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Trumpism

Steve Nass: Troll-King in Autumn

For many years, Steve Nass, as a state representative (now a state senator) was a notable farthest-to-the-right Wisconsin politician. The bête noire of liberals and universities, he was the state’s unmatched troll, criticizing the center-left time and again. Nass was a right-wing populist long before Trump.  He was the great troll-king of Wisconsin, firing florid press releases…

(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…

Miller’s Gutter on Gettr

Jason Miller, former Trump spokesman, deadbeat dad, and accused harasser is behind a Twitter alternative called Gettr. Having explored it briefly, one can say the site is a poorly designed social-media gutter. See also The Latest Pro-Trump Twitter Clone Leaks User Data on Day 1 and The Pro-Trump Social Network Has an Anime Porn Problem. Gettr has low-quality…

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,…

Sen. Ron Johnson: ‘An all-access purveyor of misinformation’

Ron Johnson, one of the two United States senators representing Wisconsin, has earned a new epithet: BROOKFIELD, Wis. — Senator Ron Johnson incited widespread outrage when he said recently that he would have been more afraid of the rioters who rampaged the Capitol on Jan. 6 had they been members of Black Lives Matter and…

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…

Consequences, Accountability, Repentance, Redemption

David Frum, writing of Trump & Trumpism in The Conservative Cult of Victimhood, observes that There is no redemption without repentance. There is no repentance without accountability. There is no accountability without consequences. He rightly concludes that for the Trumpists, the absence of a moral order of accountability and repentance has meant that Even as Trump commits…

Confederates, Copperheads, and Conservatives

It’s an understatement to say that a democratic society that endures a violent mob seizing its capitol building is a society in distress. We find ourselves in the twenty-first century facing movements as malevolent and mendacious as the nineteenth century’s Confederates and Copperheads. Karen L. Cox writes What Trump Shares With the ‘Lost Cause’ of the…