The 45th president of the United States, Donald John Trump, is a particular kind of president, out of all the previous presidents in modern history, and a specific kind of threat to established political organizations. 

He is not a threat per se to voters, or to Americans, but rather to the current political party system.

But there is a fascinating reason why this is so, and I’d like to suggest that it stems from the most powerful element of America itself, including its founding: individualism.

That may seem like an obvious statement, but if you map out all the elements of the current U.S. political economy, they are made, for the most part, out of the exact opposite of individualism: institutionalism.  Trump stands in especially stark contrast, as he is by nature not only an outsider to politics, but an outsider to many entrenched business practices.  Even if you may find him completely objectionable, he still functions as a symbol, and that symbol, like it or not, is an individual.

What do I mean by individualism, and an “outsider?”   I mean that all the contentions that you are subject to daily from the “public square” of U.S. politics, are defined, organized and transmitted by institutions: the DNC, the GOP, the WHO, the CDC, the DOD, the DOE, the WEF, the U.N., and hundreds of foundations (such as the U.K. Runnymede Trust for example), and dozens upon dozens of other types of institutions.  And of course there’s the media, made up of numerous corporate institutions.

And then there’s an individual named Donald John Trump. 

He is considered especially dangerous because of what he effectively transmutes socially, both from and back to, the majority of Americans: individualism. This is the precise antagonism to progressive Left ideology, because everything they stand for is based on group behavior, group consensus, group solidarity, and group thinking.  It derives its power from fear, and its value from perceived authority.  Its authority stems purely from institutions, and its methods of coercion, including its obsession over the control of free speech and free thought, depend desperately on sustaining the illusion of institutional legitimacy, authority, and dependency: on lowering your God-given natural confidence, and replacing it with man-given doubt and controls.

I’m not so naive to think that Trump is an entirely independent entity: he is susceptible to  influence like anyone else, but he is also more vulnerable because he is not by nature an institutional actor that fully understands or is facile with, the sociology of institutional hierarchical behavior (or compromise).

A political counterpart, such as Obama, is just the opposite; he is a classic organization man. He fully cultivates and serves, the entire institutional apparatus of the DNC, its systems, and its culture, and is sustained utterly by it.  He is a true agent, and an institutional object.  Trump is, but not to the same degree, or of the same kind.  Even if his individualism may be thought rude, unsophisticated or uncultivated, it stands, still, as a threat because he symbolizes independence.

But as I asserted earlier, it is also a specific kind of Americanism, and it invokes a kind of political “metaphysics” of the individual, that completely defines America’s founding, the founding that is also the enemy of the radical Left that seeks to erase it. Erasing America starts with erasing individualism.

Take a look at the the Constitution: it is signed by individuals, in individual signatures representing individual commitment.  So is the Declaration, and so is the Federalist.  Yes, these signers also had roles in business enterprise, or may have held official office, but institutionalism then was mostly a formality; it carried no ubiquitous institutional power.  They acted first and foremost as individuals.

Harvard Law professor and historian Morton Horwitz wrote a two-volume, well-known and well-regarded series called “The American Transformation” where he argued that our laws, judicial system and political institutions, were transformed and gradually re-organized around the accommodation of special interests in business. 

But that may be just the opposite of what actually happened: over time, American institutions grew and grew, and grew, and now have grown out of control so that they dominate the private sector of individual interests. This includes our nation’s university system that has such influence over young adult minds. Universities are complete corporate, political institutions, and they follow, obey, and carry out all institutional signals, orders and directives (the “Covid” program is an example, which depends entirely on group obedience and group ideology: the individual is by contrast deemed “unsafe”).

The individual is the greatest threat to progressive Leftism, as it is to all authoritative regimes seeking the fantasy of absolute control.  Trump is part of that system in several ways, but a part of him also naturally stands outside it, and his presence alone symbolizes directly and indirectly, deliberately or not, the nonconforming individual will of hundreds of millions of individual Americans with individual lives, individual families, individual businesses, individual wealth, individual thoughts, individual aspirations, and individual power. 

This article was first published at American Thinker