There are numerous parties to blame (beyond the credit Trump deserves for being a masterful troll of the entire process). For example, the media: As much as they despise him, they’re a primary driver of his success. Look at the air time he’s received over all the other candidates. Trump is certainly doing everything he can to encourage this – he’s figured out their rules and is playing by them – but the media is going along with it. That also tells you that in many cases, he is the candidate they want Republicans to run.

But the real story of Trump’s rise is part of a broader culture war, and he’s benefitting along at least a couple of axes: