Going into the presidential race, last year, Donald Trump was far from a typical Republican.
His rich man braggadocio, his prior support for abortion, and much else, put him culturally at odds with the social conservative wing of the GOP. He dared heap scorn on neoconservative foreign policy strategy, sacrosanct since Reagan on the right. He has supported many Democratic programs, not the least of which is the Gephardtian protectionism that pulled in so many moderate Democrats.
Besides, as he has famously stated, Democrats loved him, asked him for money, and (not coincidentally) gave him praise . . . right up until he started his campaign under the Republican banner. Then he was excoriated as sexist, racist, xenophobic, Ugly Americanist. Ivanka, his eldest daughter — extraordinarily close to him — was a registered as a Democrat recently enough that she couldn’t even vote for him in the primary.
Ideologically, he has been all over the map.
So one might reasonably think he would govern as a centrist. A non-humble Jimmy Carter retread, perhaps.
Why the move “rightward”?
Well, if all the Democratic leadership plus most of the moderate Republican leadership have come out strongly against you — in high moral dudgeon — what point is there to appease them?
The cost of the Trump anathematization strategy may become all too clear in Trump’s first Hundred Days.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.