As counties on the electoral map turned gradually this week from red to blue, the presidency of Donald J. Trump appeared, as the poet might have said, like a patient etherized upon a table.
The overwhelming question looming over the proceedings was not just whether Trump’s electoral hopes could have been revived, but also what might happen after his time in office reaches its end. What aspects of Trump’s presidency, in all of its populist brashness, might endure once Americans had denied him a second term?
It is a question of particular urgency on college campuses, whose leaders and faculty members seek to revive a spirit of intellectual engagement and civility in a riven nation.
Despite Trump’s loss on Saturday to Joseph R. Biden Jr., his Democratic challenger for president, the vitality of “Trumpism” appears intact. The suspicion of intellectual elites, the dismissal of scientific research, and the notion that the nation’s prosperity is threatened by named and unnamed outsiders are hallmarks of a political philosophy that has gone mainstream with a presidential bullhorn.
Related: “a bloated elite class, with too few elite jobs to go around; declining living standards among the general population; and a government that can’t cover its financial positions”