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Thornton Hall

The Revolution Will Be Kuhnian.

Krugman: Trump Proves TH Is Right About Political Spectrum.

Not in so many words, but: 

The thing is, we didn’t really know that until Mr. Trump came along. The influence of big-money donors meant that nobody could make a serious play for the G.O.P. nomination without pledging allegiance to supply-side doctrine, and this allowed the establishment to imagine that ordinary voters shared its antipopulist creed. Indeed, Mr. Bush’s hapless attempt at a takedown suggests that his political team still doesn’t get it, and thinks that pointing out The Donald’s heresies will be enough to doom his campaign.

But Mr. Trump, who is self-financing, didn’t need to genuflect to the big money, and it turns out that the base doesn’t mind his heresies. This is a real revelation, which may have a lasting impact on our politics.

If you think politics happens on a left-right spectrum then tax cuts for job creators, private markets for insurance (that is, anti-Social Security, Medicare and ACA), and anti-immigration are all "right wing" or "conservative" positions that go together thanks to ideology. 

But Trump jumbles it all up: he's anti-immigrant but pro-government insurance, he's appealing to "right wing" Tea Party voters with a call for higher (not lower) taxes on the rich.  

How can this be? Is he a "populist" (the press)? Is he "not a true conservative" (Jeb Bush)? 


Trump is simply demonstrating that ideology is a useless concept for understanding voters. The Tea Party core of the GOP are neither right nor left, neither opposed to or in favor of "big government." Rather, the GOP base is supporting Trump because of their interests--they don't run hedge funds and they will rely on Social Security for over half of their retirement income--and their identity:  they are "normal Americans" which they understand to mean white, suburban or rural, Americans.

This Would Never Happen In The Private Sector

When Bigotry Isn't Caused By Pure Animus Toward "The Other"