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(Local) Fear of a Red Hat

There are any number of fears that occasionally grip people, however unfounded those fears, of snakes, of spiders, of black cats, etc. (Snakes play an important ecological role, some cultures think spiders are good luck, and black cats are beautiful with notably soft coats.) And yet, and yet… no fear strikes deeper and holds tighter…

Whither the Conservative Populists?

In places big and small, including Whitewater, there are three main types of conservatives: traditional, transactional, and populist. (Right-wing populist in our time is mostly a euphemism for Trumpist.) Of these types, only the right-wing populists are a dynamic movement. Traditional conservatives each day look more like large reptiles after a cataclysmic meteor strike, and…

Conservative Populism Moves in One Direction Only

While there’s more than one kind of conservative Republican (traditionalist, transactionalist, or populist), it’s the populists who are the most numerous and most demanding. Over time, they’ve pushed other kinds of conservatives – even transactionalists who are behind-the-scenes manipulators – into subordinate positions. (See generally Whitewater’s Local Politics 2021.) These rightwing populists have outlasted Trump,…

Frontline: Trump’s American Carnage

In the wake of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, FRONTLINE investigates how Donald Trump’s presidency laid the groundwork for bitter divisions, violence and ultimately insurrection. “Trump’s American Carnage” investigates Trump’s siege on his enemies, the media and even the leaders of his own party, who for years ignored the warning signs of what…

Ron Johnson Attracts Attention

The Never Trump conservatives at the Lincoln Project aren’t going away: they have lingering Trumpism in their sights. U.S. Senator Ron Johnson – who accepts every conspiracy theory but rejects Wisconsin’s certified electoral votes for president – has caught their attention. .@RonJohnsonWI I wanted to let you know what we are talking about at @ProjectLincoln…

2020: ‘But Not Just That’

Tim Miller – who is always worth reading, writes of 2020 as The Worst. But Not Just That. These paragraphs resonate: Most importantly, 2020 will always be the year that we joined together and toppled the greatest threat that our fragile union has faced in many decades. Turning out more people to vote against the president-strongman…

The Libertarian Remnant

Shikha Dalmia is a libertarian, and as a libertarian who is true to those beliefs, she is necessarily opposed to the authoritarianism of Trump and in Trumpism. Because the definition of libertarianism has been distorted beyond any true meaning by opportunistic or ignorant rightwing donors, she’s lost her job Reason magazine. Conservative donors pay the…

Before Man & Movement, That Which Paved the Way

Trump did not spring from the ground; he did not fall from the stars. Neither horticulture nor astrophysics played any role in his rise. Before Trump and Trumpism, there were towns and cities into which he and his movement found receptive audiences. Patients already ill are often susceptible of worse maladies. So it has been…

Man and Movement

There’s Trump and then there’s Trumpism. The first (an ignorant, bigoted autocrat) has been defeated, the second (a nativism in the tradition of Know Nothings, Confederates, Klan, and Bund) will carry on. See Trump’s GOP Is Increasingly Racist and Authoritarian—and Here to Stay (‘Having already forsaken Republican principles and policies, his supporters are now willing to forsake…

They’ve Become What They Once Despised

The greatest tragedies are injuries inflicted on the innocent. There are, however, other sad moments of our time, among them the collapse of responsibile conservatism into Trumpian irresponsibility & dishonesty. So many conservatives have become what they once despised. A local example would be proud conservatives who now insist, nationally or locally, that government is…

Trump’s Refusal: Explanations Particular and General

There’s more than one explanation for Trump’s refusal to concede: that he cannot manage the narcissistic insult of defeat, that he wants to support Georgia’s Republicans in a January 5th runoff, or that he wants to bolster his chances of a following after January 20th (for a television network, another campaign, or simply to vacuum…