Trump: A Southern Conservative Perspective

Source: Washington Post

Source: Washington Post

There are several attributes of Donald Trump’s bid for the U.S. Presidency that this Paleo-Conservative finds to be interesting. To follow is an adumbration of the more salient.

  1. His campaign style is refreshing. The absence of teleprompters, which results in spontaneity, which in turn reveals the unvarnished candidate in contradistinction to the coached, stale, and unconvincing political hacks, is refreshing. Trump’s campaign speeches and debate performance have actually juiced up political discourse, making politics interesting not simply for the political class but also for Middle American.
  2. The engagement of Middle American into this presidential election cycle have the political class spooked. It is this same political class responsible for the removal of all things Confederate from the public square, not Middle American. It is Middle America that has catapulted Trump into the lead. In other words, Middle America may actually have some meaningful input into the election of the next POTUS.
  3. The spooking of the political class has exposed what it thinks of Middle America. Its charge against Trump is that the bulk of his support rests upon the inherent racism, national jingoism and stupidity of average Americans. Some have even claimed that Trump is a closet fascist and that his supporters are inherently supportive of fascism. This is nonsense. Middle America’s detestation of ruling elites is not fascist, but it is an acknowledgment that it will take a strongman, statesman if you prefer, to knock out the ruling elites.
  4. Trump’s detractors may be his best campaign weapon. Without knowing much about Trump’s policy positions, immigration notwithstanding, there is logic in supporting Trump based upon knowing who his political enemies are. This may be the best voting cue Middle America has. The enemy (Trump) of my enemy (the ruling class) is my friend. In other words, the more Trump agitates the ruling class the more he endears himself to Middle America.
  5. Trump appears to be more the pragmatist than ideologue, and that’s a good thing. The American federative republic’s original blueprint is nomocratic (a Southern characteristic), but has been replaced with a teleocratic (New England Puritanism) one. It is the latter that has resulted in the unitary US of A, nation-building abroad and the welfare state domestically.
  6. For any Southern patriot the status quo in American politics is totally unacceptable. One thing is fairly certain; if Trump were to be the next POTUS, the status quo would be in for quite a shock. At this point it matters little how the status quo might be changed. Middle America wants change and it wants it now. Moreover, if Trump were to succeed in his bid to be the next POTUS, he would be much more likely to expose the fraud and corruption inside the beltway than any of his presidential campaign competitors. Unlike the latter, he would not be held captive to the interests that funnel money and votes to sustain the status quo, but to the average American voter, i.e., Middle America.
  7. The disruptions, if not chaos, Trump might affect in Washington may result in preoccupying the ruling class to the extent that the focus on things Southern, e.g., the Battle Flag, may dissipate. This might just provide Southern patriots with the space to regroup and be better prepared for the next assault on their culture.

Trump’s campaign slogan is Make America Great Again. As an intelligent man he must know that to achieve that goal he must remove the government shackles, e.g., taxation, regulations, and centralization, holding Americans and America down, both domestically and internationally.

From a Paleo-Conservative perspective what is there to lose with Trump as POTUS? In the absence of a Trumpian paradigm shift in American politics, the status quo will indeed change, quite dramatically, but not in the direction favorable to the principles of 1776 and 1861. At least with a President Trump there is a chance, possible but not necessarily probable, for change in the right direction. As the presidential campaigning heats up, Middle America is bound to rise up. The collective wisdom of Middle America seems to understand that Trump is not the perfect candidate, but they also seem to realize (to paraphrase M. E. Bradford) “that all of us who will not take half a loaf will get a stone.”

About Marshall DeRosa

Marshall DeRosa received his Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of Houston and his B. A. from West Virginia University, Magna Cum Laude. He has taught at Davis and Elkins College (1985-1988), Louisiana State University (1988-1990), and Florida Atlantic University (1990-Present). He is a Salvatori Fellow with the Heritage Foundation and full professor in the Department of Political Science. He has published articles and reviews in professional journals, book chapters, and three books. He resides in Wellington, FL, with his wife and four children. More from Marshall DeRosa

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4 thoughts on “Trump: A Southern Conservative Perspective

  1. I hope so too Marshall. However, like many other southern paleos, I am still rather skeptical of Trump. He initially strikes me as just another in a long-line of Rockefeller Republicans, so I am concerned about just how all around “genuinely conservative” he would ultimately turn out to be. It is very refreshing though to see someone like him enter into the political field who comes completely outside of “government.”

  2. I would like to see an interview of Trump re: his view of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. He is candid and forthcoming in doing interviews, so it would be enlightening. He has expressed fairly strong, although generalized 2nd Amendment views and he certainly takes seriously “that the United States shall protect the States against invasion…” ( Article IV, Section 4). He has said, ” hire me!” which hopefully is indicative of an attitude that he would be our employee working under “delegated powers”.

  3. I’m not so sure, my mother, a Southern matriarch and nobodies fool, calls Trump Willy Stark, and I tend to agree with her analysis. He is a bombastic, self aggrandizing blowhard. He knows little of policy, and while he is anti every thing I despise, he also represents much that I despise. He is hardly a paragon of civic virtues. I know I have offered very little here to counter your excellent article, but my instincts as a Southern gentleman say no to Trump!

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