The populist president now wants his supporters to consider themselves elite — actually, let’s make it super elite.
In campaign rally appearances this week and last, President Donald Trump has been whipping up his supporters with a new line of rhetoric appealing to their aspirational impulses.
“I hate it: I meet these people, they call it the elite,” Trump said during a rally in Fargo, N.D., on Wednesday night. “We got more money, we got more brains, we got better houses and apartments, we got nicer boats, we’re smarter than they are, and they say they’re the elite. You’re the elite, we’re the elite.”
The president said the so-called elite were “stone-cold losers,” unlike him and his supporters. His surrogates were using the term "elite" as an insult to the liberal left during Trump's 2016 campaign.
“Let’s call ourselves, from now on, the super elite,” Trump told the crowd.
“Super elite” might take over from a past nickname slapped on — and then adopted by — Trump supporters, who claimed the term “deplorables” after Hillary Clinton used it to describe them during the 2016 presidential campaign. In the same way, Trump seems to be twisting and co-opting the word "elite" — it's meant something negative in recent politics, hurled at liberals as a nasty epithet.
And the super elite nickname might stick. Wednesday’s speech wasn’t the first time he referred to his base that way — last week, at a rally in Duluth, Minnesota, Trump suggested no one else should be called elite since he has a better apartment and more money than the so-called elite.
“Do you ever notice they always call the other side, and they do this sometimes, the elite? The elite!” he told the Duluth crowd, the Associated Press reported. “Why are they elite? I have a much better apartment than they do. I’m smarter than they are. I’m richer than they are. I became president and they didn’t.”
During a rally speech on Monday, he focused on the idea that elites are not, in reality, elite at all.
“And, by the way, they call them the elites, right, the elites. You know what you are? You're the super elites,” Trump said in South Carolina on Monday night during a rally to support Gov. Henry McMaster, who faced a runoff the following day.
“We are the super elite, we are the super elite.”
Cover image: Supporters of President Donald Trump cheer as he arrives for a campaign rally, Wednesday, June 27, 2018, in Fargo, N.D. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)