Author Archive

Will Baird

Will Baird works at the American Enterprise Institute. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College, where he studied History and Arabic.

Donald Trump is probably not a Manchurian candidate planted by Vladimir Putin to disrupt the American political landscape. That is just the latest attempt to explain how, of all people, the crude thrice-married billionaire from the outer boroughs became the Republican nominee for President of the United States. While the “Trump as Russian sleeper agent” theory is far-fetched, several well thought-out explanations have caught on. Too often, though, these fail to explain why Trump specifically became the standard-bearer of the GOP and stands a shot at winning the election. The jump from “what is happening” to “why him,” is key to understanding the Trump phenomenon. Bearing this in mind, I argue that Donald Trump is the candidate of schadenfreude. Not …