Trump in Historical Perspective: From Nixon to Breitbart

Photo by Brianna Privett | CC BY 2.0

Photo by Brianna Privett | CC BY 2.0

Trump is not a new phenomenon.  He is the latest, and most aggressive to date, repacking of corporate-radical right attempts to reassert corporate hegemony and control over the global economy and US society.  His antecedents are the policies and strategies of Nixon, Reagan and Gingrich’s ‘Contract for America’ in the 1990s.

Trump has of course added his ‘new elements’ to the mix.  He’s integrated the Teaparty elements left over from their purged by Republican Party elites after the 2012 national elections.  He’s unified some of the more aggressive elements of the finance capital elites from hedge funds, commercial real estate, private equity, securities speculators and their ilk—i.e. the Adelsons, Singers, Mercers, and Schwarzman’s.  He’s captured, for the moment at least, important elements of the white industrial working class in the Midwest and South, co-opted union leaders from the building trades, and even neutralized top union leaders in some manufacturing industries.  He’s firmly united the gun lobby of the NRA and the religious right now with the Breitbart propaganda machine and the so-called ‘Alt-Right’ fringe.

Trump is a political and economic reaction to the crisis in the US economy in the 21st century, which the Obama administration could not effectively address after the 2008-09 crash. Trump shares this historical role with Nixon, who was a response to another decline in US…

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