Unhappy conservatives who feel that Washington, DC doesn’t represent them are driving support for Donald Trump in the Republican presidential nomination race. Despite being denounced by his fellow GOP candidates and dismissed by the US media, Trump is soaring in the polls thanks to his vocal opposition to Hispanic immigration and Republican establishment figures such as Lindsey Graham and John McCain. This presents a real problem to GOP elites who just want Trump and his populist, anti-immigration message to disappear so they can get back to talking about Hillary Clinton’s emails or Barack Obama’s golf game.
The strong populist sentiment into which Trump has tapped is much akin to the pro-Southern reaction to Republican leaders heading the charge against Confederate flags and monuments across Dixie. The party is completely out of touch with its grassroots conservative supporters – without whom it would have no influence in government. It mocks its White Southern conservative base and supports policies such as open borders which hurt their economic and cultural interests.
Trump, much like Pat Buchanan a couple of decades ago, has targeted the conservative voters that the Republican elites have abandoned. He is flanking the pro-establishment center-Right, much like surging nationalists parties are doing in European countries such as Sweden, Italy, France, Denmark and the United Kingdom. Trump is also demonstrating the lack of choice in the US two-party political system. He presently occupies the position that a serious Southern nationalist party would likely occupy. Such a party, if actively running candidates across the South, would deny pro-establishment and anti-Southern GOP candidates victory in many districts. It could 1) lead to the demise of the Party of Lincoln, 2) force the GOP to the Right or 3) force the GOP to the Left and thus open up space for a mainstream Right party. Any of these scenarios are better than the status quo; they at least offer hope while the status quo is destroying the South.