Conclusion: Our Crisis of Authenticity
This is the final chapter of a detailed reading on the interplay between the authentic politics, theatrical politics, and institutional politics. McCool provides an explanation as to how the politics of authenticity became a cultural force for the Rousseau-inspired left in the 1960s and how right-wing populism has co-opted its anti-establishment ethos ever since, culminating in the crisis of Trumpism. He provides examples in which motive, intention, and private lives have become more central to political analysis than those things that are “outside and between” us, as Arendt urges. We are in a dangerous moment, warns McCool; the “tell-it-like-it-is” style, ironically, often does not correspond to the shared set of facts that a liberal democracy requires.