What happens when your graduate class realizes what Peter Marcuse writing from 2012 were taking place in the 2016 Trump Presidential campaign? Marcuse theorized during an economic crisis the dispossessed will either swing towards egalitarianism and rights for all, or they will swing towards fascism and the elimination of rights for scapegoat groups. Marcuse postulated the dispossessed can be manipulated to support fascism through rhetoric touting: anti-abortion, gun rights, homophobia, racism, anti-immigrant sentiment, religious fundamentalism, war mongering and false patriotism. The class realized the 2016 Trump campaign was mirroring Marcuse’s list of manipulation, so, two independent variables from Marcuse’s list, racism and guns rights, were tested to see if they had a correlation to states having a higher Trump voting percentage in the 2016 Presidential election. This research contributes to the social sciences by demonstrating the applicability of critical theory to real world phenomenon, and by contributing support to the accuracy of defining the Trump campaign as a fascism.

Published in: London International Conference on Education (LICE-2020)

  • Date of Conference: 23-25 November 2020
  • DOI: 10.2053/LICE.2020.0030
  • ISBN: 978-1-913572-22-8
  • Conference Location: London, UK