For those of us who champion nationalism and populism, American presidential elections have been a series of disappointments for over 150 years. Since the success of Andrew Jackson in the 1830s populism in the United States has been marked by failure. Men like William Jennings Bryan, Huey Long and Pat Buchanan came close to becoming president but ultimately they could not quite seal the deal (in defense of Long, it took an assassin’s bullet to stop him). America seemed destined to be permanently stuck in the snares of the plutocracy. As a nationalist and an observer of European politics it equally pained me that implicitly pro-white candidates in the Old World seemed to follow a similar pattern. These European candidates generated a great deal of enthusiasm but have never been able to seize power at the highest levels.
With Trump everything changes. An outsider and an enemy of the plutocracy (at least ostensibly) has made it to the White House.
This has caused infinite tears and hand-wringing from the Jews and liberal urban whites who have always considered it their privilege to win every major political battle. It has also caused a glut of confused articles analyzing exactly what the labels “populism” and “nationalism” actually mean.
While the term “populism” can have different meanings, in the American context it can be fairly defined as follows:
-Support for the well-being of the current American population over immigrants and outsiders.
-Increased self-determination for middle and working class Americans.
-The use of state power to fight plutocratic tyranny.
-Economic self-reliance over welfarism.
The exact details of populist platforms can vary depending on the situation. During the Jacksonian era the populists struggled to expand suffrage to all white men and to destroy the national bank. In the 1890s the focus was on breaking the railroad monopolies that had a stranglehold on small, independent farmers. In the age of Trump there are demands that the federal government restrict the flow of illegal immigrant labor and renegotiate trade deals to benefit American workers.
From even this brief historical review it becomes plain that populism does not easily fit into the standard political dichotomies of right/left, capitalist/socialist, or elitist/democratic.
The kosher conservatives in the United States have attempted to make a totem out of the “free market” and have declared that federal regulation of commerce is unpatriotic. In defending their position they argue that the Founding Fathers created a free economic system where the government was not to interfere with private business. While this argument is valid to an extent, it ignores the ultimate goal of Constitution: to defend the white Christian population from tyranny. In the 1700s the danger of tyranny came from kings, military dictators or overbearing parliaments. At that early stage of the industrial revolution it was not yet clearly seen how private monopolies could swallow up entire societies. Once the threat to liberty posed by private monopolies became evident, it was necessary for those who loved liberty and prosperity to use the state to fight the banks and the monopolies. The effort to fight against plutocracy was horribly confused in the 19th century by the spread of Jewish Marxism, as this ideology presented itself as a friend to the common man while secretly plotting a form of slavery far worse than anything the capitalist bosses could imagine. Leftists have long held that attacking big corporations in the name of the little guy is their domain, but their defense of the working class always involves fostering a slavish dependence on the state and trying to destroy all traditional societal ties of faith, family, nation and race. With Trump’s victory we are hopefully seeing the emergence of a from of populism that is both anti-Marxist and anti-plutocracy.
While much has been said about the “Alt Right” support for Trump, many on the Alt Right have spent years trying to distance themselves from democracy and populism. “Elitism” has been the rallying cry of this movement that looks to the old European nobility rather than to the American Founding Fathers for inspiration. There is a common narrative on the Alt Right that the problems facing the white race today are due precisely to the spread of democracy and constitutional government, and that our salvation can only be won by returning to a strict elitism. This would seemingly put the Alt Right in direct opposition to populism, which has always championed more direct control of society by a broader segment of the population. To counter the elitist position one can point out that, ironically, today it is the elites who have failed the West more than the common people. In every area of society, whether Church, state, or private business, it is always those in positions of authority who discipline their underlings for not being sufficiently politically correct. Conversely, when (white) people in America are allowed greater local control of their own affairs there is always a tendency to move to the right of the mainstream “elite” culture.
As we try to understand what led to the Trump phenomenon and how we can ensure that Trumpism will have success in the future, it is important to keep American populism in mind. Populism is a mass movement, but it is not a mob movement. The coastal elites are happy to think of Trump supporters as uneducated losers, but this is not the case. The far-left website Jacobin published an interesting piece analyzing the social and economic status of Trump supporters. The article points out that:
“Trump’s white underclass base is more myth than reality, however. Nate Silver finds that the median income for Trump supporters in the Republican primary was $72,000, about $10,000 more than the median income for whites in general. And, drawing on a survey of over one hundred thousand American adults, Gallup’s Johnathan Rothwell adds that while they are less educated and more likely to work in blue-collar industries, his supporters have higher household incomes, relative to the average…
…his base is also significantly more likely to be self-employed overall, among other whites, and among other Republicans…
…Over the course of Trump’s campaign, small business has been the strongest plank in his coalition. Even prior to winning the Republican nomination, in early 2016, when the Republican field was still crowded, nearly 60 percent of owners of small businesses favored Trump as the Republican candidate. In late September, well after Trump’s warts were fully put on display, a repeat of the same survey found nearly the same results, 58.6 percent of small business owners were Trump backers.
From the very beginning of his campaign, if we exclude retirees, most of his contributions have come from small business owners — hardly the Wall Street elite that are eagerly supporting Clinton…
…Both the US Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable have been vocal advocates for immigration. In congressional testimony, the US Chamber of Commerce states that “We face a larger and larger shortage of workers, especially at the low-skilled end of the economy.” The Chamber of Commerce has even actively promoted guest worker programs to, as their CEO Thomas J. Donohue wrote in 2007, “fill jobs Americans don’t want.”
Small business owners, on the other hand, tend to be hostile to immigrants. Even prior to the financial crisis, in 2006 the National Federation of Independent Business, the largest small business association in the United States, found that more than 90 percent of their members thought illegal immigration was a problem, 70 percent ranked it as a serious problem. Nearly 80 percent of their members believe undocumented immigrants should be forced to leave the country. Trump has earned the NFIB’s high praise.
Over 82 percent of the members of the National Association for the Self-Employed, the voice of micro-business, oppose immigrant amnesty and even more want tougher penalties on companies that hire illegal immigrants.”
From Aristotle to Thomas Jefferson, political theorists have stressed that the key to a successful republic is a thriving, self-sufficient middle class. This class, represented in contemporary America by small business owners, has stood firmly behind Trump. This is the class that is suspicious of the globalist projects of the plutocrats and equally disdainful of the irresponsibility of the welfare class. Establishment Republicans and Democrats support the interests of big business, while the socialist left supports the interests of the unproductive and dysfunctional segments of society, leaving the class of small business owners without a genuine populist voice until Trump came along.
The maturing political consciousness of this class will be key to establishing Trumpism and moving beyond it to full racial nationalism in the future. As the globalists continue to let their mask slip while desperately trying to stop the Trump agenda, small business owners can become open to more radical strategies for ensuring their prosperity. The Protestant virtues of independence, thrift and industry are what built America, and now the class that most fully embodies these virtues is starting to make America great again.
For more from Clement Pulaski, go to truesonsofabraham.com.