HEED T., KUBYSHKIN A.I. Make America Great Again? How Do We Explain Trumpism

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2022.2.9

Tom Heed

PhD (Education), Professor Emeritus,

Ramapo College, 505 Ramapo Valley Rd, Mahwah, 07430 New Jersey, USA

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Alexander I. Kubyshkin

Doctor of Sciences (History), Professor,

Saint Petersburg State University,

Universitetskaya Emb., 7-9, 199034 Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation

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Abstract. Introduction. Donald Trump was the nadir for the Republican Party; his election in 2016 and his subsequent tenure as President from 2017 to 2021 was the low point of the evolutionary descent and destruction of the party. When Ronald Reagan was elected the 40th president in 1980 at his inaugural address, he warned the nation: “government is not the solution to our problems; government is the problem”. One of his first legislative actions was to cut federal taxes on the wealthiest Americans. From that hour on, the Republican Party set their mantra as “lower taxes and shrink government, at all levels” (except for National Defense). Since Ronald Reagan’s Presidency, the Republican Party knows only one policy, cut taxes and shrink government; with that as its most sacred Creed, the party has blocked itself from dealing with any national needs.

Methods and materials. The methods used in the article are comparative, analytical, and functional systematic. The materials used were: 1) the official documents of President R. Reagan Library; 2) secondary accounts of contemporary events; 3) the materials of US media and selected articles of political experts.

Analysis. The article provides some reflections on the evolutionary political process inside the Republican Party from R. Reagan till D. Trump. The authors analyze the context of political and ideological crisis, the new wave of conservative leaders, and the reasons for the structural crisis of the Republican Party. Special attitude devoted to D. Trump phenomena and the description of his political mind. T. Heed analyzed the main trends of the development Republican Party in the last 30 years. He also selected some historical and current sources from mass media for identification of the controversy inside the GOP. A. Kubyshkin analyzed the connection inside the US party system with global challenges for US policy in the domestic arena and on the international scene.

Results. D. Trump’s bankruptcy of the Republican Party is perhaps best shown by the platform he ordered for the 2020 campaign. There should be none. This action best describes what Trump did to the GOP. By Trump’s command, all the Republican party need offer was Trump. The only campaign slogan needed was to support the beloved leader. Only he could heal the nation. No statement of policies was needed; there were none. The Republican Party was left with only Trump as the one all and be all.

Key words: US political party system, Republican Party evolution, the crisis of political leadership in US, political phenomena of D. Trump, Trumpism ideology.

Citation. Heed T., Kubyshkin A.I. Make America Great Again? How Do We Explain Trumpism. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2022, vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 101-111. DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2022.2.9.

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Make America Great Again? How Do We Explain Trumpism by Heed T., Kubyshkin A.I. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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