Donald Trump is a populist and nationalist, but the rest of his ideology is hard to place. Rather, he otherwise seems to be pragmatic. This is obviously at odds with contemporary Republicans, whose ideology is neoliberal, modern, materialist, and globalist. In fact, Trump represents a part of America’s historical political paradigm.
In America, there have been many different political parties because political parties rise and fall as circumstances and individuals change. But successful political parties historically have fallen into a familiar paradigm: the Bankers’ party versus the Farmers’ party. That is, successful political parties either stand for the cultural and economic interests of bankers or farmers. The Bankers’ parties are the Federalists (1789-1824), the Whigs (1834-1853), and the Republicans (1854-1900). The Farmers’ parties are Jeffersonian Republicans (1790-1825), the Jacksonian Democrats (1828-1854) and the Dixiecrats (1876-1964). All Bankers’ parties generally support the same thing, and all Farmers’ parties generally support the same thing, so there is seldom daylight within them. Bankers’ parties are capitalist and advocate a strong central government. The Farmers’ parties are pre-capitalist, populists, and nationalists, while advocating states’ rights.
Farmers’ parties are usually led by a rich planter (e.g., Andrew Jackson) who distrusts “moneyed interests.” And yet, the parties’ support comes from the common man (i.e., common white man). It is noticeable that this is the New World’s mirror image of European monarchy or perhaps even Bonapartism, where an authoritarian leader does the will of the people by destroying decadent elites. It is populist albeit anti-democratic. Also, it is noticeable that Donald Trump’s campaign mirrors these Farmers’ parties. He is a very rich man, but he speaks for the common man in the Jacksonian sense (i.e., the common white man) when he decries illegal immigration and unfair trade. His comments about torture and terrorists’ families are obviously authoritarian. He distrusts moneyed elites, as his tirades against wealthy donors show.
If Andrew Jackson were a contemporary of ours, the chances are he would sound a lot like Donald Trump sounds today. More or less, Donald Trump is a contemporary version of a Jacksonian Democrat. As the Republican nominee, he wouldn’t only move America towards its historical paradigm of the Bankers’ party versus the Farmers’ party; but, further, he would force Democrats to defend Globalism at the expense of American workers. America’s political paradigm, then, would be something like the populist patriots’ party versus the plutocratic globalists’ party.