Charles Post – The Roots of Trumpism
Donald Trump’s nomination and election is the most recent chapter in an ongoing leadership struggle that began in the aftermath of the global recession and the 2008 Democratic electoral victory. Capital successfully beat back the first wave of middle-class radicalism in the Republican Party—the Tea Party—during the 2014 Congressional elections, but these rebels were not vanquished. They were radicalized.
Since the 1960s, the mass voter base of the Republican Party has been made up primarily of older, suburban, white, middle-class, small businesspeople, professionals, and managers, and a minority of older white workers. Until recently, the particular passions of the Party’s base —especially its hostility to the democratic gains of people of color, women, and LGBT people—could be contained. Minor concessions to the social conservatives on abortion, affirmative action, voter restrictions, and same-sex marriage/legal equality maintained their loyalty, while capitalists set the substantive neo-liberal agenda for the Republicans (and the Democrats as well). As in the Democratic Party, the non-capitalist elements of the Republican coalition were clearly junior partners to capital.
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