Trumpism Is Having Its Best Week Ever

New York Magazine

In certain respects, Donald Trump has been a far more “normal” Republican president than many pundits had predicted (or are willing to admit). Upon taking office, the mogul left his most heretical deviations from GOP dogma at the White House gates: The “populist” insurgent’s welfare chauvinismgave way to Paul Ryanism; his neo-isolationism, to something resemblingconventional right-wing hawkery; his gestures of tolerance toward “the LGBT community,” to the pious persecution of transgender Americans.

On other fronts, the president’s apparent abnormality has had less to do with his ingenuity than with our collective amnesia: There is nothing abnormal about a Republican administration launching a crusade against voter fraud that is, in reality, a crusade against Democratic voter participation; or about one imposing tariffs on foreign steel; or running up the deficit; or sabotaging regulatory agencies; or even politicizing federal law enforcement.

And yet, it would be a mistake to suggest that Trump’s innovations have been purely stylistic, that he’s merely stamped his garish branding on the GOP’s classic product. Beyond the unprecedented illiberalism of the president’s rhetoric, his approach to governance has been substantively distinctive enough to warrant its own title. Trumpism is real.

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