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Lind: Trump’s Tea Party, GOP Base Populist and Nationalist

From Michael Lind writing at Politico:

Here are some of the things that have been said by the guy who has galvanized the GOP’s Tea Party base and taken the lead in the Republican presidential race:

“Every Republican wants to do a big number on Social Security, they want to do it on Medicare, they want to do it on Medicaid. And we can’t do that.”

“As far as single payer [health care], it works in Canada, it works incredibly well in Scotland. … You can’t let the people in this country, the people without the money and resources, to go without healthcare.”

“People as they make more and more money can pay a higher percentage” of taxes.

Only one of two conclusions can be drawn here. Either the Tea Party base—which the media would have us think mainly consists of angry libertarians inveighing against taxes and runaway big government—hasn’t really been listening to Donald Trump, who made all the above statements, or, alternatively, most of the media have read the Tea Party and its true aims and ambitions entirely wrong.

I suggest the latter is the correct answer. The success of Trump’s campaign has, if nothing else, exposed the Tea Party for what it really is; Trump’s popularity is, in effect, final proof of what some of us have been arguing for years: that the Tea Party is less a libertarian movement than a right-wing version of populism. Think William Jennings Bryan or Huey Long, not Ayn Rand. Tea Partiers are less upset about the size of government overall than they are that so much of it is going to other people, especially immigrants and nonwhites. They are for government for them and against government for Not-Them.

Read the rest of the story at Politico.

 

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