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Apocalyptic Thought in the Age of Trump

The Dangers of a Doom and Gloom Mindset

Donald Trump, October 27, 2016. Carlo Allegri / Reuters

Following the electoral victory of Donald Trump, the mood of U.S. Democrats and the left-leaning world was somber. It was perhaps best summed up by the headline of France’s daily newspaper, Libération on its November 9 issue: “Trumpocalypse.”

We will surely hear more end times doom and gloom as Trump continues to assemble his cabinet. The best-case scenario is that much of his divisive campaign rhetoric was “serious, but not literal,” as PayPal co-founder and Trump transition team member Peter Thiel and some optimistic Democrats have suggested.

But his first round of cabinet appointments has belied such hope. And even if he didn’t mean what he has repeatedly said about women and racial and religious minorities, his campaign rhetoric and his decision to name the alt-right figure Stephen Bannon as chief strategist has unsurprisingly led some Americans to believe that they have a license to hate. An

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