Elites are often blamed for Trump’s rise — he is said to be the backlash to their failures, their corruption, their obliviousness, their self-dealing, their cosmopolitanism, their condescension. All that may be true, but past moments in American politics have also featured angry voters, out-of-touch elites, and social problems. Those moments, however, featured political and media gatekeepers with more power, and so Trump-like candidates were destroyed in primaries, or at conventions, or by a press that paid them little mind.
Now, however, traditional gatekeepers have neither the power nor the cultural capital to stop Trump-like candidates. And in the Republican Party, where the collapse of institutional authority is most severe and most dangerous, the aftermath of a Trump loss will further weaken the party’s center, as Trump’s supporters turn on the elites whose tepid backing, they will argue, doomed their candidate. Sean Hannity, for instance, has already called Paul Ryan a “saboteur,” and Breitbart published an article headlined “He’s with her: Inside Paul Ryan’s months-long campaign to elect Hillary Clinton president.’”
It is hard to see how the Republican Party’s core institutions or top officials emerge strengthened if Trump loses narrowly, and it is likely that they will be effectively replaced, co-opted, or hollowed out if he wins.
Ezra Klein, “Donald Trump’s success reveals a frightening weakness in American democracy”, Vox (7 November 2016) [http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/11/7/13532178/donald-trump-american-democracy-weakness]