Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Donald Trump is the real ideological heir to George W. Bush

Matt Yglesias makes an interesting point Donald Trump is the real ideological heir to George W. Bush.

In their signature editorial "Against Trump," the editors of National Review complained that "Trump has shown no interest in limiting government, in reforming entitlements, or in the Constitution" and that Trump's obsession with winning reflects "a spirit that is anathema to the ordered liberty that conservatives hold dear and that depends for its preservation on limits on government power."

He goes on to point out that "Muslims are the new gays"; that both W and Trump were about tax cuts but not necessarily smaller government; and nationalism, though Trump's is inward vs the neocons external power projection.

The theme of the 2004 campaign was that "Democrats were weak, indecisive, and vaguely foreign" (remember french speaking Kerry?), not that they were "insufficiently committed to the precepts of Burke or Hayek." As Trump now says, they're losers.

But the key continuity is that Trump realizes — in a way that neither Jeb nor Marco Rubio nor the Republican establishment writ large do — that nationalism rather than philosophical commitment to small government is at the core of conservative politics.

The GOP mainstream responded to the failures of Bushism by keeping the same failed foreign policy but trying to ditch the flexibility on spending, even though there's never been any indication that spending money on farmers, oldsters, and schools is unpopular.

I'm not quite sure what to make of it but he also points out something I hadn't realized before: "But it seems noteworthy that Trump isn't publicly feuding with other Republican Party leaders. There are no high-profile clashes with Paul Ryan, no backbiting from Mitch McConnell, and no snarky putdowns of Mitt Romney."

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