Nice piece by Jack Shafer on how the National Inquirer and its ilk pushed the Trump candidacy. I particularly liked this bit:
Some consider Enquirer readers representative of the emerging “post-truth” era, reliant on their own beliefs and indifferent to the facts accepted by the mainstream. But a better way to look at Enquirer readers might be as a “pre-truth” group, drawn to arguments based on pure emotional appeal. Ted Cruz makes such a perfect tabloid villain because he looks like one, because he went to Princeton and Harvard, and because he seems unimpressed by anybody not named Ted Cruz. Hillary Clinton, too, is a paid-in-full member of the American elite: Wellesley, Yale, the Senate and global foundation muckety-muck. Going into 2016, the tabloids already had marked her as their campaign heavy.
Trump, on the other hand, could be cast as the perfect proletarian candidate: patriotic, plain-talking (or plain double-talking) and a nativist. Trump, being rich and educated at the Wharton School, isn’t an obvious ideological fit for these Enquirer readers. But when he wolfs down fast food or speaks in broken sentences, praises his tacky palaces as beautiful, or unexpectedly takes a vulgar turn in the middle of a speech, he ends up declaring a kind of class solidarity with a set of people who could never afford his resorts. His penchant for glitter, big hair, big things in general and bad grammar, and his disdain for all thing refined (his favorite musical is Evita), makes him highly representative of Rust Belt culture. I grew up with many of the people who voted for Trump in the primaries and the general election. They can smell condescension at the parts-per-billion level. With Trump, they don’t even sniffle.