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Sat May 7, 2016, 12:26 PM

Vox - Paleoconservatism, the movement that explains Donald Trump

Short version: David Brooks, David Frum are dead. Long live Sean Hannity, Pat Buchanan.


But the ideological vision Trump put forward during the Republican primary campaign was deeply conservative, and, more specifically, deeply paleoconservative. The paleoconservatives were a major voice in the Republican Party for many years, with Pat Buchanan as their most recent leader, and pushed a line that is very reminiscent of Trumpism.

They adhere to the normal conservative triad of nationalism, free markets, and moral traditionalism, but they put greater weight on the nationalist leg of the stool leading to a more strident form of anti-immigrant politics that often veers into racism, an isolationist foreign policy rather than a hawkish or dovish one, and a deep skepticism of economic globalization that puts them at odds with an important element of the business agenda.

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The '90s anti-immigrant panic, and the era's high-profile trade deals, made Buchanan and the paleocons' views on those issues appealing to base Republicans tired of pro-trade, pro-migration GOPers. Mainstream conservatives attacked Buchanan as an anti-Semite, which he is; in 1990 he infamously insisted that 850,000 Jews couldn't have died at Treblinka from diesel fumes. But it wasn't enough to keep him from winning the 1996 New Hampshire primary and emerging as Bob Dole's most serious opposition that year.

After Buchanan's loss then, and turn to the Reform Party in 2000, the paleocon movement descended into irrelevance and, worse, more open bigotry than ever before. John Derbyshire, perhaps the last real paleocon left at National Review, was canned in 2012 after writing a piece addressed to children full of advice like, "Avoid concentrations of blacks not all known to you personally," "Stay out of heavily black neighborhoods," and, "If planning a trip to a beach or amusement park at some date, find out whether it is likely to be swamped with blacks on that date."

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Reply Vox - Paleoconservatism, the movement that explains Donald Trump (Original post)
TomCADem May 2016 OP
Shandris May 2016 #1
TomCADem May 2016 #2
Shandris May 2016 #3
TomCADem May 2016 #4

Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Sat May 7, 2016, 03:26 PM

1. The 90s anti-immigrant panic? What was that?


I certainly don't remember it, but that was part of my darkest period too so that's not entirely a surprise. Still, I'm coming up short.

Watch, it'll be something so obvious I'll smack my forehead, but...

Oh wait, that's not the 'Japan is taking over' thing is it?

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Response to Shandris (Reply #1)

Sat May 7, 2016, 05:28 PM

2. Remember Prop 187?

At the time, it was in vogue for right wing politicians to campaign against services to immigrants. Republican Pete Wilson became Governor by pushing Prop 187 in CA.

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Response to TomCADem (Reply #2)

Sat May 7, 2016, 06:03 PM

3. AHA! Thank you. Now I do indeed remember it, although it didn't get a LOT of mention...


...in Indiana (at least that I saw), but yeah now I remember. Thank you.

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Response to Shandris (Reply #3)

Sat May 7, 2016, 10:47 PM

4. LA Times - On immigration, Donald Trump takes a page from Pete Wilson's 1994 playbook

Here is an article form last year (July 2015) that made this point that far from being an outlier, Donald Trump seemed to be following a path blazed by former Governor Pete Wilson. I participated in rallies opposing Proposition 187. It is true that Donald Trump has eschewed the racial dog whistle for a bullhorn, but he is generally replicating the same GOP playbook, which was very successful for Pete Wilson. Wilson pushed for the passage of Prop 187, a 1994 ballot measure that would have denied education and other public services to immigrants in the country illegally, but was overturned in court.

Of course, do we really want to place our faith in the Federal Courts and a Republican Congress to protect us against the excesses of a Donald Trump? If the courts had not overturned Proposition 187, millions of undocumented immigrants would have suffered.


More than two decades have passed since Republican Gov. Pete Wilson aired a television ad showing Mexicans scurrying across the border as an announcer declared, "They keep coming: 2 million illegal immigrants in California."

Wilson's short-term gain he won both reelection and passage of a ballot measure to deny public services to immigrants in the country illegally was soon outweighed by a devastating Latino backlash that turned California into a Democratic stronghold.

So there was a flashback quality to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's hour-long denunciation of illegal immigration at a campaign stop Friday in Beverly Hills.

The New York real estate mogul accused Mexico's leaders of "ripping off the United States" in lopsided trade deals and professed grudging admiration for their "cunning" ways.

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