At the Conservative Political Action Conference, attendees swooned over President Trump. They applauded him even when he advocated policies that used to be anathema to conservatives: paid family leave; economic protectionism; a big public works program.
Rich Lowry, marveling, concluded that President Trump, with his brand of nationalistic conservatism, has triumphed over small-government conservatism. That is to say, the ideology of Ronald Reagan is no longer dominant among conservatives.
If Reaganism is over, Lowry says, the Reaganites themselves are largely to blame. They repeated the same mantras–lower taxes, supply side economics, cutting government–even as American voters moved on to other concerns, such as wage stagnation and (I would add) immigration.
At CPAC, Trump advisor Steve Bannon said that nationalism is what unites conservatives, with small government conservatives being one strain of the larger movement.
What do you think of Bannon’s analysis? Rich Lowry’s? Is Reaganism dead? Or just beaten down for the time being?
Or has Trump, in fact, rebuilt the Reagan coalition of business interests, Christian conservatives, and disaffected blue-collar Democrats?