Ethno-nationalist or not, European rightist parties accept the central tenets of the mixed economy. By contrast, following the juridical collapse of the white supremacist “solid South” of the Democratic Party and the dramatic cultural and economic changes forged by the Civil Rights and feminist movements, the Republican Party, over time, came to encompass racially and culturally anxious white Southern voters. These voters joined with the party’s existing anti-“big government” and anti-union business class that had vehemently opposed the New Deal.
In short, those in opposition to the federal government’s regulation of the economy and defense of workers by labor unions combined in a single party with those who feared the end of racial and gender norms and hierarchies in social and family life. While elderly white Republicans came to enjoy the Social Security and Medicare of their own dedicated welfare state — a kind of welfare gerontocracy, as opposed to the European right’s welfare chauvinism — they resisted the expansion of similar programs to others deemed less deserving.
The result is thus unique in the history of the United States and also not found anywhere else in the advanced world: a major conservative party that combines the ethno-nationalism of the European splinter parties plus a religiously grounded concern about changing gender roles, and a libertarian fealty to its plutocratic donor class — an elephant one part George Wallace, one part Jerry Falwell, and one part Ayn Rand.
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