The Martian

Conservatism, Inc. is a collection of white papers in search of a social base. Donald Trump, on the other hand, is a social base looking for a collection of white papers. Specifically, he seeks to defend those middle- and working-class White Americans that everyone else seems to hate. A few decades ago, they were called “Middle American Radicals” (MARs) and associated with the “New Right.” (No, not that New Right, or that New Right), or that one either.) The late Sam Francis wrote of the MARs mindset better than anyone else, and his observations hold up:

While there is much to be said for the renaissance of free market ideas led by Ludwig von Mises, F. A. Hayek, Milton Friedman, Arthur Laffer, and others, it is doubtful that the MAR coalition and its allies in the Sunbelt’s entrepreneurial regions will continue to focus on this classical liberal principle. It is more likely that MAR-Sunbelt interests require a strong governmental role in maintaining economic privileges for the elderly and for unionized labor (where it now exists), that they will also require (or demand) subsidization of construction and perhaps of characteristic Sunbelt enterprises (energy, defense and aerospace industries, and agriculture).... [T]he classical liberal idea of a night-watchman state is an illusion . . . a MAR elite would make use of the state for its own interests as willingly as the present managerial elite does. MAR resentment of welfare, paternalism, and regulation is not based on a profound faith in the market but simply on the sense of injustice that unfair welfare programs, taxes, and stifling regulation have bred. The central focus of MAR-New Right political economy is likely to be economic growth, a value often confused with, sometimes encompassing, but not identical to the free market.

Clearly, economic growth involves the lifting of most legal and administrative restraints on enterprise—the demise of environmentalist legislation, OSHA, the sale of federally owned land in the Far West, etc. But it would also include government assistance to dynamic but underfed sectors of the economy—e.g., the space program and new technology forms. The role of government in stimulating growth is no less inconsistent with free market ideals than its role in retarding growth, and since the social forces of the New Right would have a strong interest in the former role, there is little value in their adherence to a strict laissez-faire ideology.

Kevin DeAnna, of the now-defunct Youth for Western Civilization (a MARs student group if there ever was one), used to complain that the American Right seemed hell-bent on lowering taxes on left-wing millionaires. More power to Trump if he were to build a wall on the Mexican border by using tax money plucked from the coffers of George Soros, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Michael Bloomberg, Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart, Hilary Clinton. . . .

Fear not your desire to eat the rich.