One is: A Good Account of a Problem Predicts Absolutely Nothing About the Value of a Solution.
I am a professor. I have read three decades of essays that set up problems beautifully and then fall apart in the what is to be done section. Sanders and Trump inflamed their audiences with searing critiques of Capitalism’s unfairness. Then what? Then Trump’s response to what he has genuinely seen is, analytically speaking, word salad. Trump is sound and fury and garble. Yet — and this is key — the noise in his message increases the apparent value of what’s clear about it. The ways he’s right seem more powerful, somehow, in relief against the ways he’s blabbing. Plus, apart from rebooting capitalism, nobody in mainstream politics is that visionary about what to do, because everyone has to be patriotic toward capitalism, since that’s come to stand for freedom.
Two: the second thing about Trump is that Trump is free.
You watch him calculating, yet not seeming to care about the consequences of what he says, and you listen to his supporters enjoying the feel of his freedom. See the brilliant interviews on Samantha Bee’s Full Frontal, where RNC conventioneers say, over and over: We’re for Trump because he’s not politically correct, PC has harmed America, and you think, people feel so unfree.
To summarize: where the mainstream is concerned, all politics is emotional because all politics is sentimental, attaching people to dreams of a better good life through the law’s good heart. The nation was supposed to deliver justice but that’s not working out too well, so we switched to “the nation saves hope, without hope there’s no hope, etc.” Donald Trump foments hope in the exercise of his emotional freedom. The Democratic party fomented hope at its convention by borrowing from the maternalist playbook of the 19th century (my mother! my daughter! our children!) and the liberation theology of universal love with a policy obligation that we identify with a defanged version of Dr. Martin Luther King. Donald Trump loves too, you know: he says it all the time. I think he means it, if love means mutual idealization. The Democrats under Clinton have hope and love: not fairness. The reboot of the New Deal lost, this time, to Google Democracy: try to do no evil, and protect the profits.
Anyway, one party’s message is radical and incoherent, and the other’s, the Democrat’s, is moderate-conservative and traditional. All the messages are emotional.