Rich Lowry: Trump Is a Populist, Not a Conservative

Rich Lowry has a new article in Politico Magazine in which he explains why National Review devoted an entire issue to attacking Donald Trump:

“Our basic argument about Trump is simple and unassailable: He is a populist, not a conservative. Conservatism has always had a populist element, but it has been tethered to conservatism’s animating causes of liberty, limited government and the Constitution. Trump inveighs against elites and tramples on political pieties, but these causes are afterthoughts to him, at best.”

Once again, Lowry has reiterated that Trump is a populist, not a conservative. For decades, conservatives have exploited and harnessed popular grievances, not as an end-in-itself, not because they really intend to do anything about those grievances, but solely to mine those grievances and transform them into votes to advance their own agenda. This is what all the dog-whistling and token gestures has really been about. This is a confession from the editor of National Review that conservatism has never been anything more than a scam.

What has Trump ever done for us? He provoked Rich Lowry into admitting that “conservatism” has really always been about the tax cuts, free-trade, deregulation, open borders, union busting, and gutting popular social programs. It has always been about the rich man’s dream of rolling back the New Deal. It might gussy itself up in the flag or pretend that it feels the pain of ordinary people, but it has no higher ambition than to unshackle Wall Street and to carry water for the US Chamber of Commerce.

Note: National Review has attacked Mike Huckabee for the same reasons over the years here, here, here, here, here and here.

About Hunter Wallace 12387 Articles
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Occidental Dissent


  1. A tad off topic… I’m sensing that there are going to be some major protests/riots in Europe in the next few months. Not sure where it’s going to start, but I am sure it will spread to other countries very quickly.

      • Yes, protests about the obvious agenda within the EU to displace Whites in their homelands. They’ve taken it for granted that they can now flaunt their anti-White agendas out in the open and nobody will do anything about it. A Breivik-style meltdown times a hundred wouldn’t surprise me.

        • I’m leaning to an Assad victory over in Syria due to the carpet bombing from the coalition on isis and Russia on Al-Nusra and FSA… that said I have no idea if refugees in Europe now will return there. It’s turning out that the cologne mass sexual assault were committed by North Africans tho, and the Paris attacks by French born terrorists (home grown). The former might have been a white lie by the German media though.

    • I’m trying to gauge interest in organizing an Alt-Right/WN meet-up in Germany in the next few months, to observe the migrant-invader crisis first-hand and possibly to take part in direct action against the invaders.

      Anyone here interested? Let’s discuss.

  2. The George Bush administration was the ultimate expression of their plans. They had a candidate who was groomed by Karl Rove who put forth an image of being this tough gun toting cowboy who loved freedom, God and ‘murika and the quiet little church lady image of Laura Bush and it worked like a charm and the “rubes and yokels” fell for it.

    To add credibility to this they threw the rubes a few bones. Bush pushed for “faith based initiatives” which got the support of the evangelical leaders which were nothing more than paying these people to bring in people from Somalia and other third world shitholes. They also played games by supporting the defense of marriage act which they had no intentions of ever seeing passed. We of course got our “conservative” judges like Roberts.

    8 years of bamboozling rural America while they plundered the country with deregulation, tax cuts, bailouts and housing bubbles for the donor class while flooding America with the new voters they needed. It was extended through Obama and was supposed to be continued through a 2016 Clinton/Bush election cycle where Bush once again would dog whistle about God, guns and freedom. In the next couple of decades or so as this continued the demographics would change so that the New World Order could no longer be opposed through elections.

  3. Well i think he will get the nomination barring an intervention from a higher power.

    I think once that happens he will tone down everything and attempt to pull away Dem voters with a more considered tone. Obviously he is no fool and i suspect now he has a strategy for each stage of his bid.

  4. correction: Trump is pushing populist buttons, and that’s all. What Trump is, remains to be seen. Long-standing Trump Joke…((he’s on on an elevator at Trump Tower, door open, gorgeous bimbo is standing there…

    bim: “are you Donald Trump?”
    the D.: “yes I am”
    bim: “I’d like to suck your *!#^
    the D.: “what’s in it for me?”

    we need him to liquidate the Republiscam party. That’s all. And he’s doing fine

  5. The conservatives have had several decades and numerous opportunities to fix things, and at every turn it’s an EPIC FAIL on their part.

    Conservatism is done. It’s over.

    • Conservatism hasn’t been a total failure. It only looks that way if you define conservatism as preserving anything in the country worth caring about for future generations:

      1.) Conservatives invaded Iraq and blew up the Middle East to spread democracy there.

      2.) Conservatives allowed the border to collapse in order to debase the labor market with millions of illegal aliens.

      3.) Conservatives got their way on free-trade agreements and building George H.W. Bush’s New World Order with the WTO.

      4.) Conservatives dismantled regulation of the banking industry and financial sector.

      5.) Conservatives used the threat of outsourcing to undermine labor unions.

      6.) Conservatives were victorious in the Citizens United decision which gave eccentric billionaires the ability to debauch and corrupt elections with super PAC spending.

  6. National Review was allowing intelligent comments against the anti Trump campaign. Now they are in full neo Stalinist censoring mode.

  7. Does anyone have a link to the full anti Trump commentaries of the worst cuckservatives and Neo Conservatives? It’s important that we start compiling information to dox these terrible traitors, enemies.

  8. I’ve thought for quite awhile we don’t have a functioning two party system, what we have is a corporate oligarchy with two competing factions, what they argue over is patronage mostly, who’s going to be in charge. For most of the public, it doesn’t matter who’s in charge, there’s no real change is policy. The leadership agrees on ‘free trade’, cheap labor, low interest rates, cheap money, middle east invasions, mindless patriotism. The left sits on it’s ass and lets the ‘right’ start wars, and the ‘right’ sits on it’s ass and lets the left go forward with their crap social agenda, homosexual marriage, feminazis, etc.

    • ^This. There is really only one party and when administrations nominally change hands between the Dems and GOP it is really only the ruling oligarchs switching out the midfield squad.

  9. tax cuts, free-trade, deregulation, open borders, union busting, and gutting popular social programs

    Hunter, if you bothered to pay attention to politics for the last 30+ years, aside from open borders and your bs claim of “gutted popular social programs” (please name one social program that they gutted), tax cuts, union busting and deregulation have been popular within the Republican Party. Reagan won on tax cuts, Bush 41 lost on breaking his no new taxes pledge, and Bush 43 won on tax cuts. Tax cuts have been popular within the Republican Party for the last 35 years. And for the average Republican, their position on immigration has never changed. The fissures between the base and the GOP Establishment began in 2004 when Bush 43 started pushing amnesty. The GOP base has fought the GOPe tooth and nail for over the last 10 years over immigration. The GOP base has not changed their position on tax cuts, deregulation, union busting , etc. Trump has met them where there already were at on immigration and to a certain extent on political correctness. You need to get over yourself. The Repiblican Party doesn’t agree with you.

    • 1.) We have Ronald Reagan to thank for the 1984 IRCA amnesty, George H.W. Bush to thank for the Immigration Act of 1990, and George W. Bush for ignoring the border and repeatedly trying and failing to push “comprehensive immigration reform.” John McCain co-authored an amnesty bill, but was defeated in the 2008 election.

      2.) Here’s a graph which illustrates how the top marginal income tax rate has declined 70 percent in 1981 under Reagan to 35 percent under George W. Bush:

      3.) Here’s a graph which illustrates the decline in union membership caused primarily by free-trade agreements which export jobs overseas and right-to-work laws supported by the GOP:

      4.) Here’s a graph which illustrates the average US tariff on imports across history:

      • There is some truth to the Republican Party being the party of Big Business.

        The Reagan amnesty was horrible and I don’t think you will find any in the Republican base who thinks it’s a good idea.

        You’re confusing tax rates with overall taxation. You have to more than look at the tax rates but the overall tax code. Those rates may have been high but hardly anyone paid it. Why? Because (as I understand) the way the tax code was written a person could deduct just about anything under the sun. A better metric would be the percentage of income taxes paid by income group. Over the years, the percentage of taxes paid by the highest 1%-10% of income earners has actually increased.

        The tax rates may have deceased but so have the deductions. Look into the Tax Reform Act of 1986.

        There was no plan for full privatization of Social Security. The present value of the unfunded liabilities associated with SS is $14T. Unlike what most people believe, there are no savings associated with SS. It’s a pay as you go system. For years excess taxes were paid into SS (around $100B/yr). Congress spent the money and wrote IOUs to the Social Security Administration. The “privatization” plan was to use the excess taxes to allow people to use ~2% of their payroll taxes to invest into private securities. Nothing was being gutted. People who were on it or about to be on it would have no changes. Bill Clinton proposed something similar in the 90s during one of his SOTU speeches. His proposal was to have government invest into private securities with no individual accounts. I didn’t like either proposal because they would bring government into the corporate board room. Government would be a major stock holder in many corporations. However, if anyone likes SS it needed to be changed somewhat to have a savings/asset accrual aspect to it rather than a pay as you go system. Even if it was just having the government purchase tangible goods that could then be sold at a later date to pay for future retirees.

        • 1.) Of course it is the party of Big Business.

          Why else would the GOP go to such lengths to antagonize their own base over immigration? Why would they pick that scab over and over again? It is a testament to the strength of the chokehold that business interests have over the party that Trump’s issues haven’t already been co-opted.

          2.) The top marginal income tax rate declined from 70 percent to 35 percent under George W. Bush – that was the greatest accomplishment of “conservatism” which succeeded in accomplishing its real agenda.

          3.) The relative share of income taxes paid by the wealthy has declined because more working class and middle class households have been dropped off the tax rolls. Still, there is a huge difference in paying 70 percent and 35 percent in taxes for the wealthiest households.

          4.) As for Social Security, the Republicans haven’t succeeded in privatizing it only because doing so is so wildly unpopular. It is not for a lack of will to do so on their part. They have managed to convince Middle America to pour its life savings into Wall Street mutual funds in order to tether workers to the gyrations of the stock market and the interests of large investors.

          • The Republican Party has *always* been the party of big business. Lincoln was a utility, railroad, and tariff and taxes corporate lawyer who advocated for the “wage” system of free labor as opposed to slavery, the establishment of land grant colleges to train those wage laborers, and massive government spending on canals, railroads (the Transcontinental being a keystone accomplishment of his presidency) and all sorts of public works in support of the magnates of the Industrial Revolution.

          • Get your facts together. The top income tax rate did not decrease from 70% to 35% under GWB. It decreased from 70% to 50% during Reagan’s 1st term, from 50% to 28% during his 2nd term, from 28% to 31% during Bush 41, from 31% to 39.6% during Clinton, from 39.6% to 35% during GWB, and it’s back to 39.6% today. Leftist (including you) threw a hissy fit over the top income tax rate being reduced by 4.6%. And you are right, many lower and middle class families have little to no income tax burden. That’s because Republicans have removed it. They lowered rates, increased the tax exemption and increased the child tax credit. Their greatest accomplishment with regards to taxes is removing the income tax burden for many working families.

            And with regards to SS, I give exactly zero f***s about what’s popular with a bunch of ignorant and misinformed voters. People like getting free shit. What else is new? But understand this Mr Populist, roughly 75% of the population are biological dependents. Women, for example, are biologically driven to seek both resources and security. This is not ideology, it’s biology. That’s why they shouldn’t be allowed to vote. Prior to women’s suffrage democracy was limited to voting by White men. There wasn’t one man one vote. It was one vote per family with the man voting for the family. And aside from Asians, most non Whites lack agency to secure adequate resources for themselves. So of course they will always vote for social welfare programs. Once again, this has been determined by biology and not ideology.

          • 1.) Yeah, I know.

            That’s my point. The top marginal income tax rate declined from 70 percent under Reagan to 35 percent under George W. Bush. In other words, Republicans used their power to cut taxes for the wealthy, which was the real agenda all along. Rich people are paying far less in taxes than they were when Reagan was elected president.

            2.) Maybe voters aren’t ignorant and misinformed? Maybe they assume correctly that the Republican Party exists to make life easier for Big Business and the wealthy and that every cause that the GOP claims to support is there just to get to the 50 percent mark.

            3.) I know it is a radical idea that public policy should be crafted to benefit the majority of the population rather than just a pampered, monied elite.

          • 1. In terms of percentage of income taxes paid the wealthy pay a high percentage of the overall taxes than when tax rates were higher. As I previously stated, you cannot just look at tax rates. You need to compare the tax codes. There are significant differences in the tax code between now and the 70s. There was bipartisan support Reagan’s tax cuts. Both his major tax cuts passed Tip O’neill’s House of Representtves. And Bush’s tax cuts received support from Diane Feinstein and Bob Torecelli, both liberal Democrats. There aren’t any Democrats who are calling for a 70% top marginal tax rate. Obviously they are not as much of a Bolshevik as you are. The difference between Republicans and Democrats is 35% and 39.6%.

            2. I would find that hard to believe since far more people are vested into the stock market than they were 50 years ago. Furthermore, most people don’t understand how SS works. Most believe that it’s government holding on to their money for them. The reality is that it is a pay as you go system where trillions of dollars have been transferred by not one cent has been actually saved. And why do you now have a problem with Big Business? You are the one who has stated that you are for government/business partnerships. Wouldn’t this just be another one of those partnerships? What if instead of investing in the stock market, excess SS taxes were used to recapitalize domestic manufacturing in exchange for equity? I’m not in favor of this policy but it at least it would have introduced a savings/asset actual component to SS. I know that it is a radical idea for real savings to be used to pay for future consumption.

            3. If it were easy to devise policies that benefitted a majority of Americans it would have already been done. The fact is in a country of over 300 million people spread out far and wide, there are numerous internal conflicts. For example, your tariff policy will benefit people in the upper Midwest but will hurt consumers, exporters and people who work in industries that are dependent on foreign investment. I don’t care which policy you choose, just understand that the results are a mixed bag. That’s why there are hardly any protectionist within the Democratic or Republican Parties. Not even Trump is a protectionist. He calls himself a free but fair trader. If your policy proposals would help a majority of Americans, people would gladly throw out the Constitution and declare you dictator for life. But I don’t think that the case.

    • My argument is that the “conservative” media stirs up populist outrage about various issues – SJWs being the most recent example – solely to capture that energy and channel it into votes which create electoral majorities that further their neo-liberal economic agenda.

      The GOP position on immigration, trade, unions, taxes, deregulation, and spending are simply a reflection of the preferences of the wealthy and the business community. The Republicans have only “failed” in the sense that ordinary people expected them to deliver on issues like immigration, abortion, gay marriage, affirmative action and so on.

      In reality, the Republicans have been very successful in pushing their financial agenda whenever they have the power to do so.

  10. That a magazine that published such traditionalist authors as Donald Davidson, Richard Weaver, Russell Kirk, and Mel Bradford in the 1950’s and 60’s has sunk to such depths under Lowry would infuriate me except I have come to the conclusion that Buckley’s embrace of a conservative “fusionist” movement only published such men as a ruse to lure true rightists to the military-congressional-industrial complex’s anti-communist crusade. I am absolutely convinced that National Review magazine was a CIA funded enterprise right from the start.

Comments are closed.