Watching Trump's stunningly dark acceptance speech last night, I got to wondering what Walter Benjamin would have thought of it. But then I thought of another, darker philosopher–Theodor Adorno. Here's a passage from Minima Moralia: Reflections from Damaged Life in which Adorno seems to be talking about Trump and his followers at the same time. In the section "Simple Simon" Adorno asks what's happened to the individual in contemporary (he's writing in 1951) society.
Since he no longer has an independent economic existence, his character begins to contradict his objective social role.
This would describe a Trump follower, I think. Then Adorno goes on to describe a character like Trump:
The individualities imported into America, and divested on individuality in the process, are called colorful personalities. Their eager, uninhabited impulsiveness, their sudden fancies, their "originality," even if it be only a peculiar odiousness, even their garbled language, turn human qualities to account as a clown's costume.
And then Adorno explains how people become vulnerable to power:
Succumbing to the universal mechanisms of competition and having no other means of adaptation to the market and making good than their petrified otherness, they plunge passionately into the privilege of their self and so exaggerate themselves that the completely eradicate what they are taken for. They shrewdly flaunt their naivety, a quality. as they soon find out, much prized by those in power.