The Trump Party

Professor Brian Klaas, who is at University Colege London and also moonlights as a columnist for the Washington Post, which no doubt makes him suspect in the eyes of some Neandercons, posted this on social media:

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It’s not a new idea. I commented on something Stephen Harper said about this about 10 months ago: “Trump’s “America First” policy will outlast the president’s tenure and that the “rapid, unorthodox, populist political change” will be part of the American fabric after Trump leaves office.

The Trump Party is here to stay, alongside the Tea Party movement and “neo-liberalism,” however one might want to describe it, and American socialism, if that isn’t a contradiction in terms, rather like Chinese communism.

The Trump Party can be described as being:

  • anti-institutional (his attacks on the Justice Department and the media, for example);
  • economically protectionist (his wariness about international trade agreements);
  • isolationist in foreign policy (his hostility to NATO); and
  • anti-immigration and, possibly, racist (the border wall, the travel ban).

The fact that the Trump Party might be something of a haven for racists does not mean that Donald J Trump is a racist, I suspect he is not … the fact that some racists drift towards the Conservative Party of Canada, for a variety of reasons but, mainly,  because they oppose the immigration policies of the Liberals and the NDP, and the fact that some racists will vote CPC does not make Andrew Scheer a racist, either.

But, all of the attributes of the Trump Party are deeply entrenched in America … it’s just that they have been dormant for the last 75 years, overwhelmed by modern America liberalism which was the dominant political philosophy of presidents and the leaders of the Congress from the time of Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower through to the recent era of George W Bush and Barack Obama. I think that President Trump harks all the way back to President George Washington in his mistrust of “the insidious wiles of foreign influence.” I’m not as sure as Professor Klaas that the Trump Party is “dangerous for the future of American democracy,” but I believe that abandoning the Truman Doctrine will weaken America’s global leadership and, concomitantly, strengthen China even further and embolden Putin’s ongoing opportunistic adventurism and the aggression of some Islamist factions.

There is, I think, a Canadian Trump Party. It’s not organized, yet, but I suspect that many of its adherents have, already, migrated to Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party of Canada while some are sticking with the Conservatives and most are still looking for something that might be a spiritual home. I have a few friends who are charter members of Canada’s Trump Party; none are, I can safely affirm, racists, but most are very anti-institutional, many are somewhat protectionist, some are to a greater or lesser degree, isolationist, and almost all are anti-immigration, at least they are anti-immigration as promoted and practised by Justin Trudeau’s Liberals. In fact, I think that the Canadian Trump Party is, in some respects more on an anti-Trudeau (père et fils) movement than something that wants to emulate Donald Trump’s policies. I think we need to consider the Trump Party in Canada as being the a strong voice of the precariat. I also think that Conservatives need to take up that task ~ speaking for the precariat ~ too, because, as I said, “Real liberals … [by which, in Canada I mean Conservatives] … in America, Australia, and Britain, and in Canada, and elsewhere, need to take a good look in the mirror and ask themselves if they are willing to reinvigorate liberalism … or shall we just concede the field to the likes of Jeremy Corbyn, Xi Jinping, Justin Trudeau, and Donald Trump? There doesn’t seem, to me, to be much in the way of a safe middle ground.

I suspect that Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party might be able to be made into a political boon for the Conservative Party of Canada because it might become one of the natural homes for the Trump Party in Canada and the Conservatives can point the media in that direction when, at the behest of the Trudeau campaign team, they go looking for the Alt-Right in Canada.

I also saw, in The Atlantic, in an article, datelined 29 Apr 19, by Edward-Isaac Dovere, who is the chief Washington correspondent for POLITICO, in which it is reported that “The Clintons are on edge about 2020. Like pretty much every other Democrat in America, Bill and Hillary are nervous that their party’s primary field is too large, that it’s going to be dominated by the wrong kind of debate, that the candidates will succumb to their worst instincts, and that President Donald Trump will out-bully them anyway.” Mr Dovere concludes that the Clintons urged their followers to “get it together … [because] … there’s still a chance of preventing Trump’s reelection. “Do not grow weary,” Hillary said at the end of the night, admitting that she sometimes can’t bear keeping up with the news herself. Bill added: “There are no permanent victories and defeats in politics, and if you think about it, we are repeatedly called upon in new and different circumstances to refight battles with our oldest demons which lurk inside all our hearts” … [and, former President Clinton said] … People are scared, and they feel like the world is changing and they’ve been left behind … [and] … he understands that from the people he knows back in Arkansas. He said he gets why that leads people around the world to follow people like Trump, who play up the divisions. But, he said,  “If you want to save democracy, you have to save the core idea that we are all created equal.”

I think Professor Klaas and the Clintons are overstating the case. I think Donald J Trump is a poor to bad to gawd-awful president and I believe that his actions and policies are going to weaken America and, therefore, weaken the West, but neither he nor Steve Bannon with his new Alt-Right academy in Italy is a really serious threat to democracy. They have damaged the US-led liberal-globalist world order but that’s not the same thing. Donald Trump won the US election, fair and square, according to US law … he might be a buffoon and bully but he’s not going to be elected dictator and the people who will vote for the Trump Party in America, Canada and Europe will do so because they feel that liberalism, not democracy has failed them.

Democracy is fine … it is liberalism that is in danger.

 

 

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