Comments 3

  1. Thanks for helping us understand, Jeff! It’s interesting to see how these ideas have developed throughout history.

  2. I appreciate your good work, Jeff, as usual.
    And, it’s nice writing when the historical themes you are explaining can be tied-in with today’s politicians.
    But “…and Donald Trump are examples of conservative Republicans who have represented the populist wing of the GOP.”
    Donald, conservative?

  3. Thank you, Ed and Greg.

    Greg, I apologize for taking so long to answer your question, but Yes, Trump is a conservative (of sorts). He’s a populist and nationalist conservative. Not so much a moralistic conservative, although Prof. DePlato makes the argument in a recent In All Things article that moralists, including Christians, ought to cast a prudential vote for Trump over Clinton. Not a libertarian conservative, although his America First foreign policy, opposition to political correctness, and free-wheeling personal style have some crossover with libertarianism. In a paper I presented at the Front Porch Republic conference at Notre Dame last month, I identify five varieties of conservatism. Trump has substantial elements of two. If interested, you can read more in the last section of the paper:

    But I can certainly understand why many Republicans do not think that Trump is a conservative. It depends on how you define the word. To give a counter-example: Looking at his pedigree and record, I would not call George W. Bush a conservative. Pragmatism, Wall Street domination, and neoconservative globalism are not in the Taft-Goldwater-Reagan tradition of genuine conservatism.

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