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White Populism Is The Future Of The GOP

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Editor’s Note: This is a work in progress.

“White Populism” is the future of the Republican Party.

I’ve coined this new term to describe what I am seeing in a bunch of recent surveys and polls. Specifically, I am referring to this 70/30 split that I see among Donald Trump voters.

Throughout my entire lifetime, the conservative movement and the Republican Party has been composed of two major groups. There are the “True Cons” or “Free Marketeers” or “Core Conservatives” who have dominated the party since the 1980s. These people tend to be White college educated, middle class conservatives who are small business owners who live in the burbs and who are defined by their belief in classical liberalism and free-market capitalism. There is also the Religious Right, the paleocons or the social conservatives who tend to live in the suburbs or rural areas. These people tend to be White working class or middle class Catholics or evangelicals who are pro-free market and motivated by social issues. These factions were united into the classic “three-legged stool” of conservatism which was based on Frank Meyer’s “fusionism” between capitalists, moralists and defense hawks in the Cold War.

The Republican Party is now a very different animal in the wake of Donald Trump. Mainstream conservatism as we have known it for decades has retreated within the party. Donald Trump has changed the demographics of the Republican Party by bringing in two huge groups of White voters. These Whites voters used to be adjacent to the GOP in the Center of the electorate until the 2016 election.

In 2017, there were four Republican groups, not two.


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