From the “old right” to the alt-right: How the conservative ideology of FDR’s day fueled the rise of TrumpRoundup
tags: FDR, election 2016, Trump
The idea that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is not a conservative or that his rise has nothing to do with the conservative movement was ludicrous on its face from the very beginning.
Sure, Trump is an unorthodox candidate in various ways, but he appeals directly to generations of racial, gender and ethno-nationalist resentments that the conservative movement had repeatedly stoked in its unending quest for power — as I’ve written about in the wake of Ferguson and after Trump’s first black-outreach fiasco.
Trump emerged in a period of flux when no one was quite sure what a conservative was anymore — opposing Barack Obama seemed unquestionably central — and he first made his play for power by striking at the root, seeking to own the birther issue. Sure, he said things that no conservative would normally say. He was an outsider. But as Corey Robin wrote for Salon in March:
Outsiders like [Edmund] Burke or [Margaret] Thatcher — even Donald Trump, who’s never been a Republican, much less an officeholder — have always been necessary to the right. They know how the insiders look to ordinary people — and how they need to look.
Over the last half year or so, various people have drawn a sharper line. In July, I wrote about Trump’s affinity in general for the branch of right-wing ideology known as “paleoconservatism” and in particular for the ideas of William Lind, a key figure in the recent paleoconservative resurgence.