Donald Trump Reflects the Rise in National Sentiment

It is often said that a conservative is a liberal who has been mugged. The turn to the Right in America started with a backlash against the disastrous ideas, both social and economic, that came out of the 1960s and reached fruition with the “stagflation” and anarchy of President Jimmy Carter. A new generation has suffered through the painfully slow half-recovery under President Barack Obama. Thus, both the libertarian and democratic-socialist models have failed. This leaves only a genuine conservative model to save the day, if it can find a champion.  – William R. Hawkins, former economics professor and Congressional staffer.

William R. Hawkins in his column Trump’s Campaign Slogan – ‘Make America Great Again’ – Reflects Rise in National Sentiment writes:

Whatever one thinks of Donald Trump’s campaign style, he has provoked critics to reveal more about themselves than they had intended – or wanted people to realize.

Consider a U.S. News & World Report article written by Dalibor Rohac of the American Enterprise Institute and Jan Zinsky of the Peterson Institute for International Economics (September 24). Entitled “Beware Populist Snake Oil,” it attacks Trump for being part of “a revolt against the modern, globalized world.” The authors deplore a rise in “nationalist sentiments” and oppose those who promise a “return to greatness” for their countries. These are inherently conservative feelings, of course, so Rohac and Zinsky try to link Trump to far-left socialists like Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn to counter his appeal to the Right.

Yet, it is clear that Trump is not a socialist, and Tsipras is only a nationalist because he wants relief from EU pressure to pay back the debts socialism ran up. Corbyn favors government ownership of major industries, confiscatory tax rates and unilateral disarmament. His focus is class conflict, not national unity.

Rohac and Zinsky cite a study by sociologist Alina Polyakova which “found that the countries that were hit worst by the financial crisis of 2008 experienced a surge in nationalist sentiments. She argues that economically insecure citizens looked to their national governments for protection. Curiously, however, this instinct has not translated into stronger support for mainstream left-wing parties.”

Read more.

Trump has tapped into the neo-nationalism lost since the 1960s. The American people want America to be great again because that is the true American spirit. It is what gave rise to the neo-conservative grassroots movement known as the TEA Party.

Trump did not create this grassroots movement but his campaign slogan, and policies, reflect a national desire to return to greatness. Winning is better than losing. America has been losing (economically, socially, militarily) for far to long.

Grassroots America is nationalists but not socialist.

The mantra of ‘Take America Back’ has been replaced with ‘Make America Great Again.’ Trump is on to something and that something may put him in the White House.

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