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:

    http://www.frontporchrepublic.com/2016/11/trump-in-context/

    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.

What are your thoughts about this topic?
We welcome your ideas and questions about the topics considered here. If you would like to receive others' comments and respond by email, please check the box below the comment form when you submit your own comments.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.