Trump’s Populist Record

Even this is painting an overly rosy picture of Trump’s populist record.


“Although Joe Biden advertised himself as a “transitional candidate” during the 2020 campaign, Donald Trump will probably be remembered as the transitional president. The issues his 2016 campaign raised, such as deindustrialization and competition with China, will continue to shape policy for the foreseeable future. Trump may also have paved the way for a different GOP than the one that has lost seven of eight presidential popular votes since 1988. But after one chaotic term, that future will be decidedly post-Trumpian rather than Trumpian.

The transitional character of the Trump administration is reflected in the missed opportunities that marked its economic policy record. The administration’s approach to issues ranging from taxes to trade to health care and beyond was often self-contradictory and incoherent. Throughout the Trump presidency, Republicans kept at least one foot firmly within the boundaries of conservative orthodoxy, even as parts of the administration and some in Congress began tentatively exploring the “populist” directions outlined in the 2016 campaign. Any attempt to evaluate Trump’s economic legacy must begin by separating these opposing strands. Doing so may also shed some light on the emerging debates over the post-Trump future in both parties. …”

New York Times:

“Indeed, with the exception of the First Step Act (criminal-justice reform), Congress proved remarkably unresponsive to popular opinion during the last four years. The tax law was the second-least popular piece of legislation of the last quarter century. The least popular also came in Mr. Trump’s term, in 2017: the attempted repeal of the Affordable Care Act. …

Today, it seems that the more attention a populist (or any other) policy proposal receives, the less likely it is to be implemented. Fewer than 20 miles of new, primary construction were completed on Mr. Trump’s notorious border wall, while immigration legislation like the Raise Act went nowhere. High-profile left-populist proposals like “Medicare for all” also seem to have stalled out. …”

In the 2016 election, immigration was the cornerstone of the MAGA agenda. It was the primary reason that populists were sucked into the Donald Trump personality cult and voting for the GOP. Now that the Donald Trump presidency is over, what was accomplished over the past four years?

Kate Steinle’s Killer

Status: Acquitted


Status: Intact


Status: Went nowhere in the Republican Congress

Sanctuary Cities

Status: Intact

Source: CIS

Legal Immigration

Status: Unchanged

2017: 1,127,167

2018: 1,096,611

2019: 1,031,765

Source: DHS Lawful Permanent Residents 2019

Illegal Immigration

Status: Unchanged

2017: 303,916

2018: 396,579

2019: 851,508

2020: 400,651

Source: United States Border Patrol

Source: United States Border Patrol

ICE Removals (Deportations)

Status: Unchanged

2017: 226,119 removals

2018: 256,085 removals

2019: 267,258 removals

H-2A Visas (Temporary Agricultural Workers)

Status: Unchanged

2017: 200,049 

2018: 242,762

2019: 257,667

2020: 275,430

H-2B Visas

Status: Temporarily impacted by COVID-19 pandemic

2017: 83,600

2018: 83,774

2019: 96,000*

H-1B Visas

Status: Temporarily impacted by COVID-19 pandemic

2017: 373,342

2018: 334,945

2019: 389,386

Border Wall

As of May 2015, DHS had installed:

  • 353 miles of Primary Pedestrian Fencing.
  • 36 miles of Secondary Fencing.
  • 14 miles of Tertiary Pedestrian Fencing.
  • 300 miles of Vehicle Fencing.

Status: 423 miles of the refurbished George W. Bush-era border fence has been completed on the U.S.-Mexico border. Some of the vehicle barriers have been replaced by fencing.

Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Remain In Mexico Policy

Status: A temporary bandaid that stemmed the total collapse of the border

Refugee Resettlement

Status: The only real success although this was nothing but a reprieve

Source: Pew Research Center

In sum, Donald Trump squandered his populist mandate on immigration in order to work with the GOP to pass Paul Ryan’s True Cons agenda on health care and tax cuts, which as Julius Krein notes were respectively the two most unpopular legislative initiatives of the past 25 years. The GOP Congress refused to fund Trump’s border wall in this period and to reform our immigration system.

Donald Trump himself evolved on immigration while in office. He said that he wanted legal immigrants to come to the United States “in the largest numbers ever.” He endorsed a DACA amnesty. He endorsed Jared Kushner’s plan to reform the legal immigration system by keeping immigration numbers neutral while only changing the composition of immigration to bring in more high-skilled workers for business interests. Finally, immigration all but disappeared during Trump’s 2020 campaign. In fairness, the issue disappeared on this website as well once it became clear that it was only being used as a wedge issue and as bait to sucker people into voting for the GOP to pass their real agenda.

The real agenda was corporate tax cuts and deregulation (the usual Republican neoliberalism), stock market cheerleading, tweaking the existing free trade agreements, criminal justice reform, “conservative” judges (read: a more pro-business judiciary), MIGA and bloated military budgets. Effectively, we got the same old three legged conservative stool of defense hawks, “fiscal conservatives” and social conservatism which gets an honorary mention but nothing of real value on the policy front.

Was any of this worth the grief that we got for supporting Donald Trump? Was it worth neglecting every other issue for the sake of voting on the basis of immigration only to find out that nothing was going to really change and that a con artist was only exploiting the issue for political gain?

About Hunter Wallace 12366 Articles
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Occidental Dissent


  1. Whatever Trump’s flaws, he reflects a wider, deeper discontent with the system. So it was definitely worth voting for him in 2016. At the very least, he forced our rulers to drop the mask.

    P.S. Zman has been hitting it out of the park lately with his post-election remarks.

    • Ripping the mask is absolutely the critical job every revolutionary must do before the Great Purge.

      Stalin prepared his famous trials also for years and very carefully. And let his victims to the high places. Like Donald also does

      Later he complained that he trusted the guy but the guy instead of working, committed terrible crimes. Like Donald does.

      Legitimacy is the only difference between tyrant terrorizing hardworking Government employees or righteous Head of the State punishing terrible criminals.

      Delegitimizing is always followed by Great Purge. Like in Soviet Union. Enemies everywhere, in the Government, in the court in the police and there was nothing poor Stalin could do.

      Finally angry people start demanding harsh methods for public enemies and after Kirov was shot, Stalin finally listened his people.

      Now we waiting 2 things, massive street rallies demanding action and then Kirov murder. Or Reichstag fire. Or something what our Swamp did , shit show with tanks on the street in 1991.

      • Soviet Purge was all Stalin. Absolutely no reason for it – pure malice. Even his most feared magnates like Beria, Yezhov and Molotov quaked in fear while he was alive, not knowing if they would be next.

        Stalin was far more competent and ruthless, politically and intellectually, than Trump. We don’t need a Stalin taking over the reigns of government here.

  2. But according to this CNN article that was designed as doom porn to rile up progressives, fascist dictator Trump has cut immigration in half and is imprisoning brown children in cages right now!!

    • Magatards always point to CNN doom porn articles as evidence Blumpf is super based. Apparently they are not fake news when they publish stories like that.

  3. There is obviously no political solution, because the “elites” do not care what the majority of American voters want. And apparently we can’t form a third party or begin the process of overthrowing the present system, because right wing homos like Anglin and his new sidekick Fuentes will say that “goon marches” are “cringe” and “bad optics”. So I guess we can all look forward to a continued deterioration of present circumstances, until the niggers are literally eating us alive and putting flaming tires around our necks for their amusement.

  4. A total of 12 miles of new wall were built where none previously existed. Nothing was done about birthright citizenship when the Recucks had power. It would appear that Whites are going to be swamped out of existence in North America.

  5. The sharp decline in refugees had nothing to do with keeping America American and everything to do with keeping antisemitic Arabs out. Once again patriotic White people are tricked into supporting a pro-Jewish policy.

  6. America’s downfall always comes through blacks. Slavery was an incredibly dumb move bringing blacks from Africa. Obviously most did not own slaves except for the most part, the rich. We had a civil war where many were maimed and killed. Blacks then became free. Complaints about blacks drunk and loitering in Dc goes back to literally the 1860s. The book ” Negroes in Negroland” is a pretty incredible book you can download free on the net discussing such things as well as what White colonialists saw in Africa including the eating of human body parts, a long thriving black run slave trade, witchcraft routinely practiced including the slaughter of up to 1000 Africans by African leaders to go on ” spiritual journeys” when an African tribal leader died.

    The civil rights movement has led to what exactly? Blacks destroying tons of schools and neighborhoods. Blacks stealing votes for decades right up to this past election.

    You know a nation is falling to garbage when we make black people our idols. Be it on Tv, be it entertainers, ballplayers or even the love affair with disgusting, mostly communist black politicians. Blacks are also some of the most fraudulent Christians on the planet.

    I was watching some videos of a few European nations and how nice some of them looked. Basically it was nice due to few blacks. I thought this is what large parts of America were like in the 1920s and 30s.

    These European places have no Al Sharpton types running around. No Spike Lee. No LeBron James or Naacp. And a heck of a lot less ghetto Tyrone and Laquasha. It’s just that simple. Blacks are like locusts ripping up a field. Sure, not all. But too many and it never ends.

    I see Biden just stuffing in black faces to top positions in a coming shitshow ghetto administration. Our jewsmedia will applaud it of course. Any remotely sane nation would look at America and say” diversity is a weakness and I want my country to look nothing like America.”

      • “He will bomb” if he is told to bomb. The new figurehead for the rule of Raytheon and the rest of the imperial war lobbies will do whatever he is told to do.

  7. Booooooooooooooooooo…



    Build the wall
    Make it tall
    Deport them all
    Allow no immigration at all

    Coulter could have done a much better job than that.
    Should have released the Coulter Kraken…

  8. Trump’s “populist” record keeps growing and growing: On election day in Venezuela two days ago, the U.S. made yet another attempt to assassinate the candidate it wanted to lose: The people of Venezuela are very obstinate, do not want to be re-colonized, and elected a socialist-majority legislature, rejecting the candidates favored by the U.S. (I also noticed on PressTV today that Iran is building its own automobiles now, independently, in spite of the U.S. blockade and sanctions: – and that independent (north) Korea has NO coronavirus AT ALL, while the capitalist U.S.-occupied southern half of Korea has a lot.)

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