Trump has no political, social, economic guiding philosophy, at least not the type that guided Reagan for most of his adult life.
There are major differences between the two men, and Ben Shapiro fleshes those differences out. This is not to say that Trump won’t do conservative things, he will, but his impulses do not stem from learned reading, they’re gut instincts, and instincts tend to be wrong more times than they are right, at lest for most people.
Is Trumpism The New Reagan Revolution?
Last week, Ethics and Public Policy Center senior fellow Henry Olson released a revisionist look into the legacy of Ronald Reagan. The purpose: to recast Donald Trump in Reagan’s mold. According to Olson, Trump could be the New Reagan Revolution. Why? Because Reagan was not, in fact, “an anti-government ideologue.” Here is Olson’s breakdown of Reaganism:
Reagan’s conservatism was not a more attractive version of Barry Goldwater’s anti-statist ideology. From the moment Reagan started speaking out as a conservative in the late 1950s, he endorsed an active role for government. He believed that government should care for those who could not care for themselves, build public housing for the poor and expand public universities…Reagan’s conservatism even supported the idea of universal health coverage….Reagan did not shrink from endorsing government action when needed as governor or as president. He raised the gas tax in 1983 to fund road construction and repair. He also imposed sanctions on Japanese industries and companies for what he believed were unfair trade practices even as he sought to extend free-trade agreements throughout the world. Even Reagan’s support for immigration was limited by a belief in protecting U.S. workers….That’s not to say Reagan would have agreed with everything Trump says or does. But the overlap in their views on these issues stems from a broader overlap in philosophy.
And just like that – it’s magic! – Trump is the new Reagan.
Unfortunately, this is a dramatic overstatement of Reagan’s position in order to justify Trump’s. It turns Reagan into a big government advocate. He wasn’t.