The conservatives have a new party line.
The new party line is that “there is no such thing” as the Alt-Right. Instead, the Alt-Right was conjured into existence by Hillary Clinton and the Left as a cudgel to demonize conservatives. The real problem is the Alt-Radical Left. That’s what Sean Hannity is telling his audience night after night on FOX News.
At least in my case, I strongly supported Trump because his message resonated with me on three key issues: immigration, foreign policy and free-trade. I liked Trump because he was not a mainstream conservative on these issues. He talked about building the wall and deporting illegal aliens who were rapists and murderers. He talked about slapping tariffs on corporations to stop offshoring. He said that morons like Bill Kristol had led us into the Iraq War which he called a “beauty” of a mistake.
Much of the punditry since the election has focused on whether Trump voters were motivated by racial or economic anxiety. If anything is true, Trump’s victory illustrated that populism works best (like the BREXIT vote or Italian referendum) when it can tap into multiple sources of resentment against the elites:
“WASHINGTON — House Republican leaders signaled on Monday that they would not support President-elect Donald J. Trump’s threat to impose a heavy tax on companies that move jobs overseas, the first significant confrontation over the conservative economic orthodoxy that Mr. Trump relishes trampling.
“I don’t want to get into some kind of trade war,” Representative Kevin McCarthy, Republican of California and majority leader, told reporters in response to Mr. Trump’s threats over the weekend to seek a 35 percent import tariff on goods sold by United States companies that move jobs overseas and displace American workers.
Speaker Paul D. Ryan also pushed back against Mr. Trump on Monday in an interview with a Wisconsin reporter, saying an overhaul of the corporate tax code would more effectively keep companies in the United States than tax penalties. “I think we can get at the goal here,” he said, “which is to keep American businesses American, build things in America and sell them overseas — that can be properly addressed with comprehensive tax reform.” …”
Bernie Sanders was unsuccessful because he was unable to marry his economic populism to a broader message of racial and cultural populism.
Speaking for myself, I strongly supported Trump’s trade policy and never more so than during the times in the campaign when he vowed to impose a punitive 35 percent tariff on corporations that engage in offshoring. The “Alt” in the Alt-Right also had an economic component. Conservatives and libertarians believe in neo-liberal economics – globalization, free-trade, hero worshiping Ayn Rand and all the free-market bromides from the Cato Institute and Wall Street Journal editorial page.
I’m not any kind of economic liberal. I believe in nationalism, economic independence, and an economy geared toward fostering national strength and solidarity. I don’t see the DOW or GDP as the most useful economic measuring sticks.
Take a look at all the conservatives howling “economic fascism” and “crony capitalism” this morning: Steve Berman, Ben Shapiro, Kevin Williamson, etc. Where do you think Trump is getting these heretical ideas from? He’s certainly not getting them from the National Review or Sean Hannity. Pat Buchanan has been writing about economic nationalism for twenty years.