Magazine June 13, 2016, Issue

The Better Jacksons of Trump’s Nature

(Roman Genn)
He has tapped into a tradition that has thankfully grown more inclusive.

Donald Trump clinched the GOP nomination by exploiting vulnerabilities few were aware existed. When the 2016 race began, almost no one seemed to have understood that a plurality of the Republican party had a fundamentally different set of policy preferences from those of doctrinaire conservatism. Trump saw this opening and took full advantage.

Trump’s positions follow the contours not of movement conservatism but of American folk nationalism, often known as Jacksonianism. As Walter Russell Mead, my boss over at The American Interest, has noted, Jacksonians characteristically emphasize anti-elitism and egalitarianism while drawing a sharp distinction between members of the folk group

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