As President Trump continues to break the mold, professors are struggling to characterize how Trump fits into the political spectrum. A recent panel on conservatism in the age of Trump during the American Historical Association’s annual meeting revealed the academic left’s flagrant ignorance and disdain toward the right.
During the panel, Willamette University history professor Seth Cotlar and others argued that Trump has muddled the definition of conservatism and complicated academia’s sterilized version of presidential history.
“[Donald Trump’s election] totally has thrown into disarray my understanding of American history,” Cotlar said. "The last 200-plus years of American history have been like a series of 'West Wing' episodes and then [last] November, someone sat on the remote and now we’re watching a marathon of 'Curb Your Enthusiasm.'"
Cotlar described Trump as “caffeine-crazed and hyperactive,” and lacking the “slow, steady hand” that is usually associated with conservatism. Cotlar also believes that the president’s rhetoric and policy positions continuously challenge conservative principles.
While Trump is not like the gray-haired conservatives of old who carefully measured their actions against public opinion, his principles and vision for America are markedly conservative. In his first year, Trump’s policies have consistently put America’s interests first, and his concern for the “forgotten men and women of our country” has advised every major decision of his administration.
The results are self-evident.
Under Trump, America has all but annihilated the Islamic State and boldly supported our only ally in the Middle East, Israel. His “peace through strength” mantra has infuriated North Korea, but has also kept the rogue nation from launching any attack.
Moreover, his social conservatism has earned him the praise of principled religious leaders, and his fiscal conservatism rivals that of Ronald Reagan. His policies helped create more than 1.8 million jobs, reduced unemployment, and cut taxes in ways that would have made the Gipper proud. We also can’t forget that Trump appointed an equally conservative replacement for the late Antonin Scalia to the Supreme Court in Neil Gorsuch.
Like most academics, however, these professors are heavily influenced by the leftist “resistance” who have worked tirelessly to brand Trump as a racist, alt-right hero.
Cotlar believes that Trump actually changes how people should “think about or engage with conservative Trump voters.”
“What does it mean to empathize with people who advocate white nationalism?” he inquired.
He noted that his new course on conservatism will ask students how conservatism should be understood “in the context of white supremacism” and how it may be a “cultural revolt against modernity.”
Michelle Nickerson, an associate professor of history at Loyola University in Chicago, added that Trump’s style of conservatism has forced her to revise her definition of populism to include “xenophobia” and “racism.”
These disgusting stereotypes of conservatives and populists as archaic white nationalists exposes the extent of their brainwashing by the mainstream media. The media has warped society’s understanding of modernity through its active race-baiting, glorification of sexual deviance, and an all-out assault on traditional values.
Moreover, these historians have watched the ever-growing list of spineless, lackluster conservatives and neo-conservatives cave to liberals in the name of bipartisanship. Trump’s defiance of this pathetic stereotype frightens them and presents an existential threat to their narrow-minded view of American politics.
Brendan Pringle (@BrendanPringle) is a freelance journalist in California. He is a National Journalism Center graduate and formerly served as a development officer for Young America's Foundation at the Reagan Ranch.