Another way to look at the Trump phenomena is to understand his populist base is for real and for many Republicans, their future is tied to the success of their ability to combined conservatism with a populist edge. As I noted in my book, The Rise of National Populism and Democratic Socialism, conservatism Trump populism is compatible with Trump populism as Trump based his individual tax plan on the Rubio proposals from the 2016 election including tax rates. (Trump did add an additional 37% tax rates on the wealthy but he added many tax breaks that benefits the Middle Class, similar to what Rubio proposed.) The corporate tax plan proposal begin at 15%, similar to Cruz’s 16% rate and ended up at 21%.
Trump own view of immigration is a combinations of amnesty for many of them here illegally now combined with restricting future immigration levels, border security, vista reform and moving toward a more merit base system, most of which is supported by majority of Americans and this is where most Republicans are. For many Americans, they no longer believe that immigration is a boon to their economic prospect and while many in the political class wants increase immigration levels and amnesty for illegals but little in the regard for border security or change in our present immigration levels. Immigration increases GNP overall but it also impacts those at the bottom of the economic skills as lower income and Middle Class compete with both legal and illegal immigrants. What we see is that overall economy goes up while those at the bottom of the economic ladder see their overall income go down.
The political class, in particular the left, biggest failure has been in foreign policy. While we debate the wisdom of the second Iraq war, we can positively say that America was safer in 2009 than in January of 2017. Isis rose in the ashes of Obama pulling out early, only to force Obama to begin putting America troops back, and his policy in Syria has led to the death of at least 500,000 million civilian and a weakening of our position in the Middle East. The Iranian deal allowed Iran free reign throughout the region and the deal will allow Iran to produce a nuclear weapons. Russian essentially annexed half of Ukraine and added Crimea.
China has essentially used the WTO to its benefit while applying its mercantilism theory to gain the upper hand in its own quest to turn the Middle Kingdom into the center of the universe in place of the United States. Many of the post-World War II era institution that kept the peace are fraying and Trump is asking the right questions. What is the role of NATO today? How do we get our Allies pay more of their defense? What should our relations be with Russia and is Russia a greater threat or is China over the long run? How do we liberalize trade while dealing with various inequality that exist within the United States? We could go on but Trump own view is that American interest comes first and while I question his views on trade, it would be ironic that Trump may end up be a more free trader after being elected to be the most protectionist.
For the Republicans, a new coalition is within reach that includes a portion of the minority whose economic interest no longer served by Democratic policy, blue collar workers and the Middle Class, and need to get some of those suburban whites who deserted Trump. The Democratic Party has moved to the left and within the Democratic Socialism movement, many Trump voters understand the when it comes to Democratic Socialism movement, the Democracy is expendable when it comes to push socialism and as Trump voters see their own views censored on many of the social media sites, they understand that what stands between them and the political class is Donald Trump.