Economics/Class Relations

Welcome Back to the 1890s

Trump’s main impact has been to revive pre-Reaganite/Neocon Republican traditions: Ike centrism, Nixon plutocratic populism, Taftian isolationism, Know-Nothing conspiracism, Hoover-Coolidge protectionism, classical liberal libertarianism, basically the GOP as it was in the 1950s.

By Tim Reichert, The American Conservative

Historically, a weakness of the Republican Party has been the economic divide between the party’s donor base and its voter base. The grassroots and the establishment have divergent interests.

The party’s donors have been corporatist and favorable to free trade. A large concentration of these donors are in the banking and finance sector. In general, this class has benefited from the party’s economic policies.

On the other hand, the party’s voters are members of the middle class or from families that were once middle class. These voters believe in the working class America that I grew up in. They recognize that the Democratic Party, which used to claim (and, falsely, still tries to claim) that it is “for the little guy,” has instead become the party of the corporatist elite, globalism, and of big government—in short, the party of State Corporatism.

Recently, many of these voters have become so-called economic populists. Their views vary widely, crossing the spectrum from right to left, but what they have in common is an understanding that the system is not working for them, and hasn’t been for a long time.

It is fashionable to argue that the economic populists are dangerous people who storm barricades and seek to overturn valid elections. With very few exceptions, they are not. Economic populists are those still in the fading middle class, watching their prospects erode, and those whose families used to be in the middle class, but no longer are.


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