Pictured: An unprincipled populist. Photo: Jessica McGowan/Getty Images Four years ago, Donald Trump gave hope to all apostates from the Church of Reagan and Latter-Day Fusionists. The modern conservative movement is the child of a marriage between military hawks, business libertarians, and (white) social traditionalists. This union – the fusion of political elements that is known as fusionism – was a bit tense from its inception. Not only was there little inherent relationship between the concerns of the movement's disparate factions but, in some cases, those concerns even appeared contradictory: Some libertarians retained an attachment to the right's pre–World War II isolationism, while many cultural conservatives bristled at the corporate right's cosmopolitan attitude towards immigration. If this marriage began uneasy, by 2016, it had become downright unhappy. Fusionism had paid big dividends to its largest shareholders. Reactionary plutocrats saw their tax obligations shrink, regulatory burdens contract, and meddlesome labor unions shrivel and die. The defense hawks also enjoyed a fat return on their investment. Not only did the GOP oversee the downfall of communism, it also managed to swiftly replace the Soviet menace with America's ex-mujahideen allies, thereby saving the military-industrial complex from the threat of pyrrhic victory. But social… Read full this story
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