So are conservatives angry at or indebted to the apostate Trump for helping them politically in a way they previously could not help themselves?
For a similar sense of the paradox, imagine if a novice outsider such as billionaire entrepreneur
For now, most
But there are many fault lines that will loom large in the next few years.
Doctrinaire conservatives believe that unfettered free trade is essential, even if it is sometimes not fair or reciprocal.
In this mainstream Republican view, the role of a superpower is to endure trade deficits to help its less powerful allies and keep the global order prosperous and stable.
But Trump's idea of "fair" trade trumps "free" trade.
Trump is not willing to accept a permanent Midwest Rust Belt as the price of globalization. If there are to be sacrificial lambs in world trade, for Trump it is better that they reside in
The Republican establishment's employer argument is that illegal immigration ensures that the sort of work "Americans won't do" is actually done. Or, some establishment
Not so Trumpism. It seeks to help the working class by stopping the importation of cheap labor. It believes that secure borders will restore the sanctity of law, and that the end of illegal immigration will lead to greater integration and assimilation of Latino minority groups.
In the long run,
Trumpism views the world abroad largely in terms of realist deterrence.
Outside the West, the world is a mess, and it will likely not change -- and cannot be forced to change -- because of American blood and treasure spent on trying to replicate America abroad. Instead, Trumpism seems to want to deter rivals to ensure a calm global order.
Trumpism has no illusions that there will ever be a world of liberal democracies. It seeks instead only to make sure enemies understand that any future aggression will not be worth the anticipated benefits. As for dictators such as those in
On matters of identity politics,
Trump is politically incorrect. He sees a person's pocketbook, not his outward appearance, as the key to his allegiance. Through deregulation, tax reform, immigration reform and fair trade, Trump hopes to grow the economy by 3 percent each year.
Such economic growth has not happened in over a decade. But if Trumpism works, then prosperity will supposedly unite Americans to a greater degree than identity politics can divide them.
In other words, Trump apparently believes that if he achieves 3 percent GDP growth and avoids a major war abroad, his brand of economic nationalism, realist deterrence and America-first chauvinism will replace mainstream Republicanism.
If he stalls the economy or gets into a quagmire abroad, then Trump will end up like most other American populist mavericks -- as an interesting footnote.