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In this article, we demonstrate that the antihero archetype informs our understanding of Trump in important ways, including his rise to and fall from power. We introduce an analytical framework for analyzing Trump’s antiheroic traits based on his social positioning, individual motivation, and personal charisma. We argue that Trump is fascinating because he is powerful, amoral, and charismatic, and suggest that the American public was primed for Trumpism through a zeitgeist hospitable to antihero worship. That is, Trump’s dogged popularity with nearly half of the American public was foretold by decades of pop-cultural obsession with, and adulation for, the antihero.





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