Lacking any intellectual or ideological program, Trump is not the representative of a positive movement, but of a negative: he is not for anything, he is merely against the rule of the “liberals.” This is the root of his popular appeal: he is attracting people who are desperately, legitimately frustrated, bewildered and angered by the dismal bankruptcy of the “liberals'” policies, people who sense that something is terribly wrong in this country and that something should be done about it, but who have no idea of what to do.
It is enormously significant that in many sections of the country (as indicated by a number of polls) former followers of Bernie Sanders are switching their support to Trump. At a superficial glance, this may appear to be a contradiction, since these two figures seem to represent exact opposites in their political views. But, in fact, it is not a contradiction: in terms of fundamentals, both Sanders and Trump are “activists” — i.e., men who propose (and clearly project the intention) to take direct action, action by the use of physical force, to solve problems or to achieve (unspecified) goals. In this sense, both these leaders are symptomatic of a country’s intellectual and cultural disintegration, of the ugly despair which seizes people when — disillusioned in the power of ideas, abandoning reason — they seek physical force as their last resort.
OK, I edited it a little. In the original, it was George Wallace and Robert Kennedy. This was written by Ayn Rand in 1968. I changed nothing but names, though.
This is a problem that festers. And since nobody addresses it, it gets worse.