In his American Conservative magazine weblog, Senior Editor Rod Dreher has cited Waugh’s character Rex Mottram from Brideshead Revisited in connection with recent actions of President Trump. Dreher had previously adopted the term “Mottramism,” originally coined by Canadian Blogger, Mark Cameron, who used it to describe those Roman Catholics who accepted without question Pope John Paul II’s failure take effective action against sex abuse in the priesthood. They were, like Rex Mottram, “willing to agree with any absurdity proposed in the name of Catholic authority, and showed no intellectual curiosity into its truth or falsehood.” See previous post. Dreher used the term to refer to those Roman Catholics who accepted certain controversial teachings of the new Pope but now sees another example of this practice:
This useful term should now be deployed to describe supporters of Donald Trump who continue in their docility towards the Great Man despite that fact that he sells them out. I don’t have a strong opinion about DACA, but surely the fact that Trump has reached a deal with the Democrats to keep the so-called “Dreamers” in the country qualifies as a massive betrayal of Trump’s base.
There is, as you might well imagine, quite a lively online conversation regarding this topic at The American Conservative. Indeed, since the appearance of Donald Trump as a political force, Rex Mottram seems to be enjoying quite a comeback in politics, with character traits of his being attributed to Trump himself, as we have noted in a previous post. Dreher is now taking it further, attributing “Mottramism” to Trump’s supporters.