This essay considers what the political thought of Thomas Aquinas might help us understand about the remarkable rise of Donald Trump to the presidency. It seeks to understand not so much Trump’s personal character, but the attraction of his followers, the Trumpites, to that personal character. In particular, the essay discusses the attraction of Trump’s supporters to their own country, communities, and families, and suggests that such a love of one’s own is in accord with what Thomism would predict. The essay also discusses how Trump’s supporters find within their hero the virtues of courage and prudence, which are two important political virtues identified by Thomas and his predecessor, Aristotle. The conclusion of the essay is that Thomism explains a great deal more about the political longings of the Trumpites than we might anticipate.
- Aristotle. 1932. Politics. Vol. XXI. Trans. H. Rackham. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- ———. 1934. Aristotle, XIX, Nicomachean Ethics (Loeb Classical Library). 2nd ed. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Aquinas, Thomas. 1947. Summa Theologica. 3 Vols. Trans. Fathers of the English Dominican Province. New York: Benziger Bros., Inc.Google Scholar