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2016 And Beyond
Where Are the Proto-Trumps?

Even as Donald Trump looks likely to effectively walk away with the GOP nomination later tonight, anti-Trump Republicans can (perhaps) take some amount of comfort in one thing: there is little evidence that Trumpism, as a political ideology and mode of presentation, has caught on in the hundreds of GOP primary races for lower offices. The Washington Post surveys the GOP Congressional landscape, and finds no proto-Trumps on the horizon:

Just because millions of voters are won over by Trump’s outsider appeal doesn’t mean they’ll automatically vote for any candidate playing up their outsider credentials or attaching themselves to Trump.

In other words: The Trump Effect seems pretty difficult to replicate if you’re not a once-in-a-lifetime, incredibly unique candidate named Donald Trump. And there haven’t been outside GOP candidates this primary season who remotely resemble Trump.

Thanks in part to that, Senate Republicans are actually having a better primary year than in some recent cycles.

Many analysts have argued that Trump’s popularity shows that elite GOP orthodoxy—limited government, lower taxes, entitlement reform, hawkish foreign policy—is a dead letter, and what Republican primary voters really want is Trump-style welfare state ethnocentrism at home coupled with America First-ism abroad. There may well be some truth to this (especially the first part; the tenets of traditional Republicanism really are in desperate need of re-imagination if the party wants to address today’s problems). But are voters dead-set on Trumpism as the alternative? The absence of successful Trump-like candidates for Congress raises some doubts. After all, if there were a huge, unfulfilled demand in the Republican primary electorate for white identity politics, wouldn’t we expect enterprising candidates for state, local, and Congressional offices start supplying it? European far-right parties, like Front National, don’t just run candidates for the presidency—they compete for seats in Parliament as well.

Pundits will be debating the source of Donald Trump’s appeal for years to come. But the stability of GOP Congressional incumbents, at least for now, is a real stumbling block for grand theories of Trumpism that see the Donald as the leader of a massive political realignment, or the face of the new Republican Party agenda for years to come. And unless his approach is adopted by other candidates for other offices, it seems plausible that Trumpism is a personality-driven anomaly, fomented more by the intersection of celebrity culture, the ratings-chasing habits of the presidential press, and, yes, the weakness of the old-school Republican brand and the cravenness of many of its elites, than by the actual policy preferences of GOP primary voters.

Of course, it may well be that Trump is a leading indicator, and that in the coming years, Republican aspirants to Congressional seats and statehouses across the country will see welfare state-ism plus explicit racial resentment plus hostility to trade and NATO as the key to winning primaries. But that hasn’t happened yet, and until it does, the Donald seems more like a man than a movement.

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  • Andrew Allison

    Ignoring the fact that the WaPo is not a reliable source of political commentary, are the tenets of traditional Republicanism (limited government, lower taxes, entitlement reform, hawkish foreign policy ) really in desperate need of re-imagination if the party wants to address today’s problems?

  • FriendlyGoat

    1) The following statement is one of the best editorial lines ever seen at TAI:
    “the tenets of traditional Republicanism really are in desperate need of re-imagination if the party wants to address today’s problems”.

    2) “Trumpism” resides exclusively on the singular Donald Trump being a multi-billionaire, having a series of beautiful women on his arm since military high school, being a familiar TV face and being a natural for the act which causes desperate men to think some of his extravagance is going to somehow rub off on THEIR lives. No one else other than maybe ex-sports stars and ex-rock stars would even ATTEMPT to pull off this shtick.

    • Andrew Allison

      Nope, as suggested below, the tenets of traditional Republicanism are alive and well. Trump is simply a result of the Republican establishment having forgotten them.

      • FriendlyGoat

        They didn’t forget. They had it with Walker, Jindal, Christie, Bush and others.
        They just couldn’t sell it this time. It may never sell again.

        • Andrew Allison

          As usual, your ideological blinders blind you to reality. In this case, the reality that Trump is very likely to be the nominee precisely because he is addressing that which is important to voters.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Donald is telling people he will deport the immigrants and letting his admirers imagine he will create a labor shortage by so doing and raise wages here. None of that is going to happen which will become increasingly clear. The classic Republican, perhaps best exemplified by Walker this time—-not to mention Jeb—-is history. Crazy Ted is done.

          • Tom

            If that’s true, the day will come when you think back to Scott Walker and Ted Cruz and say “Y’know, they really wasn’t so bad.”

          • FriendlyGoat

            I could have liked either Scott or Ted at least “okay” if not “just fine”.
            But I can’t approve their agendas or their past actions in Wisconsin and Texas. They all were promising to do precisely the whole load of things I don’t believe in. The reason they are “crazy” is what they support, not because they are truly insane.

            Meanwhile, I’m expecting the day when historians recognize Obama as “not so bad”, maybe even some of them from the center-right.

          • Tom

            Well, by comparison with Stalin or Lenin, he wasn’t.
            But he took a hand with a pair of tens and a pair of Jacks and turned them into a situation where he had to draw to an inside straight.

          • FriendlyGoat

            I prefer to think he drew absolutely nothing and turned that into something akin to the two pair—-tens and Jacks. Truthfully, the USA in the Obama time has been held afloat primarily by helicopter money out the the money-printing Fed and other central banks. The same thing would have probably—-of necessity —-gone on in a McCain-Palin administration. Bill Gross, the bond-fund guru, is in the news today explaining this is probably the only path forward here and abroad anyway.

            It’s also true that the improvements in the technology of fracking have changed A LOT of calculus in both domestic and foreign affairs. That’s coincident to Obama, and I, a liberal, admit it’s a big deal.

          • Anthony
          • FriendlyGoat

            Most people don’t seem to realize that the long-term trajectory for workers is down except to the extent that extraordinary measures are taken to intervene with that. Enter the Republicans who see it as an opportunity to ask for the moon to be given to those who already own the moon. That may not sell as well when one of the foremost owners of the moon is on the top of the ticket—–but, honestly, it may well depend on Mrs. Clinton being willing to get the best left-side economic advisers she can find and be telling their points EVERY DAY with a faster speaking style.

            Donald talks fast and we don’t want to lose on people thinking her slow-paced style means his faster talk speed translates to a more-correct assessment of the situation. She needs to know Krugman, Piketty. Gross and others backwards and forwards and speak with a sense of authority. I hope someone tells her.

          • Anthony

            You just did! But, equally as important is the economic message encased in the Sorkin interview needs to be more broadly disseminated. Yet as Frank indicated, it’s extremely hard to sell an averted crisis and the positive consequences. Take nothing for granted FG.

          • FriendlyGoat

            I’m not. That’s why Mrs. Clinton will need an iron-clad economic debate prep, not just for actual debates but for everyday talk in every place.

            Something I said to another person here the other day is this. Women are going to determine this election’s outcome. After Hillary is bashed every day and every way, there is one question women might ask about those bashers—regardless of anything else.

            That is: “Do I want THEIR judges to run America”?

          • Anthony

            Good point. But a more practical question for me is how does the Republican nominee improve on Romney’s numbers (Romney wasn’t a bad candidate and ran a fairly competent campaign against an incumbent who presided over high unemployment as well as slow growth). Beyond speculation, do the numbers add up – at least 3 million more votes needed nationally than last nominee.

            Regarding fighting nasty and ferocious campaigns, the Clintons (and smart crafters) hold their own (there’s an ad out now that strikes your psychological query).

          • FriendlyGoat

            I wish Donald was going to have trouble with turnout, but I doubt he is.

          • Anthony

            I am not referencing turnout. Look at numbers from last Presidential election and look at country’s growth (as well as how to get 270).

          • Anthony

            RECOMMENDED but very long: nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/04/america-tyranny-donald-trump.html#

          • Tom

            Think as you will, but QE can’t go on forever. And it won’t.

          • FriendlyGoat
          • Tom

            “asset prices will continue to be artificially high, and at some point monetary policy will create inflation and markets will be at risk.”

            Yeah, even he thinks this can’t go on forever. And as I recall, printing our way out of messes tends to result in problems.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Perhaps, but Bill seems to understand what we have been doing in this country and several others for six years and why we will likely keep doing it. The “business community”, for one thing, is not in the least interested in any change. And workers, for their own sake, had better not be, either. Contrary to the standard GOP bullsh*t, there really is no worldwide austerity that is going to make the world economically habitable.

          • Tom

            Like this is going to end any better. At least the other way I have to deal with it instead of my kids.

          • f1b0nacc1

            The left does that….in the 80s they told us Reagan was the antiChrist come to Earth….now they talk about him as if he was one of their own.

          • Boritz

            We have to elect him to find out what’s in his agenda.
                      –Nancy Pelosi more or less.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Less, methinks.

          • seattleoutcast

            You’re right it won’t happen, not with dems wanting immigrants to be on subsidies and subsequently voting for dems. “Crazy” Ted just wants to live by the constitution. I know that’s a problem with you 60s throwback types who still wallow in cultural and economic marxism.

            The real crazy in this election is Bernie, who wants to double down on 8 years of economic disaster.

          • Angel Martin

            “Donald is telling people he will deport the immigrants and letting his admirers imagine he will create a labor shortage by so doing and raise wages here. None of that is going to happen …”

            that may be the case, but it doesn’t have to be. Eisenhower deported hundreds of thousands. Immigration was cut down to almost zero 1924-1965. The Japs along with radical Germans and Italians were interned for the duration of WW2. The Tariff Act of 1930 and Trade Act of 1974 still stand, and could be actually enforced.

            There is plenty of scope for a President Trump, within existing legislation, to make the main parts of his agenda happen.

            New legislation is not needed. All that is needed is leadership.

            So, forecasts that none of the major items on the Trump agenda will happen is likely liberal wishful thinking, and not some inescapable reality.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Donald is not going to deport all the immigrants because it would require a Hitler-like gestapo to do it and people will not stand for that AND local law enforcement won’t do it. Not only that, the business community WILL NOT do without guest workers and that will be made increasingly clear. The Donald, according to some of his own people, never expected to be elected in the first place and I’m sure he now knows that if he is, he has put his own A$$ in a corner on this particular issue.

          • Angel Martin

            The Border Patrol Union endorsed Trump. That’s an 18K Federal law enforcement agency already on board.

            https://www.rt.com/usa/337813-border-patrol-union-endorses-trump/

            Start with the Employer Social Security Number “no match” list. That list is like an iceberg. For one illegal on that list, go to where they live and find a bunch more.

            Have to build the wall first though.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Yes, build the wall first. While that is going on, the guest worker plan will be worked out by the lobbyists at Congress.

          • Angel Martin

            you build the wall first, because there is no point in fumigating the crawlspace until you fix the entry holes.

          • FriendlyGoat

            I agree with you on building the wall first. Don’t be surprised, though, to hear of the great deportation plan being diluted, tweaked, delayed, studied, and—-in the end—mostly concentrated on “criminals” (which has been going on vigorously anyway.)

            Trump was just on the news tonight in an interview with Lester Holt talking about how we will deport them and then let many of them come right back. Seriously. He is silently telling you they will be coming back in a temporarily legal status—-BECAUSE—-he would not be telling you he would letting illegals back in as illegals. The plan is “guest workers as far as the eye can see”—-not just from the border, by the way. We will be told how badly we need those college graduates from Asia and India.

          • Angel Martin

            the DHS chart in this article show deportations falling.
            http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/05/02/exclusive-chart-deportation-budget-grows-25-percent-deportations-plummet/
            Also, people stopped at the border are now counted as “removals”, and DHS is pretending they are deportations as well.

            Once they are deported out of the country, the legal labyrinth of US immigration takes over, and the process is not going to be quick or easy to get back in.

            I have a cousin who is Canadian, who married an American. She has been waiting for over a year for a green card so she can work in Oregon. The US immigration system is so convoluted, bureaucratic, and inefficient that it can’t process people quickly even if it wants to.

            Once illegals are out of the country they are in effect deported almost forever just due to bureaucratic delays.

            It’s one of those unintended consequences that I so enjoy – in this case big gov’t inefficiency and stupidity actually works against liberals.

          • FriendlyGoat

            This is why you and I agree on building the wall first. Two phrases Mr. Trump has used repeatedly are these:

            “Then we’ll let many of them come back”

            And, with respect to the ban on in-traveling Muslims:

            “Until we figure out what’s going on”

            Both of these have REAL MEANING. While they’re building the wall, they will “figure out” the guest worker program and “figure out” how to let wealthy Muslims come and go while blocking poorer ones.

          • Angel Martin

            As best I can understand it, the following explains the immigration limbo my cousin is in.

            this is the visa application process for bringing a spouse to live in the USA:
            https://www.uscis.gov/family/family-us-citizens/spouse/bringing-spouses-live-united-states-permanent-residents

            the relevant category for my cousin is spouse living outside the country
            https://www.uscis.gov/i-130

            the roadblock seems to be explained on page 6 of the Instructions for form I-130: “When will a visa become available?”
            https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/files/form/i-130instr.pdf

            If my cousin was already in the USA and applied from there, she would not have to wait for a visa to be approved. But she would have to complete I-485
            https://www.uscis.gov/i-485

            In her case I-485 would require having a job already lined up (page 4, section 9B of the I-185 “Instruction Form”) which she does not have.
            https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/files/form/i-485instr.pdf

            She could also apply from inside the USA using I-130 and I-485 under 9A Affidavit of Support (p4)
            https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/files/form/i-485instr.pdf
            Then she could file a form I-824 which is for change of status for a previously approved petition.
            https://www.uscis.gov/i-824
            The problem there is you are not permitted to file a form I-824 if you are requesting action on a petition already filed with USCIS (page 2 number 3.)
            https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/files/form/i-824instr.pdf

            My cousin could withdraw the original I-130 petition and resubmit on the I-130 + I-485 + I-824 track.
            But, once you do that, your application falls under extra scrutiny due to the suspicion fraud in the original application, which just means more delays.

            https://www.uscis.gov/ilink/docView/AFM/HTML/AFM/0-0-0-1/0-0-0-2872/0-0-0-3047.html

            Of course, if my cousin and her husband were not married yet (or if it was an arranged marriage and they hadn’t actually met) there is a special process for that case, which eliminates a lot of the hurdles on the other tracks
            https://www.uscis.gov/i-129f
            but they don’t qualify for that, since they are already married, and it was not an arranged marriage.
            https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/files/form/i-129finstr.pdf

            Anyone who has gone thru the delays and expense of trying to immigrate and work legally in the USA is outraged by the planned “amnesty” for those that just ran across the southern border, not to mention the special status that “arranged marriages” seem to have.

          • FriendlyGoat

            When Mr. Trump says “and then we’ll let many of them come back”, I think he means guest workers—-not necessarily the same people. It would make no sense to separate people from their families, friends, homes, jobs and lives, then put them through what your cousin is going through, then pretend to be thinking THOSE people will just return and be okey-dokey after some “vetting”.

      • Angel Martin

        what is dead is the Republican elite agenda of “free” trade, open borders, and “America last” foreign policy.

        Whatever remains valid of the rest of traditional Republicanism appears to be: hardline anti-terrorism, supporting the police, opposition to gun control, strong (America first warfighting) military, and some social conservative issues like right to life and opposition to creeps in women’s and girl’s bathrooms.

        I think the future Republican stance on taxes is very much up for grabs.

        As is the party response to the demographic problems of social security and medicare.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    Since Trump’s major policy positions are “Build a wall”, “Build a wall”, and “Build a wall”, saying that his voters are for the welfare state is wrong. The choice in the Republican Primary this time has been between Trump the Nationalist, and Cruz the Constitutionalist. It’s not like Nationalists can’t hold Constitutionalist positions and vice-a-versa, but the Nationalist position is now paramount.

    • Kevin

      I think it’s fair to say that Trump’s emphasis on getting tough with China and renegotiating trade deals plus defense of social security and perhaps Medicare represent an appeal to blue collar economic sensitivities. He also campaigned on protecting them from violent immigrants and terrorists and economic competition from low-skilled immigrants. None of the other GOP candidates were able to make an effective pitch to this crowd and so Trump rode a 40%-ish plurality to the nomination.

      • Tom

        He also managed to get gobs and gobs of free airtime, and was able to channel voter anger at having the ideology of the Left Coasts crammed down their throats.

  • WigWag

    As usual, Via Meadia observes the Trump phenomenon and becomes completely befuddled. Of course Trump is a leading indicator. As job opportunities for Americans not blessed with the necessary (but substantively useless) credential of a college degree become increasingly scarce, the appeal of Trump’s approach will continue to grow.

    Despite Via Meadia’s banal observation that Trump supporters are the vanguard of a white identity movement, it isnt true. The revolutionary aspect of the Trump phenomenon is the rebellion against elites in both political parties. In terms of that rebellion, the party is just getting started. It’s not just working class whites getting clobbered by competition from Chinese factories or illegal Mexican immigrants driving down wages; working class blacks are taking it on the chin also. Watch the video of those Carrier employees being told about their jobs departing to Mexico. The black employees on the shop floor didn’t look any happier than the white employees. It won’t be long before huge numbers of working class blacks join working class whites in the trenches supporting Trump-like policies.

    If Clinton beats Trump in the November election, this trend will be accelerated. Clinton is partial to the gentry liberal set and has no interest in the plight of working people. She loves college professors, the Hollywood set, the LBGT community and minimum wage workers. To her, working people are at the bottom of the totem poll. It’s hard to help people that you dislike. Clinton’s policy recommendations designed to address the plight of working people are all fraudulent. Raising the minimum wage won’t help them. Family leave doesn’t help much if your job has been shipped to Mexico. Encouraging people to use the restroom of their choice at the factory is pretty meaningless if the factory is closed. Providing educational opportunities and job training to 50 something men who have been laid off is a joke. The guy who worked on the assembly line is not going to be retrained to write computer code or give a great Swedish massage no matter what Hillary Clinton thinks.

    If Clinton is elected, the plight of working people is sure to get worse. When it does, the revolution that Trump started is likely to grow.

    But the biggest thing Via Meadia gets wrong is the suggestion that we should wonder why the rest of the GOP, especially down-ballot pols haven’t jumped on the Trump-led bandwagon. Via Meadia, as is it’s habit, is looking in all the wrong places. It’s the Democratic Party where we are likely to see down-ballot pols mimicking Trump. Just as the GOP has been shaken to its core by Trump, the time is now ripe for a bloody and much needed war between the Democratic Party’s gentry liberal set and working class Democrats. Thanks to Trump, the uneasy alliance between working class Democrats (especially trade union members) and cultural liberals is likely to fray.

    Our bipartisan elites have declared war on working Americans. Those elites send the children of the working class to meaningless wars where many return with limbs ripped off. Those elites ship American jobs to foreign lands so those elites can stuff a few extra dollars into their already overflowing pockets. Those elites turn a blind eye to illegal immigration because, after all, the illegal immigrants in question aren’t stealing jobs from Bard Professors or pundits who write for the American Interest. Those elites promote trade agreements that insure the stocks held by their 401Ks go up while working class wages go down.

    Trump will probably lose to Clinton but the writing is on the wall; she will be a failed president. She doesn’t know how to fix what ails America; assuming she’s even interested in doing so. If she’s elected, the downward spiral experienced by working people is bound to get worse which means the policy prescriptions recommended by the Donald are bound to sound more and more attractive to more and more Americans.

    These Americans will fight back. The Republican Party has been impacted first. Next stop on the Trump express is a civil war in the Democratic Party.

    • johngbarker

      Again Wigwag has spotted the (largely misunderstood) core meaning of a political event.

    • Angel Martin

      “Trump will probably lose to Clinton but the writing is on the wall”

      this is the one thing I disagree with. The right track / wrong track polls show that there is an overwhelming appetite for change.

      the one hope that Democrats have is that they convince a majority that Trump is unfit for the Whitehouse.

      If they can’t do that, this election will turn into change vs status quo. The Democrats will be defending an unpopular status quo, and they will get massacred all the way down the ballot, just like they did in 1980.

      • Kevin

        Now that Trump is moving beyond appeals to GOP voters (and crossover independents) will he develop an appeal to economically insecure black and Latino voters? He dies t have to win a majority of either to really cut into the Democratic base.

    • f1b0nacc1

      I have a terrible track record at predictions, but I am marginally optimistic about Trump. Hillary is going to have major turnout problems (running as America’s ex-wife/mother-in-law isn’t going to inspire anyone) and Trump is likely to do quite well in turnout.

      I dislike the man intensely, but will hold my nose and vote against Clinton come November. My hope is that Trump will be stonewalled by a house and senate unremittingly hostile to him so the government will remain paralyzed for the next 4 years. For a small government libertarian (small ‘l’) that isn’t such a bad thing….

      • Andrew Allison

        I agree that anything can happen in November, and the (to the punditariat) unthinkable might. But I’m curious about your intense “dislike” of the Donald. I get the impression that most people who know him, as opposed to of him, quite like him. Is it perhaps what he represents that you dislike? We’ve exchanged views on not voting rather than holding ones nose in the past, but in this case one of the candidates is morally bankrupt, which makes it easy.

        • f1b0nacc1

          I dislike Trump as an ignorant vulgarian in public. I have little doubt that those close to him like him as a human being (I have met his daughter several times, and she is intelligent and well-spoken…I rather doubt if The Donald(tm) were as awful as his public persona if he could have raised – and he did raise her – a woman of that caliber) think well of him, I am hardly in any position to dispute their judgement. I have, on the other hand, had direct personal contact with Hillary Clinton, and I have not the slightest doubt whatsoever that she is a truly terrible human being, as well as being an awful potential president.

          Actually we agree….I don’t have any trouble at all in voting against HIllary Clinton, I just wish that the vote I am going to use for that exalted purpose could go to someone better than Trump.

          • Andrew Allison

            So it is the role (which has manifestly proved successful in seeing off the GOP competition) he’s playing that you dislike. Personally, I don’t find him nearly as reprehensible as HRC. Like it or not, he is striking a chord with the electorate. On the other hand, we have the likable Paul Ryan, whose first act as Speaker was to pass a budget-busting budget and now declines to support the presumptive nominee. Much as I abhor the thought of a Clinton presidency, it may be necessary for the GOP to self-destruct in order to be rebuilt.

          • f1b0nacc1

            The problem I have here is that as repellent as I find Trump as a human being (and let me be clear, it is his public persona that I find off-putting), his opposition is even worse. Paul Ryan has revealed himself to be (much to my disgust, as I had hopes for him when he first rose to prominence) as nothing more than a GOPe opportunist, emblematic of the sort of problem that the GOP faces in general.
            As for the need for the GOP to destruct in order to be rebuilt, that would be all well and good if it were not for the fact that something even worse than Trump would result from that process…an HRC presidency. A packed SCOTUS is the most obvious outcome of that debacle, but let me repeat my (now overused, I know) comparison regarding the two potential outcomes of a 2016 election: If HRC wins, the Dems will line up behind her, in a manner very similar to what we have seen with Obama, and hence her policy preferences will be dominant. If Trump wins, he is likely to have very little support from the GOP, and the Dems will oppose him either on principle or on the desire to deny a GOP president any useful accomplishments. Hence with Hillary we get a third Obama term, perhaps even worse, while with Trump we get stasis and gridlock. As a small-government libertarian (small ‘l’, I have no use for the party of loons), I can live with that result.
            Better still, a Trump victory would devastate the GOP leadership in a way that a defeat never would, since a defeat would let the leadership off the hook. They could simply claim ‘I told you so’, and go back to business as usual (Ryan 2020?) whereas a victory for Trump would force them to deal with him, else get swept away entirely if Trump decided to push to put his own people into positions of power within the party.
            I would find all of this far, far more amusing to watch if it was happening to someone else’s country….

          • Andrew Allison

            I fear that the trouble with “a Trump victory would devastate the GOP leadership in a way that a defeat never would, since a defeat would let the leadership off the hook” is that the said leadership would rather remain in control of a minority party than be weakened by a Trump presidency.

          • f1b0nacc1

            I don’t disagree at all, the leadership would rather “reign in hell than serve in heaven”, but a Trump victory would go a long way towards empowering those who aren’t inclined to give them much of a choice.

          • Andrew Allison
          • f1b0nacc1

            Pat Buchanan is one of the very few writers whose work I avoid as a matter of principle. I met the man in the 80s, and was struck with the impression that he would have been quite happy as a brownshirt in the 30s with other like-minded individuals. Please note that I am well aware of Godwin’s rule, but Buchanan is one (the one?…likely) individual who I believe deserves to be excoriated in that manner.
            With all of that said, I was made aware of the article, and was ashamed that I was forced to share the same viewpoint as that thug.

          • Andrew Allison

            Something about monkeys, typewriters and Hamlet seems appropriate.

          • f1b0nacc1

            “To be, or not to be…..That is the gzorniplat”

            …. Well, it was close….

    • Kathy Hix

      The idiom is “buck naked,” not “butt.” The rest of your post is spot on!

      • CapitalHawk

        Both are accepted. Regional differences still exist.

  • Anthony

    No leading indicator as much as latest iteration of American history. American history is filled with the language of Right-Wing populists poking fun at or stirring resentment toward elites (upper class liberals). Hypocrisy is the charge the right loves to make against the left. Limousine (Gentry) liberalism distilled the charge into a two-word slogan. Trumpism may be providing the latest covering for American class tensions. A little background perhaps:

    “Since the late nineteenth century, the United States has been blessed with two major religious ethics. Protestantism valued rapid economic growth and social Darwinist individualism but, after all the money had been made, also left us with disinterested public service and generous philanthropy. Shaped in large part by peasant or proletarian backgrounds in Europe, the contrasting Catholic ethic stressed obedience, nostalgia, and nepotism, but valued solidarity and collective social action. The clash between these two ways of looking at the world explains much of modern American political experience. Catholics joined unions, supported public displays of religion, voted for urban machines, defended their ethnic heritage, and sent their children to parochial schools. Protestants, especially high-church ones, pursued civil service reform, voted for independent or fusion candidates, endorsed separation of church and state, and took up the cause of racial minorities.” (The Limousine Liberal How An Incendiary Image United The Right And Fractured America – Steve Fraser)

    So, now here we are: Election 2016!

    A quote by Alan Wolfe may lend additional aspect to the Trump phenomenon: Trump voters wail about their marginalization yet routinely obtain more from the political process than nearly all of the groups seeking favors from Washington; we will know when the influence of the white working class has waned at precisely the point when gun control legislation passes Congress. These are Americans who no longer require a fig leaf. They blame minorities and immigrants for their anger and are proud of it. Not for them the political correctness that, outside their fervid minds, is actually a demonstration of respect for others….”

    And regarding question of prototypes (not just political aspirants), Alan Wolf continues: “working class voters despite their horizons feel they know the truth (what’s really oppressing them). And in choosing Trump, they have chosen the man who most closely thinks like they do. There is no credible way to explain away or justify white male support for Donald Trump. Call his enthusiasts low-information voters, if you wish, or find reasons for their anger in corporate downsizing, but the truth is that these people are, like the politician who attracts them, motivated by bigotry. A century-long history of demonizing limousine liberals, by whatever name they are called, suggests that certain Americans are likely to support the demagogue every time; if they sometimes take positions similar to those on the left, such as opposition to free trade, it is only when their bigotry conveniently lines up alongside their progressivism.”

    The Donald is not a movement as much as a 2016 McCarthy, Wallace, William Lemke, Father Coughlin et al.

  • DirtyJobsGuy

    You can read pages of the musings of Trump supporters going on about trade issues and none of them provide any details (like their dearest leader). So if you are mad at China do you want to raise tariffs on Chinese goods? This has to be done by legislation and may run afoul of many existing treaties or laws. (Yes I know Trump is a fighter and a dirty fighter but he still is bound by law). What goods should be subject to this tariff? All goods including rare metals for high tech batteries? The Chinese have a corner on that market. If the Chinese retaliate by high tariffs on US grain or buy Airbus instead of Boeing do you care? The Europeans will buy their stuff and repackage it for sale to the US (what Chinese content will be allowable?). Do we want to get the Chinese to work with us on North Korean Nukes? Maybe a trade war is not such a good idea. I don’t say this to expect everyone to be a trade expert, but this is how the real world operates and why a little detail from the Donald might be a bit reassuring to non Trump supporters. Remember that higher cost goods get paid for by consumers, often those with the least income.

    • Albert8184

      Sure…. let’s just keep letting the Chinese practice mercantilism and protectionism against us, while we just… keep taking it. Wouldn’t want them to miss out on building some more nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers they’ll need to conquer the Pacific with. Besides, it’s time for Americans to live like third-worlders for a change, so the socialists will REALLY have something to complain about in this rotten country of ours.

    • Angel Martin

      “So if you are mad at China do you want to raise tariffs on Chinese goods? This has to be done by legislation and may run afoul of many existing treaties or laws.”

      You are wrong. Any legislation that is needed for Trump to act is already on the books. An example of how it is done:
      http://www.tirebusiness.com/article/20150714/NEWS/150719974

      The President, controls the International Trade Commission, and appoints the Commissioners who rule on Section 751 Complaints (dumping by foreign countries).

      Basically Trump announces that everyone who has been economically injured by imports from Mexico since day -1 of NAFTA, or whatever, should get down to the ITC to plead their case.

      Then Trump’s ITC commissioners uphold every single complaint and start imposing gigantic tariffs on everything coming in from Mexico, including pickup trucks, cookies and HVAC equipment.

      There is also Section 201-203 in the Trade Act with more grounds for the ITC to rule in favor of US interests injured by imports and impose trade penalties on the offending country.

      the President has great authority in this area. All that is required is leadership.

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