execute his presidential duties. This was a moment that few had predicted. Less than a year before, Donald Trump had been widely viewed as certain to lose. He had none of the credentials typically required for elevation to the nation’s highest office. In all of his years, he had done no public service. He had no experience with national security issues. His greatest claim to fame was as a self-aggrandizing celebrity. Past actions and events seemed to jeopardize his candidacy, and, perhaps, to disqualify him from the office. He had been caught on tape boasting about grabbing women “by the pussy” (Victor ). In an exciting but checkered career in business he had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy six times. In multiple years, he had paid no income taxes despite garnering earnings that were unimaginable to most Americans. Moreover, Donald Trump faced a deep bench of seemingly attractive and qualified opponents.