I am sure Trump was not in the models
A point of view that I acknowledge as entirely valid and accurate but alternately instead of…
Tim Knowles

I am not so sure because there has been over a century of study of psychology as a subject- and millenia of study through philosophy and religion before that.

Trump works as a projection of the confidence that people have lost. He represents not having to care what others think because you don’t depend on anyone for your survival- so that was predictably appealing to the people who have lost out under recent economic developments. He doesn’t pose any actual threat to the continuation of the system and allows people to vent their anger in his defence, instead of in their own interests. It’s all a slow motion bait-and-switch as far as I can see.

There are studies showing how disease threat produces upturns in conformist attitudes and preference for (perceived) strong leadership- remember the Zika panic? I’d be very surprised if that wasn’t included in the calculus.

I think that the default elite strategy is always “let’s you and him fight for it”. Which is why the bigger the “it” is, the bigger the fight. e.g Oil dominance, WW1. Competing economic model, WW2. So, from that it would be logical that tolerance for hypocrisy is a minimum requirement for being part of that decision-making process. Capacity for cynical manipulation of the interchangeables’ humanity also. I have a feeling that morality is the only thing that trickles up (or should do in a democracy at least). Without relative privilege to influence others, other measures of value count more (responsibility, loyalty, honesty, bravery, creativity, generosity and so on).

Would “interchangeables” be seen as an improvement on “deplorables”? I think it has better explanatory value, at least, and would remind people that there is a more useful dividing line to organise around.