Donald Trump’s Jacksonian Revival Presidency

It was hard for the transnational progressives that dominate American politics and media empires to understand in their gut either President Trump’s successful 2016 campaign or his 2018 campaigning, because Trump’s campaign “dog whistles” are outside their frame of reference. The reason why is that the Trump political phenomena is very much Trump being a “fire and brimstone preacher from the non-denominational Low Church of American Exceptionalism” in the midst of the PC dominated American High Church outlawing displays of the American flag on Cinco De Mayo for “reasons of diversity.”

Two examples for your consideration:

1) My wife found this article below for me, because she is better at spotting the American fundamentalist Christian Right’s symbols than I.

Donald Trump and the Evangelical Vote
By Emily Johnson
December 8, 2015

And herein lies the political genius of Trump. Without tying himself to any particular group, Trump has captured the populist rhetoric of the most conservative elements of the GOP base. He spoke for more than 45 minutes in Knoxville and hardly referred to religion at all, focusing instead on issues related to immigration, defense, and trade. But religion was not absent from the event. It began with a prayer, given by a local law enforcement officer, beseeching God to bless America with a “guiding hand of direction” and a “guarding hedge of protection.” Corum, the 92-year-old first-time voter who warmed up Trump’s audience, also had a great deal to say about good, evil, and God. The United States, she said, “ought to be like it should have been in the beginning” when God bestowed a special blessing on the nation.
But direct appeals to religious rhetoric are less important to Trump’s campaign than is his appeal to far-right voters as a brutally honest man who is only a reluctant convert to the world of politics. For these voters, Trump is like them: a passionate American who was compelled to become involved in the political realm because of his commitment to return the nation to the way it ought to be.


This is the founding myth of General George Washington coming to the Constitutional Convention as the American republic’s Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus, and then dropping the reigns of power to return to Mt. Vernon for a second and final time.

Emily Johnson’s article is really good, and you should read it in full after seeing the following:

2) This video of a performance of the “USA Freedom Kids” at the beginning of a Trump for President campaign rally.

As a military kid, that performance pulled so many of my strings that I knew immediately that;
a. I was being purposefully manipulated by the symbols I grew up with, and
b. I loved it anyway.

Trump’s political rallies then and now are revival meeting of American exceptionalism for America’s Scots-Irish, and extended by assimilation, white ethnic  Jacksonian faction.

This style of campaigning is 180 degrees out of phase with traditional negative campaigning, which is to paint other candidates as the enemy of you and yours — “OTHER.”

Trump’s campaign rallies have been about affirming Jacksonian tribal identity in much the way Slobodan Milosevic of Serbia did and Putin of Russia is currently doing in Russia.

The issues that Trump has chosen to run and govern on are all about American blood-and-soil nationalism at the expense of international politics and trade. And President Trump has been painting himself in the traditional role of Cincinnatus & George Washington coming down from his estates to set right the ills of the Republic.

The transnational progressives that dominate the political parties of the West simply cannot compete with this American tribal identity stuff because they are not nationalist.

National identity is outside their frame of reference. So are appeals to them.

20 thoughts on “Donald Trump’s Jacksonian Revival Presidency”

  1. I am reading simultaneously, “Militant Normals” in hard cover and “Ship of Fools,” on Kindle. Both are good. The tone of the Carlson book is slightly higher than that of Schlichter.

    I usually have several books going at the same time. The Kindle is in bed, the hard cover on the back patio now that the weather is cooler.

    In the car, I just ordered the audio of “Revolt of the Elites.”

    All are good and analyze the current psychology going on in this country.

    Several years ago, I read “Revolt Against the Masses” That was more about terrorism but the others are about the Elite vs Middle Class cold war that is going on.

  2. Mike K,

    It has been my experience that “Public Displays of Patriotism” are generating “Vampire to the Cross” reactions from the Left that was not true in President Bill Clinton’s two administrations nor Dubya’s.

    The lines drawn by the Obama Administration seem to be 1858-ish with all that implies.

  3. “The Transnational Progressives that dominate the political parties of the West simply cannot compete with this American tribal identity stuff because they are not nationalist.”

    Not sure about that sentence. The Far Lefties that dominate the Western (including US) Establishment are not really Transnational Progressives — they are not Transnational and certainly not Progressives in any meaningful sense. The Establishment Political Class are nothing more than a Mafia-type of criminal organization sponging off the hard work of others. Their main method of control is Divide & Conquer. They try to make people believe that the amount of melanin in their skin or what is between their legs is all that matters — and anyone different from them is the Enemy. The Lefties only interest in international matters is to gain bigger opportunities for self-enrichment.

    Maybe the current Political Class is not so different from old European Royalty. Then, the King was a nationalist — ‘Hey! We are all English. We hate the French, right! And the Spanish too! Let’s go kill them.’ The Divide & Conquer of Kings was between the entities we call nations. Now, the Lefties’ Divide & Conquer is within the entities we call nations.

    The US was founded on a different basis from Royalty-dominated Europe. But human nature does not change; Class is still the big driver. Maybe it would have needed much stronger sanctions than those in the Constitution to make the American experiment work for long.

  4. The media talking point if the day is that “globalist” and “nationalism” are anti-Semitic. I have no idea what planet these people are from or why they think Americans are going to be convinced by this idiocy.

  5. It is important to distinguish between nationalism–“we (the people living in this land) are all in some sense in this together”–from racism. “Soil” nationalism is not inherently about “blood”.

    As an example of the difference: Anne Frank’s father, Otto, fought for the German state in World War I, and received a field promotion to officer level. In the Second World War, the German state threw him into a concentration camp.

    Nationalism can indeed lead to very bad things, as the example of World War I makes clear, but racism adds a whole different level of atrocities.

  6. If you are an individual with, say, $50 million in assets to invest, then your financial future is not necessarily tied closely to the overall US economy, much less to a regional economy. Similarly if you are a marketing executive with a multinational corporation, or a writer or an actor.

    But if you’re a factory worker or a truck driver or a railroad worker, then the economic connection between the US as an entity, and you as an individual, is a lot stronger.

    Similarly, if you’re financially well-off then you’re much better protected from various kinds of social dysfunction–crime, dangerous schools, etc–than if you’re not so well off.

    These factors have much to do, I think, with who does and doesn’t incline toward nationalism–of the “soil” variety, not necessarily the “blood” version.

  7. Similarly, if you’re financially well-off then you’re much better protected from various kinds of social dysfunction–crime, dangerous schools, etc–than if you’re not so well off.

    I dunno. Most of my friends are pretty well off but not in the Silicon Valley billionaire class.

    Many of us have been in the military and many of us came from lower middle class families.

    My oldest son is a trial lawyer and a lefty who used to disdain Orange County as a “right wing” backward enclave.

    He lives in the Bay Area and is married to a hard left psychology professor who probably knows Blasey Ford.

    Now, he has two kids and wants to move back to Orange County. The schools in the Bay Area are terrible and private schools are $25,000 a year tuition.

    It’s interesting to see some one wait until 50 to grow up.

  8. I looked in my wallet today. There was George, the father of our country. Next came Abe, the first Republican. Alexander in all his rectitude. Then there was Andy, and he made me smile a mile wide.

  9. Personal view — “racism” is an empty term with no precise meaning, used by Far Lefties as a mindless insult to shut down discussion. It is time we all started to laugh at the term.

    After all, what is the history of Europe over the last 2,000 years? “White” people killing other “White” people! And what is the history of Africa since the dawn of time? “Black” people killing other “Black” people! To talk of “White” or “Black” as races means absolutely nothing. Because all those “White” Europeans did not think of themselves as a homogenous group circling the wagons to protect themselves from the “Other”. No! Those “White” people thought of themselves as English, for example, and they hated everyone who was not English — the color of their skin did not matter. And that was not the end of it. Within those “White” English people, the “White” Londoners looked down on the “White” Yorkshire men, who in turn despised the “White” Londoners. There never has been any great sympathy among “White” people.

    A good example was South Africa in the old days, where the “White” Boers and the “White” English had as much distrust and contempt for each other as they did for the “Black” Africans. And the “Black” South Africans viewed “Black” South Africans from other tribes as enemies.

    If we look back at the Norman Conquest, the “White” Normans did everything they could to keep themselves apart from the “White” Anglo-Saxons they ruled — right down to executing any Anglo-Saxon who managed to learn Norman French. But even so, the Norman overlords were far from unified, and spent a lot of time fighting with each other.

    Arguably, Normans/Anglo-Saxons provide a good model for the situation in which we find ourselves today. Our Norman overlords in politics, the bureaucracy, the media, and academia spend their days fighting with each other — but they still see themselves as distinct from the rest of the population. And they use laughable concepts like “racism” to distract us from the reality that our would-be Norman overlords are the real “Other”.

  10. Gavin…”Arguably, Normans/Anglo-Saxons provide a good model for the situation in which we find ourselves today.”

    I have wondered: to what extent do the class boundaries as they existed in Britain for centuries…and still exist to some extent today…still follow the Norman/Anglo-Saxon dichotomy? In, say, Jane Austen’s time, were the Lords mostly of Norman descent and the peasants mainly Anglo-Saxon?

  11. David — that is a very interesting question … and one about which I have no knowledge.

    From what I understand, initially the conquering Normans (Vikings who had settled generations earlier in part of what is now France) spoke Norman French among themselves and the language of the Anglo-Saxons to their serfs, giving the Normans a communication advantage and keeping them distinct from the general population. But many generations had passed by Jane Austen’s time — if we guess an average 4 generations per century, that would be something around 30 generations since the Conquest. Many of the titled Upper Class in her days could probably trace their ancestry back to the Conquerors, but after 30 generations it is likely that most of the people in Austen’s time would also have had Normans somewhere in their ancestry.

    Arguably, Social Class is only very loosely related to ancestry. Certainly, although Scottish nobles traced their ancestry from the same invading Normans as English nobles, they were definitely second class citizens in Upper Class England. And as for the descendants of those Normans who went on to conquer Ireland and form the Irish nobility … well! The worrying thing in the US is to see the emergence of a nepotistic Political Class, of which Bushes, Clintons, Murkowskis are only the tip of the iceberg. It is natural for people to want to give their relatives a hand up, but when we see the emergence of an identifiable distinct inter-married, inter-generational social class with pretensions to rule (a nomenklatura), it is pitchfork time.

  12. Are there any great families other than the Percys that survived? The reason why the Tudor revolution held was because Henry created an entire class of nobility who owed it everything, there was no going back for them.

  13. Very few modern British are descended from the Normans according to recent DNA studies.

    The only invaders that left a lasting legacy are the Anglo-Saxons. As well as giving us the English language, the Anglo-Saxons, whose influx began around AD 450, account for 10 to 40 per cent of the DNA in half of modern-day Britons.

    There is some French and German ancestry evident, but those ancestors arrived thousands of years before the Norman invasion.

    And it’s probably not correct to characterized Anglo-Saxons as invaders. They were a migration. The rule seems to be that conquerors leave little genetic legacy behind, but migrants leave a lot.

  14. “And it’s probably not correct to characterized Anglo-Saxons as invaders. They were a migration.”

    A migration implies they moved into a largely empty land. Perhaps the Mormons moving to Utah might be an example of a migration. Given that Julius Caesar documented fierce resistance from occupants of what is now southern England around 55 BC, it seems likely that the Anglo-Saxons arriving around 5 centuries later found that much of the land was already occupied — sounds like an invasion.

  15. Yeah, it’d be silly to argue that the Turks moving into Asia Minor after Manzikert was a migration, and not an invasion. It was both, but in general you don’t get a new people migrating en masse without a military component that there’s no better word for than invasion.

  16. In, say, Jane Austen’s time, were the Lords mostly of Norman descent and the peasants mainly Anglo-Saxon?

    It has been pointed out that the names of animals, like pig and deer, are Anglo Saxon, while the names for the food made from them, “pork and Venison” are Norman words.

    I’m not sure that’s true and I can’t remember where I read that.

    An Irish friend of mine, who hated the English as all good Irishmen should, was annoyed to find that his family name, Walsh, was Norman.

    He also learned rather late in life, that Wales looked like a much prettier Ireland. It annoyed him no end.

    He was the Irish friend who warned me that the Irish did not enjoy having Americans visiting looking for family roots.

    He told me, “They know the cream left.”

  17. Mike K,

    Tuition at Castilleja is $47,970. Menlo, $46,995. Woodside Priory $46,100. Head Royce is the bargain at $42,900.

  18. Autofill seems to be starting to work in comments.

    I was out of date on the tuition. Thanks.

    I sent my kids to a private school in San Juan Capistrano but can no longer afford to send my grandchildren.

    Fortunately, the parents found a good charter school for the two youngest. The oldest, who is very bright, is in public high school in Orange County.

    I would like to see the older son come back but he has to deal with family issues.

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