A Less Trumpy Version of Trumpism Might Be the Future of the Republican Party

Yves here. Democratic-party adjacent media keep declaring the Republican Party dead. Wishing does not make it so.

By Morgan Marietta, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Massachusetts Lowell and David C. Barker, Professor of Government and Director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies, American University School of Public Affairs. Originally published at The Conversation

Donald Trump lost the 2020 election, but his populist ideas may continue to animate the Republican Party.

As scholars of American beliefs and elections, we can envision a less Trumpy version of Trumpism holding sway over the party in coming years. We call it “polished populism.”

Populism is folk-politics based on the premise that ordinary citizens are wiser and more virtuous than supposedly corrupt and self-serving elites. Populist rhetoric is often expressed in cruder, coarser language than ordinary political speech – less like a politician on a stage and more like a guy in a bar.

Trump, a prime practitioner of populist rhetoric, took this to an extreme with the shorthand of Twitter and the insults of the locker room.

Polished populists take a different approach, arguing for the same policies that Trump did – limiting immigration, redistributing wealth toward the working class rather than just the poor, opposing the woke policies of social justice movements, promoting “America First” foreign and trade policies – but without his overtly antagonistic language.

Some Republicans are now arguing for a rejection of populism and a return to traditional conservatism. Those long-standing GOP priorities include limited government, strong national defense of American interests abroad, religious values and, perhaps most importantly, ordinary political personalities.

For two reasons – the GOP’s narrow electoral defeat in 2020 and the changing demographics of the Republican Party – we believe that populist policies, if not rhetoric, will continue to be a dominant theme of the Republican Party.

Populism Versus Traditional Conservatism

The contemporary conservatism associated with Ronald Reaganin the 1980s and George W. Bush in the 2000s has several facets and factions, but it can be summed up in the phrase, “You keep what you earn, it’s a dangerous world, and God is good.”

The economic, national defense and social conservatives of previous decades tended to agree that human nature is untrustworthy and society is fragile, so the U.S. needs to defend against external enemies and internal decline.

Populist conservatism accepts those views but adds something different: the interests and perceptions of “ordinary” people against “elites.” So populism rejects the notion of a natural aristocracy of wealth and education, replacing it with the idea that people it considers elites, including career politicians, bureaucrats, journalists and academics, have been promoting their own interests at the expense of regular folk.

The Identity Divide

The recent rise of populism in America has been driven in part by a clear economic reality: The expansion of wealth over the last 40 years has gone almost entirely to the upper reaches of society. At the same time, the middle has stagnated or declined economically.

The populist interpretation is that elites benefited from the globalization and technological advancements they encouraged, while the advantages of those trends bypassed ordinary working people. Calls for trade protections and national borders appeal to Americans who feel left behind.

Populism also has a cultural aspect: rejection of the perceived condescension and smugness of the “highly educated elite.”

In that sense, populism is driven by identity (who someone believes they are like, and perhaps more importantly, who they are not like). For populists, the like-minded are ordinary folk – middle income, middle-brow educations at public high schools and state universities, often middle-of-the-country – and the dissimilar are the products of expensive educations and urban lifestyles.

While traditional conservatism has not vanished from the GOP, populist perceptions dominate the new working-class foundations of the party. And those reflect the emerging divide in education.

The base of the Republican Party has shifted from more wealthy and educated Americans to voters without college degrees. In the 1990s, whites who did not attend college tended to back Democrat Bill Clinton, but in 2016 they supported Republican Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton by 39 percentage points. In 2020, it was roughly the same for Trump over Biden.

The 2020 Outcome and the GOP Future

We believe the Republican Party will be slow to move away from this new identity.

Even after a pandemic, a recession, an impeachment, four years of anti-immigration sentiment and the Black Lives Matter protests, Trump still received more votes than any presidential candidate in history not named Joe Biden.

Biden’s overall victory was by a margin of 7 million votes. But his victory in the Electoral College relied on a total of 45,000 votes in three states. This was similar to Trump’s narrow 2016 Electoral College margin of 77,000 votes, also in three states. A strong Republican candidate, a foreign policy problem for the incumbent Democrat or a small piece of luck could shift the presidency back to the other party.

Support for Republicans even grew somewhat among traditionally Democratic African American and Hispanic voters, despite the GOP’s anti-Black Lives Matter and anti-immigrant rhetoric.

Clearly, Trumpism was not repudiated by voters in the way that Democrats had hoped. It is entirely possible that if the pandemic had not occurred – which was a major source of the decline in his support – Donald Trump would still be in the White House.

The GOP could conclude that its loss was only due to an outside event and not a fundamental rejection of policy. That would give the party little incentive to change course, aside from changing the face on the poster.

Over the next four years we believe the GOP will solidify the transition to a populist base, though not without resistance from traditional conservatives.

Republican victory in a future presidential election would likely require an alliance between traditional and populist conservatives, with both groups turning out to vote. The question is which one will lead the coalition.

The competition for the 2024 Republican nomination will likely also be a contest between these two party bases and ideologies, with the emerging winner defining the post-Trump GOP.

The 2024 standard bearers

The Republican contenders for the 2024 nomination and the new leadership of the GOP include a broad range of populists versus traditional conservatives.

Perhaps a leading indicator of the move toward polished populism is the shift in the rhetoric employed by Marco Rubio.

The senator from Florida was once a traditional conservative, but has shifted toward populism after his trouncing by Trump in the 2016 Republican presidential primary. Recently he argued that “the future of the party is based on a multiethnic, multiracial, working-class coalition,” defined as “normal, everyday people who don’t want to live in a city where there is no police department, where people rampage through the streets every time they are upset about something.”

The opposing trend toward rejecting Trumpist populism is exemplified by the shift in the arguments made by Nikki Haley. Haley, the U.N. ambassador under the Trump administration and former South Carolina governor, has rejected Trump’s leadership, now arguing that “we shouldn’t have followed him.”

These two Republicans and several others see a potential president in the mirror. Which one mirrors the current GOP will depend on the realignment or retrenchment between the populists and the traditionalists.

Polished populism – Trump’s policies without his personality – may be the future of the GOP’s identity.

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  1. arkansasangie

    Populism … sounds so … pedestrian.

    The idea that populism is inferior, naive, less logical, and obviously inferior to rhetoric created by “classically trained” and highly educated politicians is just a tad condescending.

    Complexity is the main tool of fraud’sters.

    I personally spend my time trying to explain to people complex ideas simply so that they can make intelligent decisions for themselves.

    Most people, for example, do not know that money poof’s into existence when debt is created.
    Most don’t know that Congress has exempted themselves from the laws of the land
    etc etc etc

    1. Mansoor H. Khan

      Poofing money into existence has serous consequences: Eventual Economic Depression:

      Here is my prediction (it is actually very positive ultimately).

      1. Stock market is way, way, way too high for the underlying profitability of companies and underlying demand (capacity to spend/budget/money in the pocket) from consumers.

      2. FAATMAN companies’ valuations are way to high. FAATMAN = Facebook, Amazon, Alphabet (google), Tesla, Microsoft, Apple and Netflix. But this can be fixed. Keep reading!

      3. I am expecting a Titanic level Market slide within 0-3 years. Down 70%. Great Depression level. But much faster due to electronic age we live in.

      4. I will go in with both feet with ALL my cash into the stock market at that time. My jump-in level is 70% down from peak.

      5. Interest rates tell you 90% of the story. This low of rates means DEMAND is very, very weak compared to capacity (I refinanced my 15 year fixed rate mortgage at 2.2% APR). Which means that average Joe does not have sufficient income to borrow and spend. Yes capacity to produce in our beautiful god given economy is huge and ever expanding. That part is correct!

      6. Capacity of the economy is stupendously high due to extreme automation. Again, this is the good part. Of course. Thanks to the IT guys like me.

      7. Federal Reserve cannot do much at this point. Federal Reserve would be pushing on a string and they know it.

      8. One way to balance capacity and demand in our economy is through UBI (Universal Basic Income). Otherwise known as John Maynard Keynes’ helicopter cash or Clifford H. Douglas’ social credit.

      9. If we don’t do UBI we will at least need to do continuous stimuluses by the federal government. Every six months.

      10. UBI is better, simpler, more comprehensive, fairer way to stimulate the economy continuously. I would called it: AUTOMATION DIVDEND. That is what it really is.

      11. How long will it take for Americans to realize how economy really works (i.e., Keynesian economics). Don’t know. But there is hope. Bernie Sanders and the Democrats in general are not too far from seeing past the scarcity paradigm which conservatives (Republicans) live in. It took me probably 2000 hours of intensely scouring the web to figure out what is going on. Reading books and reading all kinds of blogs and comments in blogs to figure out the truth about our modern credit based economy. By the way in my heart I am a conservative (Republican). But I cannot vote for them because they (Republicans) are clueless about how the economy really works.

      12. It took elderly dying in the streets in the 30’s for FDR to realize we need a social security program.

      13. A future UBI program should be simple in implementation. All who have SSN should get non-taxable UBI (no exceptions). Babies and Billionaires included. I would start with $500 per month per SSN. This can be implemented very easily through a partnership between the Social security administration + the Bankers. Very similar to how my mom’s social security benefits are deposited in her Wells Fargo bank account every month seamlessly.

      14. Why pay billionaires UBI. Because it is only fair. Money printed is not the same as money spent. If the billionaire does not spend it. The extra money does not “cost” any resources from within our economy. Cool. Isn’t it.

      15. If inflation ensues I would implement a consumption tax (a national sales tax) to tone down consumption and balance capacity and demand. By the way I would completely eliminate all federal income taxes including social security taxes. If inflation ensues again raise the national sales tax to balance capacity and demand. State and local taxes have to stay since state and local governments can’t print money.

      16. If something like the above is not done. Capitalism will be destroyed completely. How ironic, by conservatives themselves because they don’t understand (Keynesian) economics.

      17. Capitalism was rescued after the great depression by world war II spending, GI bill spending, Marshall Plan spending, the space program spending, the welfare and food stamp programs spending, the korean war spending, the vietnam war spending, the Reagan’s star wars defense programs spending and defense budget and other budget items spending in general. If these “spendings” were not there than capitalism would have collapse by now due to deflation.

      18. Capitalism is too much focused savings and dies of deflation eventually when consumers cannot borrow anymore!

      19. This (Keynesian) economics only works because of automation and availability of relatively cheap abundant energy supplies which power our machines and our computers.

      20. If we ever cannot get cheap energy supplies… Well back to few hundred million people on earth total and scarcity!

      I am praying for a UBI outcome.

      1. Mansoor H. Khan

        Steering a ocean liner takes time and inter-mediate steps:

        1. Yes, consumption tax is regressive but it can be balanced by adjusting UBI.

        2. Not everyone has a private bank account. The idea would be very similar to SNAP/EBT cards. Money would be deposited into SNAP/EBT cards.

        3. Don’t need redistribution if I get my fair share via UBI.

        4. Gov privileges for banks: Let’s turn this ocean liner one step at a time.

      2. Massinissa

        ” By the way I would completely eliminate all federal income taxes including social security taxes.”

        You completely lost me here. Sales tax over income tax? Making the working class pay a greater percent of the taxes will prevent inflation how exactly?

        Everything else in your post makes sense and is well thought out.

          1. Mansoor H. Khan

            Sounds like a cat chasing it’s tail, i.e. a UBI-price inflation spiral.

            Let’s say if I tax a purchase of a million dollar yacht at 5% national sales tax. Then I destroy $50,000 worth of purchasing power. If I raise UBI by 5% then I only give the billionaire additional $25 purchasing power. Net Net destruction of purchasing power is lot more than the added purchasing power. In other words it hurts the rich a lot more and does not impact the lower income levels as much. Think not only in percentage terms but also in absolute dollar terms.

            1. notherpet

              Except it’s the non-rich who MUST be taxed to curb consumption since the rich don’t consume enough to matter.

              1. Mansoor H. Khan

                Dude. We are talking about curbing deflation here which is what our capitalism is suffering from.

            2. John

              I don’t think the stock crash will occur because the Fed will keep on injecting money into it…even if they have to start buying stock to keep the prices up.
              The extreme wealth of the oligarchs gives them extreme political power. They control the political economy. Until that imbalance is corrected…its just wishing and hopeing.

              1. Mansoor H. Khan

                You may be right here.

                But the rich can be educated. At least enough of them to adjust the system to start a UBI program, an massive infrastructure re-build program, Medicare for all, free college education and student loan forgiveness.

                Most rich people don’t know how the economy works. But we have some good examples (Northern European countries and Germany).

                Mansoor H. Khan

          2. Pookah Harvey

            Depending on only regressive taxes would result in the rich always increasing their wealth. Remember the Golden Rule- Those with the Gold make the Rules-

            Do you really believe the rich want the masses to have a “balanced” UBI to make them content? Notice how the minimum wage battle is working out? Do the rich want a content working class or one on the economic edge that they can successfully control?

            Automation means there will be an over-supply of labor. This can be handled in 3 ways.
            1. UBI which will allow some of the population to leave the labor pool. The rich will never want a UBI allowing that to be a comfortable withdrawal.
            2. Guaranteed Job Program will suck up the over-supply of labor. Again the rich will want that at no more than subsistence level wages, at best.
            3. Reduced work week, remember that John Maynard Keynes also indicated that the “AUTOMATION DIVDEND” would be the 15 hour work week.

            Any taxation system must force a more equitable wealth distribution to allow any of these ideas to be implemented in a manner friendly to the working class because of the aforementioned Golden Rule.
            As Bernie said “There should be no billionaires”.
            This is something the current “libertarians ” don’t seem to understand. They are worried about the concentration of power in the “government” but ignore the concentration of power due to wealth.

            1. Mansoor H. Khan

              Inequality in wealth ownership is not the problem. Wealth is created through hard work and creativity. The idea here is to educate the wealth owners that a UBI and other public works projects balance demand and capacity.

              Un-used capacity leads to reduced wealth for the capital owner. A UBI and other other public works projects will lift all boats including stock prices because it generates more revenues for private companies due to increased spending in the overall economy.

              1. Pookah Harvey

                “The idea here is to educate the wealth owners that a UBI and other public works projects balance demand and capacity.”

                So the answer is the rich being capitalistic “benevolent dictators”. Certainly worked out well in the past.

                1. Mansoor H. Khan

                  No. There is nothing benevolent about it.

                  “Un-used capacity leads to reduced wealth for the capital owner. A UBI and other other public works projects will lift all boats including stock prices because it generates more revenues for private companies due to increased spending in the overall economy.”

                  They get to increase their wealth in DOLLARS.

                  If there is anybody benevolent it is god. God gave the knowledge of truth about the economy to John Maynard Keynes and and Clifford H. Douglas.

                  Mansoor H. Khan

                  1. JBird4049

                    In Western society, especially in American society, money equals status. The more money you have the the more esteemed you are; I don’t particularly care to have money except for some of the nice things I can get like books, but then my ego or sense of self worth is not tied to money, whereas for too many of the higher classes it is tied to a sense of personal value; it also means political as well as social power. The wealthiest Americans are treated like gods in our nation merely because they have wealth.

                    Having seen middle class customers lording themselves our my fellow employees was an interesting experience. It convinced me that the money they had made them feel good; it will take force of some kind to get a more equal and just society that does not depend on raw wealth for a good life.

                    1. Mansoor H. Khan

                      Let them accumulate wealth. But convince them not to spend much of it. They don’t even have to give it away.

                      “spending” wealth/money grabs resources from the economy. Owning stocks or dollars by itself does not.

                      Then Gov can print more currency and give it away to the general public.

              2. Mel

                Inequality in wealth ownership is a problem. Money is created through credit, and money buys wealth.
                The Sears company, for example, was probably created through hard work and creativity (and being first in line for borrowed money in the financial centers in the east?), but cheap credit gave people the chance to buy it up, break it up, and sell the pieces.

                1. Mansoor H. Khan

                  Again. This is a huge ocean liner.

                  Let’s start with UBI and public works projects and other Bernie Sanders projects and then (step 2) we will educate the public about dangers of and un-fairness of credit creation by banks by lending money with interest.

                  We need to do something now or else we die (economically) of deflation.

                  Mansoor H. Khan

              3. Cat Burglar

                “Wealth is created through hard work and creativity.”

                If by this you mean that all currently held wealth was created by the work and thought of the present owners, is therefore rightfully theirs, and so is never properly the object of any distributional policy, then you are advancing a historically false assertion.

                I look out my window and see land that was taken from its inhabitants through a campaign of private and governmental terror. Friends of mine have recent ancestors that were traded as assets, forced to work, and had their product taken from them. My grandfather started life in a tenant-farmer family compelled by force and fraud to part with most of the value of their work by paying rent on the land they worked.

                There are many well-researched histories covering the various forms of exproriation, which you may find informative. The many articles on this website frequently document contemporary forms of looting and theft that are often quite sophisticated, and you may benefit from considering these factual accounts, and they may lead you to rethink your position.

                1. Mansoor H. Khan

                  Your conception of what wealth is needs to be expanded. Physical things like land and factories need tremendous amount of skills (management and technical) in order to produce income.

                  It is the income stream from them which is what gives the land or a factory its value and its “wealthness”.

                  Non-owners typically HAVE those skills. So they get to manage and receive money for their skills.

                  The problem of our economy is crazy level of automation (that is a good thing). The general public rightfully should benefit from it.

                  And doing UBI and other public “spendings” help the capital owners by increasing income from real estate and factories. It helps them too in DOLLAR terms.

                  Also, don’t think of income made by rich in isolation. If they don’t spend all of it it then they don’t “grab” as many resources from the economy as they have produced (leaving resources for us to use by printing money and spending it).

                  Think of income made by the rich as a “score”. That is why I would eliminate the income tax. Most of the money left in their hand will not be spent or can be managed via consumption tax to curb inflation. But it would make them very happy to improve their “score”.

                  Mansoor H. Khan

                  1. drumlin woodchuckles

                    Farm workers, including the illegal alien farm workers, have the knowledge and skills to grow the plants and crops, thereby imparting the “wealthiness” to the land. Yet how much do they get paid for having the skills and the knowledge and doing the work?

                    Wealth inequality confers power-inequality, which creates problems for the non-wealthy in our unequal-power mortal-kombat society.

                    1. Mansoor H. Khan

                      These guys do not have language skills (they don’t speak English). This greatly limits what jobs they can do.

                      Even they would benefit from UBI. If you work in America you should get UBI even if illegal.

                    2. Mansoor H. KHan

                      so if warren buffet does a good job investing he should be punished. or if Bezos had a vision and took risks which worked out his wealth should be confiscated.

                    3. drumlin woodchuckles

                      Yes. Past a certain cutoff point, that much money in private hands turns its few huge owners into a new Moneyistocracy, ruling the country and making sure no one will be allowed to develop anything.

                      That’s what Gates vision primarily was. Move a technology into a monopoly position and then illegally ( there was even a court case about it) exterminate potential rival businesses.

                      And Bezos’ vision is purely parasitic and cancerous.
                      His vision was to get investors money and keep investors money streaming in to allow his company to undersell other companies at a loss . . . . and keep doing it long enough to exterminate those other companies so he could be the Last Monopoly Company standing. And then raise prices enough to harvest the profits while destroying opportunity for everyone whose business he undercuts and destroys.

                      His power should be crushed and Amazon should be exterminated from existence and wiped from off the face of the earth.

              4. John Zelnicker

                @Mansoor H. Khan
                February 27, 2021 at 11:37 am

                “Wealth is created through hard work and creativity.”

                The vast majority of the wealth today comes from monopoly rents and other economic rents, not from hard work and creativity (see Michael Hudson).

                In fact, the original meaning of “free markets” as used by the classical economists of the late 18th century (Adam Smith, et. al.) meant markets that were free of economic rents, defined as money earned by owning things rather than by doing things.

                “Smith recognized that markets attract parasites – “rentiers” – who seek to drain wealth by “investing” rather than building and doing.”

              5. Massinissa

                You’ve lost me even more here than you did earlier.

                You know the ‘wealth owners’ are the ones who wrecked the ship in the first place right? They do what is best for them. If ‘educating’ them could work, it would have already worked. You think the Neoliberals are successful because they were able to ‘educate’ the wealthiests? No, they were successful because they were paving the way to do what the wealthy already wanted to do.

                They might be fine with UBI. See Wang. But public works projects? If they wanted those they would already be happening. They only happened in the 30s because of public pressure, not because someone ‘educated’ the most powerful.

                1. Mansoor H. Khan

                  Most powerful full well know that they need social stability for their wealth and power to exist.

                  Usury (Capitalism) creates economic depressions which creates social instability.

                  This is what the elites need to learn.

                    1. Mansoor H. Khan

                      Last time depression occurred (1930s). It was balanced by government spending.

                      This time it will be balanced by something like UBI (I predict).

                      Powerful know there will violence if people become cold and hungry.

                    2. Massinissa

                      Much of the wealthy in the 30s fought FDR tooth and nail. There’s no major faction willing to do what you propose. There’s no FDR here. You’re basically indulging in magical thinking. There’s many instances in history of elites having no idea what they’re doing and crash the ship.

          3. skippy

            “consumption tax” see Texas – basically Corps given freebies as incentive and wage earners hit for the privilege at point of sale. Anyone with a memory of WalMartification would understand this dynamic and how it effected local or state incomes E.g. destroys a broad base, increases bargaining power of the monopoly, and lastly is a contractual issue.

            BTW you might want to look into M. Friedman’s [etc] views on how a UBI would work and the need to diminish democracy, due to political demands to increase it, not that Corps has a monopoly on that action or anything – again all about contracts. I would also point out this would create a permanent underclass where the elites sail off into the future and the UBI underclass is thrown right back into the market that serves the elites.

            You having spent sometime deviling into economics since you last posted here, back in the day, seems you have abandoned your previous libertarian [AET] economic stance. As such has your views on “marginalist economics” or “rational agent” models changed – see Lars Syll for deconstruction w/ attribution.

            In case your interested I would recommend – https://americanaffairsjournal.org/2020/02/the-reformation-in-economics-back-to-the-future/

            You might remember Pilkington’s posts back in the day and the resulting views expressed in comments. So Mr Khan I think some dressed up neo-new Keynesian is a far cry from what Keynes suggested, PKE is more rigorous in that regard.


            I will say this … from my point of observation … the collection of past past economic pundits waking up and asking who put the carpet on the wall … is a sight to behold …

            BTW neoliberalism core feature is to create a two tier society with the markets being the distribution of wealth agency thingy …. more efficient[tm] …

            Hope you have been getting some sleep and not to distracted by dancing lady’s …

            1. mansoor h. khan

              Please less on poetry and more on implementable practical suggestions.

              Remember I am IT guy. I have to come up with practical implementable ideas every day at work.

              1. skippy

                Ahh … I see it did pop up.

                Sorry you were talking economics before and now seem to fall back to just a IT guy.

                Please note what above has any relationship with poetry, everything above is well worn economic territory to those with the knowledge and experience on this topic. I’ve even supplied the means for you to inform yourself, if needed, and attributed. Seems like hand waving in lieu of answering direct questions, after stating your opinions were grounded in Keynesian theory, and my observation about your past strong AET position.

                How can you present your arguments having anything to do with Keynes when the points above confuse you.

                To answer your question about solutions the PKE group and MMT have presented a thorough economic policy based on past economic history and informed monetary functions. All of which is easily found to study, no need for endless blog comments.

        1. Mansoor H. Khan

          P.S. Lots of people have criticized my regressive consumption tax:
          Let’s say if I tax a purchase of a million dollar yacht at 5% national sales tax. Then I destroy $50,000 worth of purchasing power. If I raise UBI by 5% then I only give the billionaire additional $25 purchasing power. Net Net destruction of purchasing power is lot more than the added purchasing power. In other words it hurts the rich a lot more and does not impact the lower income levels as much. Think not only in percentage terms but also in absolute dollar terms.

      3. The Historian

        Ever hear of the Law of Unintended Consequences? Because I can see a couple.

        For instance: We already have a UBI of sorts – welfare – how is that working out? Won’t the same people be in charge of your UBI program? Also, won’t your $500/mo payments have to be declared to the welfare folks in each state? So won’t they be tempted to cut welfare benefits by $6000/year for those who need welfare and the disabled? So how does UBI help the people who need it the most?

        $500/mo isn’t much money – not enough to actually have an impact on people’s lives – so what they will do is spend it and it will most likely go to the Walmart’s and the Amazon’s of this world. So why not cut out the middleman and just give it to them directly?

        And what about wages? Will anyone ever be willing to raise the minimum wage if they think that giving a small handout is better? I can see corporations depressing wages because, after all, the government is giving away free money – why should they do anything? Seems to me this would lead to more Walmart type jobs where the taxpayer picks up the bill in terms of SNAP, rental assistance, and Medicaid for the low wages the workers get.

        And what else does UBI fix? Does it provide monies to fix the infrastructure? Does it enhance the ability to create higher wage jobs? Seems to me that all it does is freeze the Main Street economy in place.

        Oh, I know, all of these could be fixed by more laws, but doesn’t that make the UBI system more and more complicated and destined to fail?

        A simpler program would be to do like Roosevelt did – provide Federal jobs to anyone who wants one. There is a massive amount of infrastructure in this country that needs to be fixed which means that there are jobs for anyone who wants one – only right now, no one wants to pay for them. It would also put pressure on corporations to pay a decent wage if they want workers because no one would be forced to take an unsafe or starvation wage job if other options were available.

        1. Mansoor H. Khan

          Well.. You have really good points. But we can do infrastructure and UBI. I would not reduce any other public benefits from any other program like welfare or food stamps. UBI would be additional.

          Yes, $500 per month is not that much but then we can watch inflation and if we can afford more then be it.

          Mansoor H. Khan

        2. Tom Bradford

          “There is a massive amount of infrastructure in this country that needs to be fixed which means that there are jobs for anyone who wants one” – The Historian.

          Yes and no. Working on even basic infrastructure these days needs skills – or are you going to send out gangs equipped with picks and shovels a’la 1930 to take ten days to do what a single experienced operator with a JCB or grader could do in one? Plus a lot of the infrastructure work that needs doing isn’t conveniently adjacent to where those needing jobs happen to live, so do you re-introduce work camps?

        1. Mansoor H. Khan

          That is OK. That is freedom. It’s beautiful.

          Dollars exercised via spending in the market place contain information about the preferences of the spender. That is why markets are cool.

          FAATMAN will benefit because their revenues will to up. Rich people win, FAATMAN wins and non-rich wins.

          Like I said this is only possible due to extreme automation in our economy. Thanks to IT guys like me.

          Mansoor H. Khan

      4. shinola

        “16. If something like the above is not done. Capitalism will be destroyed completely…”

        Perhaps I’m taking this wrong, but you seem to imply that this would be a bad thing.

        1. shinola

          “Free Markets are beautiful.”

          So are Sparkle Ponies. Unfortunately, neither actually exist outside of tales we tell our children..

      5. skippy

        Has your views on “marginalist economics” or “rational agent” models changed?

        Longer form in Queue.

          1. skippy

            Its directly related to your concept of markets and the humans associated with it. Above thread you remark about thousands of hours spent on economic theory, yet need an explanation of how it relates?

            Especially since you seem to have abandoned AET and claim too – now – forward Keynes [not specific about which group imo].

            If my longer form pops up I’ll check back.

            1. Mansoor H. Khan

              Please don’ speak in professional economists’ parlance.

              Please use street language. Most of my understanding of what is going on came from the comment section where commentator used everyday language to explain concepts and how they relate to reality.

  2. fresno dan

    I would say that what Trump advocated (with the caveat that Trump usually had three positions on any particular issue) and what repubs did was two different things. There have been numerous postings at NC that document that things the majority of Americans want are adamantly opposed by both parties. Medicare for all, 2000$ stimulas, etcetera. Indeed, the minimum wage “fight” shows how non non-representative our “representative” government is…

  3. The Rev Kev

    You know who might serve to be the new face of the Republicans going forward? Tucker Carson. Yeah, yeah, I know. He has all sorts of ratbag ideas and some that are pretty despicable. But, and this is a big but, when he is good he is really good. I have seen him the times that I have watched him rail against foreign wars, fight back against censorship and talking on behalf of America’s forgotten workers. The sort of stuff you would not expect to hear on Fox but which resonates with so many people. Certainly he could take it to the elites running America. But reading this article made me realize something else.

    Most people have probably heard the old ‘What have the Romans ever done for us?’ skit from ‘Life of Brian.’ Well I would suggest that people take a look at the collapse and neglect of America’s infrastructure, the neglect of education, a militarized police, the mass of people homeless on the streets, the incessant wars abroad, the strip-mining of the American economy, poverty wages, a shrinking middle class, etc. and reflect. This is all a result of America’s leadership class. This is what they consider a success story – for them. This was all by intent and design. Makes you wish that the Romans were in charge-

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvPbj9NX0zc (2:03 mins)

    1. tegnost

      Well I would suggest that people take a look at the collapse and neglect of America’s infrastructure, the neglect of education, a militarized police, the mass of people homeless on the streets, the incessant wars abroad, the strip-mining of the American economy, poverty wages, a shrinking middle class, etc. and reflect. This is all a result of America’s leadership class. This is what they consider a success story

      Thanks Rev,
      This pretty well distills my thinking about this post in between cringing at the scare quotes around “elite” and reference to voters without college degrees. It was interesting to see the margin of victory was larger for trump in 2016. If pelosi hadn’t negotiated away the larger stimulus in the fall it would still be pres trump. One thing always missing,but alluded to in it’s criticisms of repubs…
      Even after a pandemic, a recession, an impeachment, four years of anti-immigration sentiment and the Black Lives Matter protests, Trump still received more votes than any presidential candidate in history not named Joe Biden.

      …is how much and for how many good reasons (increasing daily, garnishing stimulus for student loan debt? These are blind and horrible people.) that people hate democrats. Due to this, If anything is going to change it will be the trend to vote dem because the repubs are so bad to vote repub because the dems are so bad.

    2. Aumua

      While we are still focused on the Dems and Republicans, the intact core of the far right/Trumpian movement is bubbling just out of sight and under the surface. If they can not own the Republican party outright and use it as their vehicle, then I predict they will form a third party, opposed to both Dems and Repubs. I think that Tucker is more likely to be aligned with that emerging hard right party, than with any more moderate version of Republicans. I question the attitude that says “yeah I know he’s practically an open fascist on some issues, but he also says some things that seem ok so let’s give him the benefit of the doubt here”

      I’m also talking to you, Greenwald and Taibbi.

      1. JBird4049

        “yeah I know he’s practically an open fascist on some issues, but he also says some things that seem ok so let’s give him the benefit of the doubt here”

        As oppose to the others who are generally wrong about everything, or at least refuse to do any real good like Biden? Just what is the Democratic Party offering but a chance to die more slowly? My fear is that the suffering will get so great that people will vote for anyone who promises and delivers solid economic benefits. After all I keep seeing those small, but growing encampments on the side of the freeway now. A competent Trump would do just fine for them.

      2. c_heale

        What have Greenwald and Taibbi got to do with Trump? Neither of them appear to be populists. The Democrats are in some ways more hard right than the Republicans – look at foreign policy.

        1. ChiGal in Carolina

          Because they are now anathema to liberal MSM and call out its bullshit Greenwald and maybe Taibbi, not sure, has gone on Fox to get a hearing. TC Show.

          I generally respect Aumua so I’ll just say I don’t think either of them actually support the white supremacy of TC. But they are anti cancel culture and opposed to idpol virtue signaling that amounts to propping up the status quo.

          GG has gotten a bit tiresome imho, the sheer volume of verbiage he cranks out is astounding (his mouth should be registered as an automatic weapon). But Taibbi is always a pleasure to listen to.

    3. .Tom

      Carlson is just in the marcom business. Messaging, presentation, face, voice, tone, oration etc. are all necessary but not sufficient for renewal of a political party, R or otherwise, that will gain broad-based buy-in and trust. Carlson could perhaps be a useful tool of a party with a genuine popular agenda/destination but he’s not going be the leader who changes the party from one that serves the status quo to one committed to that majoritarian agenda.

  4. The Historian

    I think this author is right when she says that populism was created by the ‘identity divide’ but I think she is absolutely wrong when she thinks that Americans will go for a more ‘tempered’ populism. It was precisely because Trump was willing to wave the middle finger at the elites that he became the choice of so many Americans. The fact that he did not follow through doesn’t matter so much as the fact that he was the only politician to actually acknowledge their anger. The Republicans and the ‘elite’ may want a ‘nicer’ politician to rise up, but I don’t think that is what the populists want.

    Sometimes I think the failure of the leftists was that they never captured the emotions of the disaffected – they were too busy sounding ‘intelligent’ and ‘educated’ and playing too nice with the elites.

    1. Carolinian

      Some of us have long believed that the Dems need to move in a populist direction in order to recapture their mojo. Clearly that’s not going to happen and perhaps the education divide has a lot to do with it. During the Dems New Deal heyday–the 1930s–the country was vastly less college educated than today and much more rural and agricultural. And the colleges themselves may have been something different then–more about pure education and not so much finishing schools for the elite or would be elites.

      Now we are more like England with its strong class structure of Oxbridge educated upper classes versus the plebes. Plus the money factor has overwhelmed the political system and corrupted both parties but especially the once ostensible populist party. The absurd notion of Haley, with her unerringly wrong instincts, thinking she could become president is because she cultivates wealthy backers. Someone like Tucker Carlson is the more likely direction this is going–not him personally necessarily but his influence. Perhaps his show, the most popular pundit show now on cable, is the reason Dems want to eliminate Fox. The Dems are turning authoritarian as their brand continues to sink.

      1. Dirk77

        By its absence of mention in the article, I infer that whatever policies the Republican Party will claim to champion, their (big) donor class will still be moving the levers behind the screen. So nothing will change, and the slide will continue.

    2. .Tom

      FDR was America’s and the world’s best expression of populism. I think something like that could be done again. It’s what we expected from Obama when we first voted him into the WH: discipline the banks, big corporations and MIC, tax the rich and massively invest in American prosperity. So I don’t agree that a successful populist leader needs to be crude or insulting.

  5. Chuk Jones

    I couldn’t get by the definition supplied of Populism in the third paragraph. Another definition. Spot the difference? Meaning and tone.
    From Merriam-Webster:
    Definition of populist (Entry 1 of 2)
    1: a member of a political party claiming to represent the common people
    especially, often capitalized : a member of a U.S. political party formed in 1891 primarily to represent agrarian interests and to advocate the free coinage of silver and government control of monopolies
    2: a believer in the rights, wisdom, or virtues of the common people

    Seems the author’s view of populism is unduly simplistic. But it gives legitimacy to the idea that so called “trumpism” is the same as “Populism” Btw, “First Known Use of populist

    1. lyman alpha blob

      The author could definitely stand to read Thomas Frank’s latest book on populism. The article uses an elite definition of the term to put it in a negative light. I’ll note that the author clearly prefers “elite”, seemingly to suggest that said elites don’t really exist.

  6. Michael Ismoe

    Polished populists take a different approach, arguing for the same policies that Trump did – limiting immigration, redistributing wealth toward the working class rather than just the poor, opposing the woke policies of social justice movements, promoting “America First” foreign and trade policies

    I would vote for that. I would have voted for it in 2020 but I refuse to vote for any candidate who can communicate with the Proud Boys. Wanna bet how long it takes President Hawley to raise the minimum wage?

  7. njbr

    Judging by the actions, noises and interests of the local populists who people the people’s house (House of Representatives)…populism as wisdom and a way forward is pretty ludicrous.

    1. JBird4049

      They ain’t Populists. At best, they are pseudo populists copying the words and phrases without doing any of the work. Much like how the Democratic Party is a “liberal” or even “leftist” party. So they are being con artists.

  8. marym

    Attempting to discard the votes cast and counted by “ordinary people” in demographics that largely don’t vote for you in order to maintain power despite losing an election is elitist.

    1. tegnost

      One thing rarely mentioned and when it is it’s poorly framed is the impact on people when the dems clearly cheat in their primary, then turn around and go “OMG! Those people! I don’t think a very large portion of the electorate gets that the primary, while it looks like an election, is not. They’ll cheat to choose whoever they want, there is no ethical alternative when choosing between the democrat corporation and the republican corporation when discussing who counts votes more fairly. The dems say “look at all your problems people!” without looking to see or caring that many of those problems were caused by the dems themselves, in tandem with the “elite” who use the parties to divide the people so they can protect what really matters, wall st.

      1. marym

        Voter suppression in service to elite interests is bipartisan. Differences in style and focus, with Republicans signaling “populist” virtue and Democrats signaling expertise and civility.

        1. tegnost

          absolutely, and I’ll believe republicans are populist in any way when boeing has booked orders for the flying pig.

          1. ObjectiveFunction

            Already happened, except it’s Lockheed Martin’s pig that won the contract. Boeing’s flying pig was derisively nicknamed ‘Monica’ IIRC.

  9. km

    The party that first adopts a fiscally liberal and socially moderate-to-conservative platform will be winning elections for a long time.

    Populism has its flaws, but those flaws mirror those of rule by elites. By the same token, populism becomes necessary from time to time, because elites inevitably prove self-serving.

  10. PS

    I think today’s populism is as much a rejection of the “expert” class as it is “elites”. Think about the various things that “experts” have told us in the last 20 or so years that turned out to be wrong with profound impacts: Somewhat in order, Experts said:
    – Tech stocks never go down
    – Our trillion dollar defense budget keeps us safe at home from terrorists
    – Saddam had WMDs
    – Housing prices never go down
    – We can win in Iraq and Afghanistan if we just add more troops
    – Trump will never be President

    And only time will tell to what extent experts are right about climate change, covid lockdowns, etc.

    And back to Trump specifically, he had the opportunity and ability to smash the two-party system but instead chose to align himself only with the one party and sounded like a buffoon doing it, so yea, maybe they should try someone next who can put together a coherent sentence because that matters to some of us.

  11. KD

    There may be a failure of imagination in some regards. In the old days, wealth was created through productive work funded by capital, resulting in an increase in goods and services. In contrast, money-lending creates money from money, without increasing the stock of goods and services. If capital is unfettered to seek its highest return, you end up with money-lending gaining precedence over capitalization of wealth creating activity. So we get the corporate raiders, leveraged buy-outs, traders, speculators, asset bubbles, etc. of the 80’s on down.

    The “natural” function of capital is to be conjoined with labor to produce goods and services, resulting in the benefit of the commonwealth. The “unnatural” function of capital is to copulate with itself to produce more money, by redistribution from debtors to the creditor class, ruining the commonwealth and laying the seeds for revolution and civil war. The contradiction of Reagan conservatism is their selective concerns about only certain kinds of “unnatural” acts, when in actuality the societal damage from usury far exceeds any threat posed by sodomy. But then again, they were always corporate-funded frauds preying on their gullible supporters, and in that regard, Trump is the spiritual successor to traditional conservatism.

  12. Culp Creek Curmudgeon

    Wait! Are the authors saying that our elites aren’t corrupt and self-serving? Where do the present the evidence for this? And these folks are serious scholars at reputable institutions of higher learning?

    When you begin an analysis like this, there is no way that I’m going to find it credible.

  13. marku52

    The only thing the useless Dems have going for them is that it sure looks like the Pubs are going all in on civil war with the CountryClubbers VS the Trumplicans.

    Biden might get really lucky and have a dynamite economy into 2022, if the vaccines pay off as well as it looks like they will, and Biden just doesn’t mess up the delivery. Sort of like BillC was really lucky with the tech bubble, which blew up right after he left. That was the last good economy I can remember. Unemployment below 4%. Never again.

    But after that little pop, none of the fundamental problems will have been addressed. And all the complaints that put Trump over the top in 2016 will remain. And probably have gotten worse. We could be spending 25% of GDP on health care and still have 20 million uninsured. The trade deficit will be exploding, because no one invests in anything in the US other than Wall Street products. Total dearth of good jobs. More immigration, which seems to be the only thing the Dems are actually intending to deliver. And that won’t help a bit.

    And I think the author is wrong. The only thing standing between Trump and the 2024 Nom is a coronary.

  14. Sound of the Suburbs

    US politics has always been missing something.
    Before everyone could vote the UK had two parties that catered for the elite who could vote.
    The Tories – Stayed traditionalists
    The Liberals – Progressive, compared to the Tories
    Once everyone could vote, the working class soon realised neither of these parties represented their interests and they needed a party of their own, the Labour party.
    The US has never developed that third party of the people.

    The Democrats have swung towards being a party of the people, but has now gone back to being the progressive wing of the elite (not very progressive).
    Its neglect of the working class and lower middle class has left them ripe for being picked up by the Right.

    The UK’s Labour party was over-run by liberals.
    Its neglect of the working class and lower middle class has left them ripe for being picked up by the Right.
    The poor old Liberal party are being squeezed out.
    We don’t really need a liberal Liberal party and a liberal Labour party.

    1. JBird4049

      So what you’re saying is that the neoliberal liberals Borg like took over and absorbed the center and leftist parties much like they have in the liberal Democratic Party and whatever small bits of the left that still existed in the United States. Both at roughly the same time in both countries.

      This wasn’t done deliberately in a coordinated effort, I suppose. Just because we have had people like the Kochs doing so for the past three generations…

  15. DanP66

    I’ve been saying this same thing for months. Trump’s policies were widely popular. It was Trump’s personality that did him in along with a lot of help from a pandemic, the FBI and the media.

    The democrats are going to push way too far left for the country to stomach. You do not have to be a hard core conservative to think that it is unfair for girls to compete against trans girls or some guy that claims to identify as a girl and nor is any liberal father going to be thrilled with his 13 yr old daughter sharing a locker room with one.

    Pretty sure that if we took a vote more than 90% of adults in this country would agree that the government should not be able to step in and override a parents decision not to provide puberty blockers to their child or that children should even be given puberty blockers. BUT…that is what is being nominated by the Biden team.

    Trump tried to get us out of Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq but the dems fought him tooth and nail right along with the hawks in the republican party. WHO KNEW the dems would become the war hawks? Biden sent more troops into Syria on his first day. Now he is trying to figure out how to get out of the withdrawl in Afghanistan and Germany.

    All these “green” energy policies are going to lead to higher costs for electricity, gas, home heating oil, natural gas and they are gonna do it while unemployment is high.

    Going to push for $15 minimum wage that they KNOW is going to kill a lot of jobs while unemployment is already obscenely high.

    BTW…Trump voters were overall higher earning than Biden voters. That they had fewer college degrees tells me two things. First, that the average Trump voter is not a toothless redneck but a professional tradesman or small business owner. It also tells me that a college degree aint worth the paper its printed on if your looking just at earning potential.

    Point is….the democrats are going to tick off a lot of people. Pass the minimum wage and those that get the increase will love you but those that lose their jobs will hate you and small business owners across the country will detest you. Do not pass it and the left will never forgive you.

    Yep, I think the democrats are going to have a very very hard time and they are going to end up turning on each other. I also think that Trumpism without Trump has a very good future.

    Dont get me wrong, Trump will be around. He will attend rallies, raise money, drive the media nuts and the democrats insane but he will not run again. He is going to just create headaches for the media, the democrats, the never Trump republicans and enjoy the heck out of it. But he will not be a candidate.

    1. SouthSideGT

      “the government should not be able to step in and override a parents decision not to provide puberty blockers to their child or that children should even be given puberty blockers. ”

      Is that true? “Government” is going to “override a parents decision”?

      IIRC Rand Paul said something similar recently where he nebulously blames “American culture”, of course


  16. GlassHammer

    A contingent of the American electorate was searching for Trumpism well before it had a name and a leader. That contingent grew in size and strength as the thing itself took shape and a vessel for it emerged. And now the thing is strong enough now to either seize the Republican party or shatter it.

    So…. a substitute isn’t sellable to those that support Trumpism now or those that were looking for it in the past.

  17. Darthbobber

    Wasn’t the Republican Party before Trump a less Trump version of Trumpism? Or same question from a different angle: Wasn’t most of the legislation and policy of the Trump administration stuff that had been boilerplate Republicanism for quite awhile?

  18. Jack Parsons

    The ‘New Democrats’ have stolen the nouveau riche from the Republicans, and the nouveau riche are fantastically richer than the old money. The NewDems have also abandoned poor people. The only way forward for the Repubs is to corral the poors.

    The way to do it? Retarget the Christian Right from abortion to usury. 1 out of 7 Americans has a debt collector after them. Everybody, even this atheist, knows the story about Jesus throwing moneylenders out of the temple.

    If Trump wants to get any traction in 2024, he’s got to weld the Repubs back together. Usury is a great strategy.

    1. kareninca

      They were actually money changers, not money lenders. However they did prey on the poor, so the principle holds.

  19. likbez

    Populism is a term used in neoliberal Newspeak instead of the term “mass social protest” and it is used by neoliberal propagandists and neoliberal MSM in order to smear the rejection of neoliberalism by the vast swats of the US population.  Generally this social movement (and it is a social movement) is about the resistance to neoliberalism and globalization.

    When the term “populism” moves on front pages of neoliberal MSM and into papers like this one that, first of all, means the process of de-legitimization of the ruling (in our case neoliberal) elite reached at a moderately dangerous for the elite stage which requires some “active countermeasure” not just passive suppression in MSM and ostracism.

    The typical charges of corruption, the control of government by financial oligarchy, outsourcing and offshoring of manufacturing jobs as well and suppression of wages and redistribution of wealth up are just icing on the cake. The core is the rejection of neoliberalism, the rejection of accumulation by dispossession – gangster capitalism in other words. Which is politely called “redistribution of wealth up” in the neoliberal MSM.

    Trump during his 2016 election campaign (and only during it; he governed like Bush III ) voiced some concern that are typically associated with this mass rejection of neoliberalism and instantly became kind of de-facto leader of the movement. But, in reality, he was yet another “full-blown BS artist” as Tucker called him.

    So Trumpism or “national neoliberalism” is not exactly populism – it is more of the attempt to hijack and channel the protest in a way beneficial for the “nationalist” part of national oligarchy and military-industrial complex like happened in Germany in late 20th – early 30th. Only this time “national neoliberalism” card is played instead of “national socialism”. And what is interesting is that intelligence agencies, which typically are viewed as a part of the military-industrial complex, fought Trump and this movement tool and nail. The Russiagate gang of Brennan-Comey-McCabe was not an accident.

    Please note that the social base of Trump movement are not so much blue collar unionized workers but owners of small business and contractors. They stick to Trump as their leader despite blatant betrayal of their interests on his part. that does not exclude part of blue collar workers but if you look at the social composition of the Jan 6 meeting participant I do not see many blue color workers in it. But is did included some former police officers, which is pretty telling and makes it superficially looks like Germany 2.0.

    And rapid construction of barbed fence and National Guard sleeping on Capitol floors is another testament that neoliberal elite took this threat seriously.

  20. ObjectiveFunction

    Great discussion here. I feel like the NC bloggers and the commentariat have already nailed down the socieconomic undercurrents of what’s driving the parties pretty well.

    At the risk of being reductionist: there are basically two ‘elite’ groups continually contesting for control in any society, whether ancient Greece or the US of A:

    1. THE COURTIERS. In Amerika, the technocrat PMC mandarinate which controls pretty much all national and global institutions. You know them:
    – climbing the credential pyramid
    – process and consensus driven
    – all about ‘policy’, insulated (‘fortified’ lol!) from reality (PPT and Excel > reality)
    – favor Big Tech solutions to Big Problems cuz that also means Big Budgets and Big Jobs for their kind
    – have no idea why everyone wouldn’t want to be like them (Equality = Learn To Code).

    Their chessboard is global. It’s ‘managed growth,’ i.e. ‘efficiently’ managed by them, and their equally cosmopolitan color-coded counterparts worldwide.

    (….Oh, and like their foreign peers, they also want cheap, cheerful servants doing their drudge work. These can be Doordash skate kids, Hondurans, Bangalorese, robot dogs or schoolteachers. But hey, the mopes can learn to code in the evenings, or their kids can [shrug] and start climbing the meritocracy pyramid. Bootstraps! TINA!)

    The PMC now owns the Democratic party agenda, with the exception of a few largely ethnic ‘patronage machine’ districts that need to be paid off the old fashioned way (*Local* machines, with *local* elites in charge. Take note of that. The Obamas did).

    BTW, this explains why so many of what we used to think of as ‘conservative’ Republican technocrats — Spookdom, the MIC and much of globalist corporate America that doesn’t have local roots (see below) are now aligned with Democrats, pyramid climbing, playing the networking game and pulling the strings. If you are in upper management in any global institution, today’s Democratic party represents Your Interests, even with all the IdPol genuflections and other friction it demands.

    2. THE BARONS. What Lambert has properly flagged as the ‘gentry’. Their political power is rooted in economic power and property rights: control of land, resources, etc. Starting in the late 18th century, large farmers and planters began to be overshadowed by wealthy local merchants, mill owners, etc. Their chessboard is local. By design, it is hard for an outsider to penetrate, or even view.

    The GOP has unfailingly represented the interests of these people ever since its founding. At core, these interests amount to (a) ‘keep Big Gubmint (and other meddlers like unions, health inspectors etc.) out of our pockets and mine pits! (b) bring Gubmint pork home (highways, defense plants, etc. subsidized by others, but we reap the benefits).

    …But in America since about 1970 the once powerful business owners’ group has been gutted by large global corporations (Walmart/ Amazonization). A lot of other local gentry have cashed out to Big Ag, etc., so their property interests as rentiers are now global, no longer local.
    Today it seems to consist heavily of service contractors (the Supercab set) who, you guessed it, are a fixture at Trump rallies (including the January 6th affray).
    That is the group who will drive the agenda of the future GOP. But it has its work cut out for it, because whoever it elects can be easily bought off by globalist PMC money.

    But that’s always been the flaw of the GOP, and local baronies in general, their vision is narrow and selfish, and they are susceptible to being divided and conquered.

    1. Phemfrog

      Wow, I really like this framing. It makes a lot of sense when you look at who supports who. Thanks. I’m going to save it.

  21. ObjectiveFunction

    (Extending remarks)

    > A lot of other local gentry have cashed out to Big Ag, etc., so their property interests as rentiers are now global, no longer local

    …. And even when the ‘Third Generation’ has cashed out from, say, coal mining* and gone into, say, golf course development in the Sun Belt of AL, their capital is still no longer local, oh no. They are levered up 4:1 to the banking Borg, and that’s whose agenda will be served going forward…. although I guess the local Hunter B fratboy golfing with the Zoning Board always helps with ‘risk mitigation’.

    * @Yves, I don’t know if you know of the Drummond family of Birmingham. Worth a few minutes on Google.

  22. SouthSideGT

    “Those long-standing GOP priorities include limited government, strong national defense of American interests abroad, religious values and, perhaps most importantly, ordinary political personalities.”

    AFAIK, the GOP only believes in lowering taxes for the already wealthy, deregulation for their industries and privatization for the government.

    The current Texas energy crisis is how that nearly religious belief in the GOP tenets above works out.

    The task for the Biden Administration is to convince voters that government works and can accomplish things that benefit working people and the poor. If not, then yeah, some “ordinary political personality” will AGAIN be able to successfully sell tax cuts, deregulation and privatization to weary American voters who don’t get blocked from voting.

  23. Sound of the Suburbs

    The UK lashed out and placed the blame on the EU because no one had the faintest idea what the real problem was.

    Free markets, free trade and EU membership will bring us all prosperity.
    Did you mean ten years of austerity?
    Obviously something had gone badly wrong.

    “Try and pretend it never happened” the Remainers
    Oh dear, they are not going to get very far that way.

    You need to place the blame somewhere and then explain how you’ll fix it.
    The Conservatives blamed it on the EU and everything would be fine after Brexit.
    This is where the trouble starts, because the EU wasn’t actually the problem.

    You can’t just say the status quo is fine, when it isn’t.
    Liberals really need to start putting a bit more effort in to find out what is causing today’s problems.
    Populists just have to find a scapegoat, and say they have found the problem.
    Trump just had to find some scapegoats to blame and the next thing you know he was the President of the US.
    Liberals don’t seem to know how to fix things.

    In fact, the (neo)-liberals have never really had the faintest idea what they are doing.
    Things started going wrong pretty much from day one in the UK.

    What happened in 1979?
    The UK eliminated corset controls on banking in 1979, the banks invaded the mortgage market and this is where the problem starts.
    The transfer of existing assets, like real estate, doesn’t add to GDP, so debt rises faster than GDP until you get a financial crisis.

    It’s the economics that is the problem.

    The economics of globalisation has always had an Achilles’ heel.
    The 1920s roared with debt based consumption and speculation until it all tipped over into the debt deflation of the Great Depression. No one realised the problems that were building up in the economy as they used an economics that doesn’t look at debt, neoclassical economics.
    Not considering private debt is the Achilles’ heel of neoclassical economics.

    They don’t see the problems developing in private debt.
    They don’t know the problems are caused by private debt.
    They try and cure private debt problems with more private debt using monetary policy.

    Right wing populists use the same economics so they don’t stand a chance either, but they find scapegoats to blame.
    They look as though they might have some idea how to fix things, even though they haven’t.

    1. Sound of the Suburbs

      I am a London Remainer, and we weren’t affected by austerity so we just forgot all about it.
      That’s hardly our fault, is it?

  24. Min

    The so-called populism of Trumpism and the Republican Party is one that divides the people, because it is the populism of “real” Americans. “Real” Americans are White Christians. This is the result of the Southern strategy. The GOP is not overtly racist, but it welcomed racists into the fold, as long as they were politically correct enough for deniability. Just as in the Old South, Republican elites use racism to drive a wedge between members of the working class and poor, and to give the White Christian working class a target for their resentment. This is a version of a three person game called “Let’s You and Him Fight.”

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