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WRM Elsewhere
Some Reflections on Jacksonianism and American Elites

Walter Russell Mead was on the Federalist Radio Hour yesterday for an unmissable conversation with host Ben Domenech:

Mead labels the type of people who voted for Donald Trump in key Democratic states as Jacksonians, Mead said. “Jacksonians are often, in foreign policy and domestic policy, they are often more motivated by threat than by opportunity,” he said. “They’re often surprisingly unmotivated by stories of political corruption, but perversion of government is a different thing and that reaches them on a different level.”

Mead discusses how Trump’s cabinet and national security advisors view America’s role in the world, and how their views will overlap or collide. “Tillerson and Trump will both face the problem that government isn’t the same as corporate governance,” he said. “When you bring Jacksonians into government, they generally have less experience with government, less understanding of the people around them.”

The episode makes for a great listen during your holiday travels. Download the whole thing here.

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  • Anthony

    WRM provides a Hamiltonian, Wilsonian, Jeffersonian, and Jacksonian interpretation of America in transition (Trump era) – “Read The People.”

  • LarryD

    I wish Jacksonians were less tolerant of corruption in government. You can’t get rid of it entirely, but it leads to the perversion they abhor.

  • Wayne Lusvardi

    I really rather doubt that Trump lacks experience with government having to obtain planning entitlements and obtain redevelopment tax abatements from local government, as well as occupancy permits, for all his developments.

    • J K Brown

      When it is said Trump lacks experience with government, they mean he doesn’t have experience on the low life, corrupt politician or government official side. He has experience with government’s true nature as no doubt he’s had to pay off government officials from time to time in order to accomplish his business. Trump is very unlikely to have a academic appreciation for government.

      Trump is Rodney Dangerfield’s character in ‘Back to School, while WRM and others are the reality-clueless business professor. Having experience completing projects in the most corrupt cities and states in the country is far more illuminating experience with government than having been one of the corrupt politicians or bureaucrats.

      • Wayne Lusvardi

        I would not call Walter Russell Mead “reality clueless”. Mead has found a way to run one of the only true “mediating” websites between Left and Right in the US. That is no small feat. I find his panel of columnists center left and WRM center right, although he might disavow that; but commenters range the whole gamut unlike other websites. Recently, Mead came up with some very responsible proposals for energy development for the Trump team to consider that are based in the reality of conventional energy sources and not merely heavily subsidized solar power. And my guess is Mead doesn’t care much at all for Trump; but he wants Trump to accomplish something good for the country unlike many others. Enough said without making it sound like I am being patronizing.

  • Boritz

    “less understanding of the people around them.”

    Shirley U. Gest. You’re not seriously claiming that Trumps’ detractors are less profoundly ignorant than his supporters of Trump, the movement and government atmosphere thst propelled him to victory, and what the H has happened to them and their movement?

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  • Matt B

    “There is no freude like schadenfreude”

    Pro-Trump or Anti-Trump, Here’s to the guilty pleasure which unites conservatives everywhere!

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