Thomas Hobbes’ Defense of Liberalism, Populism and the Rise of Donald Trump
Many analysts have attempted to make sense of the unexpected election of Donald Trump, but the thinker who offers perhaps the best explanation is Thomas Hobbes. Hobbes’ name has been invoked to warn of a threat to free government in an imperial presidency or a return to tribalism. But Hobbes himself is seldom read and widely misunderstood. His diagnosis of political disorders, and his remedy, can help to shed light on the diseases of the American body politic, the rise of Trump, and the cure. This essay begins with an unorthodox treatment of Hobbes as a classical liberal in Part I; its application to American politics follows in Part II.
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