Postmodern Conservative

Donald Trump and What Kind of Right Do We Want?

1. I get the feeling that people have gone from underestimating Trump to overestimating him. His current poll standing is based on support from people who have no intention of voting for a pro–affirmative action, tax raiser, crony capitalist, Democratic donor, who recently supported single-payer health care, and funding Planned Parenthood. Many of these voters will find alternative candidates between now and the delegate selecting contests.

2. Byron York makes some good points in his article about Trump and taxes. It should be read alongside Henry Olsen’s article about non-evangelical, working-class whites. It was obvious from the 2012 exit polls that there was something terribly wrong with the GOP’s 2012 economic message, but the party establishment chose to ignore those warning signs in order to shill for upfront amnesty, and lecture social conservatives about their tone.

3.  Trump’s rise is, first and foremost, a sign of the failure of coalition management within the right. A party’s establishment is due deference to the degree that it mediates between the party’s factions. Since 2012, the national GOP establishment has chosen to act as an agent of certain party factions (specifically the economic priorities of the business lobbies and the cultural priorities of the lobbyist classes) while disingenuously claiming it was all about the voters. They didn’t fool anybody who didn’t already want to be fooled.

4. I am not at all confident in Michael Brendan Dougherty’s suggestion that we may be headed to an era of “a hyper-capitalist left and an anti-capitalist right.” The British left is moving in a more anti-capitalist direction, and Hillary Clinton is desperately trying to move to the left of her 2008 self in order to hold off Bernie Sanders. I think it is quite possible that a radicalizing left and the business right can reach tactical accords on immigration, while fighting periodic pitched battles over the structure of the economy.

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