What is the future of Right Populism after the Trump presidency?
Consider the following:
- Donald Trump is on the way out the door next week after bringing his most diehard and dead end MAGA supporters to DC for the “Stop the Steal” rally. After inflaming them to march on the Capitol, he has already thrown them under the bus to save his own ass.
- Mitch McConnell gambled his Senate majority on Republican voters in Georgia not caring about $600 stimulus checks and lost badly. The Republican Senate chose the donor class and spit in the face of 80% of their own voters.
- The MAGA rightwing populist grassroots from Alex Jones and Infowars to Nick Fuentes and America First have set themselves on fire for Trump. If they are lucky and avoid prison, they are looking at years of debilitating lawsuits and further deplatforming.
- Donald Trump was elected in 2016 with a strong mandate to advance a populist and nationalist policy agenda. Instead of doing this though, he sold out to the Republican donor class and embraced Paul Ryan’s toxic and wildly unpopular agenda. Conservative populism was systematically stripped down to the Donald Trump personality cult and the Alt-Right was replaced by QAnon prophecies. This culminated in Trump losing the 2020 election and the Capitol Siege.
- The populist and nationalist White Indies and moderate voters who supported Trump in 2016 abandoned him in 2020.
- In rejecting the Alt-Right and their shot to move a populist and nationalist policy agenda, Trump and the GOP embraced the QAnon Shaman who is now the face of rightwing populism.
- Finally, Joe Biden is using his political capital on things like a $15 nationwide minimum wage and $2,000 stimulus checks to close the door on conservative populism. The Democrats see that shot coming and won’t be caught off guard again in the Rust Belt.
Oren Cass represents the views of most Republican voters on economics who have no power or representation in the GOP and the conservative movement.
George Will speaks for the donor class, institutional conservatism and the vast majority of elected Republican officials who have all the power and representation but who lack popular support for their unpopular economic agenda. They got their precious judges and tax cuts.
This toxic disconnect between the Republican establishment and donor class and what Republican voters want has 1.) politically crippled the GOP and 2.) created the petri dish where conspiracy theorists flourish. The GOP could have avoided the Capitol Siege by reforming itself years ago.
It was easier for Sen. Ron Johnson, for example to go along with the fraud narrative and the “Stop the Steal” political theater than $2,000 stimulus checks. This is the result.