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The Right struggles to understand Trump and populism

The Right struggles to understand Trump and populism

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Summary: With victory at the GOP convention appearing more certain every day, the Right struggles to understand the resurgence of populism, so long suppressed. Here are two essays showing how they’re doing so far — by a neocon and conservative. Both remind us that populism is a political movement distinct from conservatism, and need not ally with it (the populist-progressive alliance created the New Deal). Tomorrow’s post looks at similar analysis from the Left. The new coalitions now forming will shape US politics for a generation.
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  1. Typical establishment denunciations of Trump: he is a “monster”.
  2. The GOP must reinvent itself to survive the populist revolt.
  3. Conclusions.
  4. Other posts about Trump & the new populism.
  5. For More Information.
(1) Typical establishment denunciations of Trump as “monster”
Trump is the GOP’s Frankenstein monster.
Now he’s strong enough to destroy the party.

By Robert Kagan (Brookings Inst), WaPo op-ed, 25 Feb 2016.
This sad op-ed shows that people in these establishment’s institutions still believe they are taste-setters and opinion-makers for the US public, and that many listen to their discredited voices. Here Kagan sings a largely content-free song to encourage people to follow their betters. Kagan gives vivid imagery and exaggerations rather than discussion of Trump’s actual policies (lest people realize how popular many of them are).
Kagan describes himself as a “liberal interventionist“; he’s one of the architects of our disastrous “interventions” since 9/11. Of course he opposes populists and their skepticism of overseas military adventures. Does his support gain more votes for Trump on the Right than the votes it loses for Hillary on the Left?

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(2)  The GOP must reinvent itself to survive the populist revolt
Folks Before Kochs
By Reihan Salam at Slate
“To save itself, Republicans must finally put the working class ahead of the donor class.”
Excellent analysis of the GOP, among the best I’ve seen. He is an Executive Editor for National Review and co-author of Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream[Image: ir?t=thefabimaxiwe-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0307277801] (2008). See his Wikipedia entry for more info. Excerpt:

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