Supported by

The Atlantic Argument

Trump and His Supporters Thrive on Cruelty

Dec 13, 2018 | 32 videos
Video by The Atlantic

The binding agent between Donald Trump and his backers is the president’s consistent demonstration of cruelty, argues writer Adam Serwer in the latest Atlantic Argument. From the president’s mockery of the disabled New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski, to his denigration of Christine Blasey Ford, to his villainizing of undocumented immigrants, it has become clear that Trump galvanizes his base with invectives that target those who are suffering.

“Trump’s fiercest backers enjoy his cruelty towards people they have decided deserve it,” Serwer says in the video. “For them, the cruelty is the point.”

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to

Authors: Vishakha Darbha, Adam Serwer

About This Series

Ideas and provocations from our contributors