May 3, 2016 was an important day in American politics. It was the day that Donald Trump won the Indiana primary against his main competitor Ted Cruz by a 53% to 37% margin causing Cruz to drop out of the race therefore ensuring that Donald Trump would indeed become the Republican nominee for President. This is extraordinary as Donald Trump is not a traditional Republican at all; he flagrantly violated all the rules for how a candidate running for the Republican nomination is supposed to act and his policy positions and persona goes against all three legs of the traditional Reagan coalition stool.
The Reagan coalition (Ronald Reagan being president from 1980 to 1988) was based on the three legged stool of economic conservatism (smaller government, lower taxes, free market principles), social conservatism (religious right, anti-abortion, anti-gay agenda), and defense conservatism (strong defense, anti-communism, aggressive foreign policy). Donald Trump who has just won the Republican nomination does not seem to be much of an economic conservative (advocating protectionism and against free trade, past support for single payer health care, suggesting increasing taxes on the rich), he is not much of a traditional social conservative (does not seem to be religious, doesn’t care much about abortion or gay rights, is on his third marriage and bragged about his marital infidelity), and he does not seem to be a defense conservative either (advocates withdrawing from entangling alliances, seems isolationist, blasted George W. Bush for the stupidity of the Iraq war and making a mess of the Middle East with our interventionism).
What Donald Trump is known for is promising to restrict illegal immigration (and maybe even deporting the illegal immigrants who are already in the United States), protecting American manufacturing jobs by reducing free trade and imposing tariffs on imports, and being aggressively “politically incorrect” most notably in the form of throwing around crude personal insults and in saying things that are diminishing towards women. In addition he does support standard Republican positions such as being pro-life and vowing to defend religious liberty and promising to nominate conservative justices to the Supreme Court.
So what kind of Republican is Donald Trump? It seems to me that Donald Trump is trying to protect the interests of ordinary white working class social conservatives and that his persona is meant to communicate that he is a fighter and won’t be bought and controlled by the big money interests and that he talks and thinks like an ordinary guy, not afraid to speak his mind or tell it like it is, is not afraid of “offending” anyone, and is not going to be bullied or controlled by “political correctness.” Donald Trump is a champion of the little guy, the forgotten and ignored white working class that is suffering both economically and socially; a successful common sense no nonsense businessman who will “Make America Great Again!”
Donald Trump seems to be the death of the Republican Party how it was previously constituted and put together; that Trump heralds a political realignment; that Trump represents the end of the Reagan coalition.
In my analysis of things Donald Trump is the political manifestation of the third social conservative backlash that apparently is starting right now in 2016. The first social conservative backlash was in 1994 with the Republican Revolution that led Newt Gingrich to become Speaker of the House; the first time Republicans got control of the House of Representatives since 1952. The second social conservative backlash was in 2009 with the rise of the Tea Party and the subsequent big Republican gains that happened in the 2010 mid-term election. Now I am claiming that Donald Trump winning the Republican nomination for the upcoming 2016 Presidential Election most likely indicates that the third social conservative backlash is underway.
The Republican Party is very different from the Democratic Party in that the Republican Party is the home of social conservatives and therefore is where social conservative rebellions take place. In the Democratic Party Hillary Clinton is the establishment political dynasty candidate and the apparent inevitable nominee. In the Republican Party Jeb Bush was the establishment political dynasty candidate but he did terribly getting 2.8% of the vote in the Iowa Caucus, 11.0% (4th place) in the New Hampshire Primary, and dropping out after getting 7.8% (4th place) in the South Carolina Primary. In other words in the Democratic Party the establishment is still in control and relatively popular while in the Republican Party the establishment has totally lost the support of its primary voters.
In the Republican Party the “establishment” is basically the heirs of the first social conservative backlash. John Boehner who served as the Republican Speaker of the House from January 2011 to October 2015 first was elected to Congress in 1990 and became part of the “Gang of Seven” who focused attention on the House Banking Scandal of early 1992; in addition Boehner helped draft the “Contract with America” that Newt Gingrich promoted as the agenda of the new Republican congressional majority that took over in 1994. John Kasich was first elected to congress in 1982 and after the 1994 congressional election Newt Gingrich put Kasich in charge of the House Budget Committee with the task of coming up with a plan to balance the Federal Budget leading to the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. Newt Gingrich himself, architect of the Republican strategy to take over the House in what turned out to be the wave election of 1994, was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1978.
Then came the 2010 election fueled by the emergence of the Tea Party that got started as a protest movement in 2009 with lots of mass rallies against the TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) bailout of financial institutions at the taxpayers’ expense and against Obamacare; President Obama’s planned health care reforms. In this case, in the case of the 2010 election, the new Tea Party contingent of Republicans represented an attack against the establishment. Marco Rubio (Florida Senator), Rand Paul (Kentucky Senator), and Mike Lee (Utah Senator) were all elected with Tea Party support in the 2010 election. Ted Cruz was elected Senator from Texas in the 2012 election.
Now here we are in the 2016 Presidential campaign and Donald Trump is the man. Donald Trump was the winner of the Republican Primary race for President. Ted Cruz came in second; Cruz’s claims to fame being his role in the October 2013 government shutdown in an effort to defund the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) and openly calling Mitch McConnell (leader of the Senate Republicans) a liar on the Senate floor on July 24, 2015. Marco Rubio came in third; Rubio being a Tea Party favorite hurt by his participation in the “Gang of Eight” immigration reform plan. Various “establishment” Republican candidates all did worse than Marco Rubio. So among Republican primary voters the more against the party establishment the better; Donald Trump being the most extreme “outsider” so Donald Trump won.
So there are three main factions in the Republican Party right now; the “establishment” which represents the first social conservative backlash, the Tea Party “true conservatives” who represent the second social conservative backlash, and the Trumpists who represent the third social conservative backlash. The first social conservative backlash started first in 1994 and is now the weakest in terms of popular support; the second social conservative backlash started in 2009 and has the middle level of support as exemplified by Ted Cruz’s second place showing; the third social conservative backlash started or was discovered or activated itself just now in 2016 and instantaneously shows itself as the strongest force. The giant has been awaken; working class socially conservative whites asserting themselves and their own interests as an independent power center not dependent upon the alliance with big business big donor money men or militarily adventurous neo-cons or even the holier than though establishment well behaved politically polished social conservatives.
In my view Donald Trump is actually more radical in his social conservative orientation than Ted Cruz is; this being why I am calling Donald Trump the third wave of social conservative rebellion. In particular Donald Trump is willing to insult women’s status in the masculine realm and actually defends men’s interests occasionally in what he says; this being something that Ted Cruz would never do. Donald Trump has a sexist attitude even though he does not have sexist policy positions. Maybe sexist policy positions will come with the fourth social conservative backlash in the future sometime. Donald Trump actually appears to be a manosphere type. He is a swaggering “Alpha Male” living out the fantasy of what a high status man can achieve without apologies. Trump being a manosphere type actually explains his lack of real connection to religion, his sins of adultery and him being on his third marriage to a much younger woman. Donald Trump is even into East European women like many manosphere types long for.
The manosphere is radically anti-feminist and at the same time is not very interested in abortion or gay rights issues and also often excuses and even promotes sexual promiscuity among men and has lots of other moral failings; also the manosphere is not very connected to religion. This manosphere profile matches Donald Trump quite closely. Donald Trump is not radically anti-feminist but he does say things that are radical for a politician to say regarding women, the type of things a manospherian would be inclined to say.
Donald Trump is closer to truly anti-feminist policy positions than Ted Cruz is I would say. Trump has an anti-feminist attitude even though as of now it is just attitude. Anti-feminist attitude will transform into anti-feminist belief over time however, anti-feminist belief then leading to anti-feminist policies.
The first social conservative backlash in 1994 was associated with a sharp slowdown in various indicators of family breakdown and an absolute drop in the crime rate; in particular the out-of-wedlock birth ratio increase slowed sharply after 1994. The second social conservative backlash in 2009 was associated with the peak so far in the out-of-wedlock birth ratio; the illegitimacy ratio going from 41.0% in 2009 to 40.2% in 2014; and in addition 2009 was the beginning of a steady drop in the proportion of married women in the workforce (61.4% of married women being in the workforce in 2009 dropping to 58.4% of married women in the workforce in 2014). It is tantalizing to think that maybe 2016 will bring some additional good news regarding social indicators; that maybe this third social conservative backlash that Trump seems to represent is an indicator of something good happening in the culture just like the 1994 Republican Revolution proved good for the culture and the Tea Party uprising proved good for the culture. Maybe the emergence of a manospherian as the Republican candidate for President of the United States indicates something good changing in the culture as well.
Of course there is the question; will Donald Trump actually win the White House? 1994 and 2010 represented Republican triumphs. Will Donald Trump prove to be another Republican triumph or will he instead turn into a Republican disaster? The Republican Party is split into 3 factions that don’t particularly like each other it seems but at the same time Trump should have a lot of cross over appeal to Democrats who will like that finally finally the Republican Party no longer represents only the interests of the rich. Also, at the same time, the Democratic Party is getting more extreme and more aggressive in its social liberal gay tyranny transgender agenda.
November 8, 2016 Election Day will tell the tale. Then we will find out.
Ted Cruz on Stands By Calling Mitch McConnell A Liar
Senator Ted Cruz on Why He Called His Leader a Liar
Gang of Seven – Wikipedia
Meet John Kasich, the brash young House Budget Chairman
The Beginning of the God Revival among Secular People and Atheists
The Cultural Revival has Already Started! Good news since 1995!
Out-of-Wedlock Births Plateau and maybe begin Decline