The limits of grievance


Donald Trump

Coup attempt

Fig. 1. “Jake Angeli (Qanon Shaman), seen holding a Qanon sign at the intersection of Bell Rd and 75th Ave in Peoria, Arizona, on 2020 October 15.” Photography by TheUnseen011101 [pseud.], October 15, 2020, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

When you have a candidate and supporters who are addicted to grievance,[1] an indictment, especially from someone associated with their political opposition, could be just the ticket to rile up those supporters. This, of course, is why a number of observers have worried that Donald Trump appears to be getting a boost from the indictment.[2]

It’s important to emphasize, however, that this boost occurs strictly within a limited subset of the electorate that would likely vote for Trump, if he’s the nominee, anyway, and would just as likely vote for Ron DeSantis should he win the nomination. So we’re talking about Republican Party primary politics here, not the general election, where the worriers too quickly omit all the people for whom this will be one more reason not to vote for Trump.

David Remnick, “An American Tragedy, Act III,” New Yorker, March 30, 2023,

Stormy Daniels

Fig. 1. Stormy Daniels at Ron Jeremy’s birthday party. Photograph by Luke Ford (, March 10, 2007, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 2.5.

Ron Kampeas, “In American first, Manhattan jury indicts Donald Trump, who promptly invokes Soros,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, March 30, 2023,

Bess Levin, “Grand Jury Votes to Indict Trump: Ex-President’s Odds of Prison Time Just Shot Up,” Vanity Fair, March 30, 2023,

Corinne Ramey and Joe Palazzolo, “Grand Jury Votes to Indict Donald Trump,” Wall Street Journal, March 30, 2023,

David Remnick, “An American Tragedy, Act III,” New Yorker, March 30, 2023,

Perry Stein, “Trump is indicted in N.Y. Here’s what it means and what happens next,” Washington Post, March 30, 2023,

David Gilbert and Mack Lamoureux, “The Far Right Is Calling For Bloody ‘Civil War’ After Trump’s Indictment,” Vice, March 31, 2023,

Kara Scannell et al., “Donald Trump indicted by Manhattan grand jury on more than 30 counts related to business fraud,” CNN, March 31, 2023,

Academic repression


Jarrod Kelly, “The Right-Wing War on Accreditation,” Chronicle of Higher Education, March 31, 2023,

  1. [1]James Kimmel, Jr., “What the Science of Addiction Tells Us About Trump,” Politico, December 12, 2020,
  2. [2]David Remnick, “An American Tragedy, Act III,” New Yorker, March 30, 2023,

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