February 5, 2016


Donald Trump and the Hidden History of the GOP (Sam Tanenhaus, 2/05/16, The Progressive)

Only Trump's xenophobia--his "birther" speculations about Obama, his denunciations of immigrants and Muslims--situates him on the right. Otherwise, he seems beyond ideology, or indifferent to it. He liked Planned Parenthood (until he didn't), and has said he's a fan of the single-payer health care systems in Canada and Scotland. And he seems ill-versed in conservative doctrine.

"He basically never says 'freedom' or 'liberty,'" the editors of National Review noted in October. "He talks only sparingly about the federal debt. He has, in short, ignored central and long-standing conservative tenets."

All this has made Trump not merely an outsider but an outlier, an unconservative enemy within the conservative gate. This is bad news for the GOP, Charles Krauthammer and Karl Rove warn, and could wreck the idea of "a conservative party as a constant presence in U.S. politics," says George Will. Another conservative, Ross Douthat, hears fascist overtones in Trump, complete with "popular elitism" or herrenvolk democracy.

The threat begins not in what Trump espouses. Much of it is familiar in our politics. It begins in his presentation: the bricolage of emotions and prejudices; the stream-of-consciousness orations; the gleeful tangling with hostile journalists and protesters; aggressive candor.

They're the emotional party.

Posted by at February 5, 2016 7:06 PM


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