The 2016 US presidential election and the Trump presidency have shown us that a variety of epistemically perilous conditions are far too common in the thought and behavior of Americans. Philosophy has a role to play in addressing this.
A burning question: are the aesthetics of the Trump regime more “kitsch” or “camp”?
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “Speak what you think now in hard words and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day.” Does that mean the current POTUS is an Emersonian? Not quite!
Stating that the Presidential election and the person now occupying the office are illegitimate is a serious charge, but how accurate is it? The most prominent social theorist to articulate the concept of legitimacy is Max Weber, who outlined three ideal types of legitimate authority that comprise rightful rule. On any reading, Donald Trump comes into office with a severe legitimacy deficit.