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(Interesting article from Charles Post but I am afraid he like most leftists takes Trump at his word that he is hostile to the neoliberal agenda. Those rants against NAFTA, etc. have about as much value as Nixon's vows that he would bring peace to Vietnam.)

For over eighty years, the reformist left in the United States has sought to transform one of the capitalist parties into a “people’s” party. Both the Communist Party’s popular front strategy and the social-democratic strategy of “realignment” (formulated by the brilliant ex-Marxist Max Shachtman) sought to transform the Democratic Party. The Democrats, through the 1950s, were a coalition of urban real estate developers, Jewish and Catholic capitalists, and southern planters who enjoyed the voting support of northern industrial workers, black and white, middle-class liberals, and most southern whites.

The reformists’ goal was to drive out the conservative, pro-capitalist elements — especially the Dixiecrats — leaving the labor officialdom and middle-class liberals to dominate a “labor-liberal” Party. As Paul Heideman recently pointed out in a recent essay in Jacobin, there was a realignment in the Democratic Party in the 1970s — but not the one the reformists hoped for. The southerners abandoned the Democrats for the Republicans, but with urban growth the non–White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) capitalists were joined by new capitalists in high technology and the media, and an increasingly neoliberal urban middle class. Rather than becoming a labor-liberal party, the Democrats moved sharply right in the 1980s as the official leaders of the labor, civil rights, and women’s movements were marginalized.

Today, we are seeing a realignment within the oldest party of industrial capitalism in the United States — the Republicans. The party establishment — those with the closest historic ties to old-line, WASP manufacturers, bankers, and financiers — have lost control of the party to a right-wing populist, Donald Trump.

Since the 1960s, the mass voter base of the Republican Party has been made up primarily of older, suburban, white middle-class small businesspeople, professionals, and managers, many of whom are self-described Christian fundamentalists, and a minority of older white workers, including a minority of union households. Until recently, the party’s base’s particular passions — especially its hostility to the democratic gains of people of color, women, and LGBT people — could be contained.

Minor concessions to the social conservatives on abortion, affirmative action, voter restrictions, and same-sex marriage/legal equality maintained their loyalty, while capitalists set the substantive neoliberal agenda for the Republicans (and the Democrats as well). As in the Democratic Party, the noncapitalist elements of the Republican coalition were clearly junior partners to capital.

In 2016, a radical, right-wing, middle-class insurgency that began in the wake of the world economic crisis of 2007–8 has displaced, at least temporarily, the hegemonic capitalists in the Republican Party. Donald Trump’s nomination as the Republican presidential candidate is the most recent act of a struggle for the leadership of the party that began in the aftermath of the global recession and the election of Barack Obama and Democratic majorities in both the US House and Senate.

While capital did push back against the first wave of middle-class radicalism in the Republican Party — the Tea Party — during the 2014 Congressional elections, these rebels were not vanquished. In fact, they have become even more radically nationalist and populist, imposing a presidential candidate hostile to the neoliberal agenda.

full: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/10/trump-gop-republicans-tea-party-populism-fascism/
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