The Dead Consensus Is Even Deader

Who is more delusional?

Is it the QAnon crowd or the Reaganite dead enders?

National Review:

“Trump exposed the dead consensus and rot within the Republican Party, opening the door for a new, more populist GOP.” It’s the mantra of a certain kind of conservative, and their favorite piece of evidence is the following scatterplot of voter ideology in the 2016 election, constructed by the Voter Study Group during the 2016 election. …”

This scatterplot from the Voter Study Group captured a moment in time when Donald Trump was at the height of his appeal with populist voters. It was before he started governing.

I’ve kept up with their work over the past four years.

In the 2018 midterms, Donald Trump wasn’t on the ballot and Republicans ran on Paul Ryan’s Better Way agenda and control of the lost the House. This was because populist voters who are moderate on economics and restrictionist on immigration didn’t support House Republicans.

In the 2020 election, a preliminary study found that the populist share of the electorate shrank along with Trump’s margin with populist voters. He won them 3-to-1 in 2016 and 2-to-1 in 2020. Trump’s appeal increased among conservatives while declining among Independent voters.

Let’s respond to the points raised:

  1. The Voter Study Group found that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was extremely unpopular. It has remained unpopular. It was one of the most unpopular policies of the last twenty years. Insofar as Donald Trump never followed Paul Ryan off the “entitlement reform” cliff, it worked to his political advantage. The Republican effort to repeal Obamacare hurt Trump in the polls.
  2. The vast majority of Americans do not think the free market is working for them. 76% of American voters think our economy is rigged to favor the rich and powerful. 6% strongly disagree. Only 16% even somewhat disagree. The GOP lost the Senate by failing to deliver $2,000 stimulus checks. 81% of American voters supported a $2,000 stimulus check. Most Republicans even support monthly $2,000 checks now. The last Pew poll found 45% of the public supports Universal Basic Income and there is reason to believe support is even higher now after the Christmas debacle on the COVID relief bill that featured $600 checks.
  3. Donald Trump lost the 2020 election after signing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act which was an albatross around his neck. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler lost. House Republicans lost the 2018 midterms. Cory Gardner was easily defeated in the 2020 election. The politics of wealth redistribution have shifted to the point where Marco Rubio came out in support of $2,000 stimulus checks.
  4. There is no reason to believe that moving away from libertarianism or mainstream conservatism would be politically damaging. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue lost their Senate races more decisively than Donald Trump lost Georgia and it was due to the $2,000 checks issue. 63% of voters now favor universal health care including over a third of Republicans. The public is souring on performance art deficit hawk politics. Even Republicans are souring on conservatism.

The electorate is less supportive of the “dead consensus” in 2021.

The 2018 midterms were the demographic tipping point. The Silent Generation and Boomers are no longer a majority of voters. The constituency for Reaganism has continued to shrink as Silent Generation voters and Boomers have died over the past four years. It is populism or bust for the GOP.

BTW, the cost of the GOP not embracing a more populist policy agenda and feeding its voters performance art and conspiracy theories was not only the loss of the White House and Congress, but the Capitol Siege. It is far easier and politically sensible to just give voters what they continue to say in polls they want which is social conservatism and economic populism. The constituency on the Right for doing things the old way is down to somewhere between 25% and 35% of the American electorate.

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


  1. It would be nice to get a side by side of 2016 and 2020 respectively that shows the change visually over 4 years. Maybe a line graph scatter plot to show the change between different quadrants?

    It’s really unfortunate that the upper left quadrant isn’t more/the drift in that direction.

  2. In the last few weeks, NR has dropped the mask of tepid Trump support that it was wearing for the last four years and has gone back to rabid neocon/globalist ranting.

    Based on the comments on NRO, many readers have cancelled their NR subscriptions since the start of the year.

      • I believe they did give former President Trump a big applause for upgrading our envoy of antisemitism to full ambassador status. Nothing strange going on, a nation founded by White Christian people is now using our own money to persecute Whiteness globally while also acting as the antisemitism cop in far flung shitsholes worldwide. Nothing off there. My opinion is that your average person is shellshocked and hopeless. Nothing that is going on makes any sense if you are a normal rational person without a view of the bigger picture.

  3. “””…..Is it the QAnon crowd or the Reaganite dead enders?…..””””

    Reaganites. There is no argument for free markets what made everybody around the planet Earth poor.

    But we do not know yet how this blatant coup will play out. Somebody forced The Swamp horribly over react and threw illusion or democracy away.

    Yuuge things need Yuuge causes. Stalin let Jews loot the country for a decade before he launched his purges. in 1937. And second time, Russians let their country loot 9 years from 1991 to 2000 before strongmen put Putin in charge.

    Nobody cares about Hillary emails or Biden laptop or .even Q. Something very very serious must happen before average Joe agrees that some serious measures must taken against Jews and communists.

    Future is important. What happens tomorrow, is irrelevant. Our dissident made this mistake. Our leaders overthrew Soviet Union. Polish nationalist Lech Walesa fought entire life to get rid from Soviet Union. Now he is 77 years old and fighting with European Union.

    Main struggle is not getting our guy to charge for a while Main struggle is end up this eternal left right crap forever and get The Enemy permanently gone.

    For general information. Most national of every other nation nationalists , real Nazis, hanging around with Adolph stuff and fighting in the real war, Ukraine Azov Battalion fighters rumored to made co operation with your Antifa on your capitol.

    Were Nazi crimes in the WW II real ? Well, Adolph united the nation, so genetic white liberals became the nation too. They committed all atrocities and now average German is responsible. Like average Christian is responsible for witch burning because back there there was no Antifa, so genetic white liberals were forced to join the church to burn racists and homophobes.

    The Donald with his flipflopping and the Q may be smarter as most of us think. Understanding is important.

    • Not sure what your point is there, Juri old chap, but it’s more garbled than the borders of the former Yugoslavia.

  4. It’s just not economics, Trump’s behavior also turned off a lot of swing voters.

    Being “populist” isn’t enough or else Lauren Witzke wouldn’t have gotten blown out so hard.

  5. These arguments worked on people in the 80s when they saw the USSR getting poorer and America getting “richer” (not really, but it appeared to be).

    Today it’s a hard sell because people can all see the USA becoming worse and worse, and the American people falling into poverty for decades, while China has massive growth and pulls their people out of poverty. We can all see American infrastructure falling apart in our daily lives, then go watch videos of China’s massive infrastructure projects, high speed rails, cutting edge telecommunications tech installed across the country, etc.

    “Socialism sucks” is not a convincing slogan under the current conditions.

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