Support for Populist Insurgency Existed 10 Years Ago

2016 February 1
by bc3b

All that was needed was for someone like Donald Trump to assume leadership.

A Pew study from 2005 indicates the makings of a populist insurgency, similar to what Donald Trump is attempting to harness, have been present in the US for more than 10 years. It was simply ignored by both political parties.

Rod Dreher writes about the survey takeaways in The American Conservative:

A total of 46 percent of registered voters — Republicans and Republican-leaning independent — had in 2005 a political profile that fits with the Trump brand.

  • Those Pew defined as “Social Conservatives” were 13 percent of all voters in 2005. Pew defined them as: “While supportive of an assertive foreign policy, this group is somewhat more religious than are Enterprisers. In policy terms, they break from the Enterprisers in their cynical views of business, modest support for environmental and other regulation, and strong anti-immigrant sentiment.”

  • Only 10 percent of registered right-of-center voters — Enterprisers, the most conservative Republicans — had a 2005 profile that would reject Trump utterly.

  • Those Pew defined as “Conservative Democrats” — that is, social and religious conservatives who are the New Deal types, and who almost entirely lean Democratic — comprised in 2005 fifteen percent of the electorate. Pew described them this way: “Older women and blacks make up a sizeable proportion of this group (27% and 30%, respectively). Somewhat less educated and poorer than the nation overall. Allegiance to the Democratic party is quite strong (51% describe themselves as “strong” Democrats) but fully 85% describe themselves as either conservative or moderate ideologically.”

  • The “Partisan Poor” are the most financially disadvantaged of all the typologies, and vote heavily Democratic. A third of them are black, and they favor government services but are skeptical of government, and hostile to business interests. They were at the time 10 percent of registered voters.
  • So, consider this: A Republican candidate back then that could have pulled just half of the “Conservative Democrats” and half of the “Partisan Poor” would have had a working voting coalition of nearly 60 percent. He could have afforded to have lost some of the Independent and Social Conservatives to a Democrat, and still been in a strong position,Consider this too: in both the GOP and Democratic cases, the party elites were more aligned with the most extreme on their own sides. Among the Republicans, the strongly pro-business conservatives were only 11 percent of registered voters, and a distinct minority among Republicans and Republican-leaning voters.

But they called the shots.

The split between Steadfast Conservatives Business Conservatives continues to expand:

First, Steadfast Conservatives take very conservative views on key social issues like homosexuality and immigration, while Business Conservatives are less conservative – if not actually progressive – on these issues. Nearly three-quarters of Steadfast Conservatives (74%) believe that homosexuality should be discouraged by society. Among Business Conservatives, just 31% think homosexuality should be discouraged; 58% believe it should be accepted.

Business Conservatives have generally positive attitudes toward immigrants and 72% favor a “path to citizenship” for those in the U.S. illegally, if they meet certain conditions. Steadfast Conservatives are more critical of immigrants; 50% support a path to citizenship, the lowest share of any typology group.

Second, just as Steadfast Conservatives are opposed to big government, they also are skeptical of big business. They believe that large corporations have too much power, and nearly half (48%) say the economic system unfairly favors powerful interests. By contrast, as their name suggests, Business Conservatives are far more positive about the free market, and overwhelmingly regard business – and Wall Street – positively.

Finally, these two conservative groups differ over foreign policy. Steadfast Conservatives have doubts about U.S. international engagement – and view free trade agreements as a bad thing for the U.S. – while Business Conservatives are more supportive of the U.S. taking an active role in world affairs and free trade.


Are you beginning to see where Trump came from?

And are you beginning to see why the gatekeepers on the GOP side — the party insiders, the think tanks, the conservative media — were able to keep any candidate who might have appealed to the middle, against the interests of Business Conservatives, from getting through?

Until along came someone so rich he didn’t have to depend on party donors and insiders to promote his political career. Those voters were there, but there was no way for Republican politicians within the system to speak to them, and for them. (And by the way, the Democrats, by having demonized so many religious and social conservatives, have the same problem.)


What Trump has shown, and is showing every day, is how out of touch Conservatism, Inc., is with the people for whom it purports to speak. They haven’t had a chance to vote for someone like him in a long, long time because, as I’ve said, the GOP and Conservatism, Inc., gatekeepers kept them down. The conservative Christians who have gone to Washington and gotten invited to be in the inner Republican power circles? You think those professional Christians really speak for the people back home anymore?

It probably explains why the powerful, including the Republican leadership, was so afraid of Sarah Palin in 2008. Palin has strong populist tendencies. Palin was able to attract huge crowds and generate excitement but didn’t have Donald Trump’s experience in handling the media and she was hamstrung by the McCain campaign. And, Palin didn’t have the money to go it alone, like Trump does. And, it likely explains her rationale for supporting Trump over Cruz.

Read more (and it’s an excellent read):

Hat Tip:

26 Responses leave one →
  1. 2016 February 1 7:45 am
    justrand permalink

    call it “Populist” or “Nationalist”…but either way, it is what millions of Americans want now

    call it “Socialist” or “Communist”…but either way, it is what millions of Americans want now

    2016…the year we decide

  2. 2016 February 1 8:07 am
    bc3b permalink

    Is George Soros any greater an enemy to middle class Americans than Paul Singer or Thomas Donohue? All three want to destroy the country as we know it.

    Unfortunately, populism has been associated with left-wing movements in the US going back to William Jennings Bryan. There is nothing wrong with “small p” populism. Middle class conservatives have far more in common with most middle class Democrats than business conservatives and neocons who support unlimited immigration, amnesty, gay marriage, etc.

  3. 2016 February 1 8:29 am


  4. 2016 February 1 8:41 am

    During the 3-1/2 years of World War II that started with the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor in December of 1941 and ended with the surrender of Germany and Japan in 1945, “We the People of the U.S.A. ” produced the following:
    22 aircraft carriers
    8 battleships
    48 cruisers
    349 destroyers
    420 destroyer escorts
    203 submarines
    34 million tons of merchant ships
    100,000 fighter aircraft
    98,000 bombers
    24,000 transport aircraft
    58,000 training aircraft
    93,000 tanks
    257,000 artillery pieces
    105,000 mortars
    3,000,000 machine guns and
    2,500,000 military trucks

    We put 16.1 million men in uniform in the various armed services, invaded Africa, invaded Sicily and Italy, won the battle for the Atlantic, planned and executed D-Day, marched across the Pacific and Europe, developed the atomic bomb and, ultimately, conquered Japan and Germany.
    It’s worth noting that during the almost exact amount of time, the Obama Administration couldn’t even build a web site that worked!!!

  5. 2016 February 1 9:07 am
    drdog09 permalink


    I lament our lack of ability every day.

    Oh, consider the logo in #3 stolen. 🙂

  6. 2016 February 1 9:10 am
    drdog09 permalink


    A leading indicator that the insurgency was ready was the forces that coalesced around Palin during her run for VP. Same single mindedness of purpose and willingness to go the miles to win.

  7. 2016 February 1 9:15 am
    drdog09 permalink

    My best laugh so far today was some radio personality stating that “IA snow storms will impact Trump support…”. My mind flashing back to photos of two weeks ago of Trump supporters standing in the blizzard of NH for 7 hours so they could be sure to get a seat.

  8. 2016 February 1 9:29 am

    Marshalltown IA… Problem in a nutshell, notice the last raise was in 2006…10 years ago.

  9. 2016 February 1 9:38 am


  10. 2016 February 1 9:41 am
    drdog09 permalink

    I suspect the author of the piece was a former NYT intern. The same ‘woe the immigrant’ mind pap on display.

  11. 2016 February 1 9:55 am
    drdog09 permalink

    Floated into my inbox….

    “The Secret War and Other Conflicts” (Published 2014 by GENERAL PETE PIOTROWSKI ISBN 978-1-4931-6187-4 (Hardcover))

    Following is a quote of much interest, from pages 246/247:

    “Nearly twenty years later, former Secretary of State Dean Rusk being interviewed by Peter Arnett on a CBC documentary called, “The Ten Thousand Day War”.

    Mr Arnett asked, “It has been rumored that the United States provided the North Vietnamese government the names of the targets that would be bombed the following day. Is there any truth to that allegation?”

    To everyone’s astonishment and absolute disgust, the former Secretary responded, “Yes. We didn’t want to harm the North Vietnamese people, so we passed the targets to the Swiss embassy in Washington with instructions to pass them to the NVN government through their embassy in Hanoi.” As we watched in horror, Secretary Rusk went on to say, “All we wanted to do is demonstrate to the North Vietnamese leadership that we could strike targets at will, but we didn’t want to kill innocent people. By giving the North Vietnamese advanced warning of the targets to be attacked, we thought they would tell the workers to stay home.”

    No wonder all the targets were so heavily defended day after day! The NVN obviously moved as many guns as they could overnight to better defend each target they knew was going to be attacked. Clearly, many brave American Air Force and Navy fliers died or spent years in NVN prison camps as a direct result of being intentionally betrayed by Secretary Rusk and Secretary McNamara, and perhaps, President Johnson himself.

    I cannot think of a more duplicitous and treacherous act of American government officials. Dean Rusk served as Secretary of State from January 21, 1961, through to January 20, 1969, under President John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.


  12. 2016 February 1 10:03 am
    justrand permalink

    between IP’s comment #4, and drdog’s comment #11 I am now even MORE thoroughly pissed off and depressed!

    Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war!

  13. 2016 February 1 10:19 am

    11 – You mean like dropping flyers warning isis truckers before they were about to be bombed?

  14. 2016 February 1 10:45 am
    bc3b permalink

    ip727 –

    During the 3-1/2 years of World War II that started with the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor in December of 1941 and ended with the surrender of Germany and Japan in 1945, “We the People of the U.S.A. ” produced the following:

    This was due in large part to the fact that GM, Ford, Chrysler, Wyllys, Boeing, etc. were US companies that were interested in the future of the US. Today they are multi-national companies whose primary interest in the US is bailouts, product purchases by the government and other forms of crony capitalism.

    Americans supporting Trump are a lot more like US citizens of 1942 than business leaders arfe like their counterparts in 1942.

    Also, it’s important to remember that the US was much more of an industrial nation in 1942 than it is today.

  15. 2016 February 1 10:50 am
    MI Conservative permalink

    Does anyone have any websites where the results can be followed on? I think these two will have the results but I’m not sure till we see them come in.

  16. 2016 February 1 10:54 am
    bc3b permalink

    MIC –

    Politico usually has election results.

  17. 2016 February 1 11:13 am
    drdog09 permalink

    A battle hymn before the main event goes curtain up —

  18. 2016 February 1 11:45 am
    bc3b permalink

  19. 2016 February 1 1:11 pm
    bc3b permalink

  20. 2016 February 1 2:17 pm
    drdog09 permalink


    Whats that ole saying — “The flack is thickest where target is centered.”

  21. 2016 February 1 2:26 pm
    bc3b permalink

    Des Moines forecast (via Accuweather): Rain turning to snow late tonight with 6-8 inches accumulation expected. It appears the bad weather will start after the caucuses, assuming the caucuses end by 9 PM.

  22. 2016 February 1 2:32 pm
    bc3b permalink

    Migrant center banned from holding memorial service for murdered social worker because it might upset migrant children:

    Sweden has to be the world’s most f’ed up country.

  23. 2016 February 1 2:55 pm
    fight on permalink

    Another reason for Trump.

    Good riddance to the pigs at the trough. Just don’t replace them Donald.

  24. 2016 February 1 3:35 pm

    post 24

    None of them would ever leave their jobs.

  25. 2016 February 1 4:50 pm

    20 – Why am I not surprised.

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