The Argument: Can Republicans Make Populism Work Without Trump?


In the latest episode of The Argument, Ross Douthat, Michael Brendan Dougherty and Jane Coaston debate the meaningless term that is “Trumpism.” The same people have been around throughout the entire post-Cold War era nursing the same grievances against neoliberalism. The difference is that Donald Trump brought them out of the Center and into the Republican Party and shifted the demographic balance of power within the GOP away from the True Cons or Free Marketeer wing in the process.

Donald Trump isn’t the president anymore. Trump voters are still in control of the GOP. The Market Skeptic Republicans, Country First Conservatives and New Era Enterprisers are now the dominant force inside the GOP while the True Cons or Free Marketeers have become the minority wing. After the 2020 election, Trump voters are even more dominant and radicalized than was the case just a year ago. The demographic base of the GOP establishment has shrunk down to 10% to 15% of Republican voters.

Focusing on Trump is pointless because lots of politicians have come and gone over the past thirty years. The CPAC poll showed that 95% of the people there wanted to continue Trump’s policies, 68% wanted Trump to run again and only 55% were committed to voting for him. The AEI/YouGov poll showed that 64% of Trump voters say their racial identity is important with 40% saying it is very or extremely important and 87% are concerned about the growth of anti-White discrimination.

In the YouGov survey, 30% of Trump voters said they had no problem with White Nationalists. 20% said that their racial identity was “extremely important.” Makes you wonder who those people are. They have the same beliefs, values, priorities and even enemies as White Nationalists.






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  1. >Can Republicans Make Populism Work Without Trump

    Nope. The average right-winger is a moron. We can’t fix stupid!

    Most contards are “too proud” to loaf around and take a handout. Better to keep transferring wealth up to our fellow white people! And the massive military budget — we don’t need that loot for ourselves, we must defend America’s standing with its greatest ally, ahem, in the world! Who cares what all of the other white countries do — that’s soshalism! Even from OD commenters I see this shit.

    Conservatism is just group therapy for the dispossessed. That’s why there is so much waterpark racism and conspiratorial thinking and enthusiasm for lost causes and so little enthusiasm for corrective action — taxing the rich and taking the gibs. The GOP sells the illusion that America is still our country, or we can take it back, and idiots just gobble up the words and the symbolism. I wouldn’t be surprised if the GOP took back Congress in 2022 running on Mr. Potato Head and Dr. Seuss.

    The American Empire is not your friend! Viking Mindset!

  2. One of my problems with so many commentators here, and other places on the dissident right, is the fox and the grapes problem, “I can’t reach the grapes, therefore they must be bad”. It takes time to move people over to new ideas, but it’s happening. You’re fellow right winger isnt stupid, it just takes time for people to change their priorities. some people, like us figure things out sooner, others it takes a crises, then they notice. One thing about the Left, they rarely quit trying to get what they want. To many people in our side just scream “idiots! Why don’t they care!” They will, and often they do, but historical movements like populism take some time to work out. Like the poll numbers showing whites now caring about their racial identity. I was really surprised by that. I’m almost 60, that took awhile for that to show up. I’m just more hopeful than many people are. It’s my nature I guess. But things take time in the real world

  3. Republicans just can’t make populism work period. Doesn’t matter if it’s with or without Trump. They’re the party of cheap labor. Even now when they talk about populism, they frame it in the same old reaganism and bootstraps stuff. To paraphrase the republican party of the multi-racial working class during the covid relief debate: “the best form of financial assistance is getting a job.” The republican idea of helping the working class is cutting corporate taxes with the promise that it might cause walmart to hire more people.

  4. The irony is free market rhetoric could work for the GOP if they weren’t so terribly bad at it.

    After a year of “lock downs” in the middle of a massive deflationary collapse and nearly one and a half years of massive Fed “easing” and bailouts of Wall Street bankers – starting three months BEFORE Covid-19 – now is the time the GOP wants to complain about stimulus checks, unemployment, and minimum wage.

    If instead the GOP attacked Wall Street bankers – by name, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, etc., – for their “corporate socialism” – they could create a lot of the energy that Trump had. If they complained about companies that off shore jobs, or bring in “immigrants” to take American jobs, they would be popular.

    But the GOP can’t do that, for two reasons.

    1. The Republican party does not support free markets, at all, in any way. This is because no one does – the US is a world-spanning Empire and any competent manager is going to be very conservative in how they run that Empire – that means, no leaving things to chance, no leaving things to random market forces. That would be really, really stupid.

    2. The purpose of Republican free market rhetoric is to drive down the wages and pay and social power of the American “working class” – meaning, basically, the majority of white people. If the Republicans won’t do that, they don’t get any campaign donations and their media gets even worse.

    People who say “there is no political solution” are just whiners. It’s a war and politics is the nonviolent part of the war. You have to get enough people to go to the party functions – the local ones – every month and get your people in. You have to identify your political enemies and give them bad press, expose their scandals, turn their allies against them, etc.

    The people who say “there is no political solution” say, then, what? Some LARP fantasy about civil war? It’s already a civil war, doofus. The weapon you have is political participation, among others. If you win this one you don’t have to use your guns, which makes economic sense because ammo is expensive these days.

  5. Populism will continue to burgeon until, whether this nation remains in current form or not. it becomes The Establishment(s?).

    Whether the transcendence of Populism transpires because of, or in spite of, Republicans remains to be seen.

    So far we have seen a lot of both aspects.

  6. Trump won in 2016 because his 2016 platform was, largely, what the voters wanted.

    Trump lost in 2020 because he spent 4 years not following through on his 2016 platform, ultimately replacing it entirely with whatever AIPAC wanted instead.

    If the Republicans adopt the Trump 2016 platform, they can win the next election. If they actually follow through and implement that platform, they can probably keep winning elections.

    I’m more optimistic that the Butler Plan will work, than I am the the Republicans will adopt a platform they can win with.

  7. The Argument: Can Republicans Make Populism Work Without Trump? Answer, is NO.

    Trump had billions to get in the race and spread populism to the point where he did a hostile takeover of the GOP. All we will see in 2023-4 is funded shills, who will be subservient to the oligarchy. We might even get a watered down fake populist that will completely ditch his promises in a way that would make Trump look like the best promise keeper in our times. The only way its going to happen is with a billionaire who is able pay his own way. The last time before Trump we had a well to do populist in the polls was Ross Perot, another billionaire. At one point he was going to win with 44%, but Daddy Bush threatened to have him killed so he stepped out for the safety of his family. Daddy Bush is literally a pederast who diddles kids, sometimes sacrifices them, and is an avout Satanist with CIA/Pilgrim Society/Globalist NeoLiberal connections. Him and Junior are notorious sodomites due to their trauma induced paraphilia they received when they took part in rituals when joining Skull and Bones. I won’t be descriptive but they get downlow hardcore in the Bonesman Tomb, that is well known, this then results in a hardcore sexual paraphile disorder in later years.

  8. Judging by what occurred today (Trump requesting that his followers eschew contributions to the GOP, until they shrivel up and lose their RINOs, I do not think that The GOP, as ever composed by the New England Constituency, is going to survive.

    I have a sneaking suspicion that, by 2022, the new party, quickly on it’s way to becoming the Dixiecrats, will be unveiled and will triumph then and even more so comprised, will proceed to 2024.

    Then will come the supreme test : will the reincarnation of the new Dixiecrats govern with substance, or satisfy itself with having won the majority and vapidly posture, in the vein of it’s New England antecedent.

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