As David Brooks from New York Times points out, The Republican Party has been operating on a mixture of foreign policy hawkishness, social conservatism and fiscal hawkishness whereas Trump rather ignores these and seems to have been separated from modern conservatism so far. He does not want to be associated with any ideologies or philosophy. What was so Republican about him? Desire to win?
Generally, Trump’s hawkishness can be seen very well. The same with his social conservatism which took a shape of plans to defund Planned Parenthood and the appointment of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. In terms of fiscal hawkishness, here it is: his budget proposal includes very “impressive” series of cuts. Positions on Russia, China and NATO have been already reversed. All policies which were the core of the isolationist campaign from last year got changed.
What is the “Trumpism” then? Probably a fiction created for special purposes. First of all, it creates the atmosphere of predictability, so needed to provide feeling of security. Trump tries to remain the separate unit in this whole show, but with making needed sham of affiliation to “something”. He needs Trumpism to make him less unpredictable and to ensure everyone that there really is a certain plan.
There are voices that it actually is a positive aspect of his policy as well. Julius Krein, editor of the pro-Trump journal American Affairs, claims that Trump benefits from having not so many ideological constraints. Ideology always needs to be created, because it does not exist itself. That is a strong argument of Trump’s intellectual defenders – no dogma imposed gives more space for fresh thinking and creation of adequate philosophy.
Many of us wonder: what ideology and political philosophy can emerge from Donald Trump’s ruling?
Will such lack of rigidity and consequence result in Trump’s trouble? He does not seem to be worried about it. Last November, Trump was asked by Douthat from the Times whether he worries or not about consequences of being both outside and simultaneously inside the Republican Party, the president-elect answered: “No, I don’t worry about that.”
Nevertheless, it is much too early to tell exactly what kind of philosophy rules in America during this term. One thing is sure, we experience “a state of radical flux” as David Brooks said. We cannot really predict next steps and decisions and, in fact, we cannot count on much coherence. This can become quite scary, especially because there is no ideology which is clear and allowing for predictability. There is Trump’s will to win with a hope that it can be the Republican Party which will help him achieve this.