Trump’s Far-right Embrace
What are the likely consequences of Trump joining the growing ranks of America’s nativist right?
I’ve worked in the field of public opinion research for 35 years and I’ve been doing this for a long time. In my experience, the left is only marginally to the left on practically every issue, and the right is about as right as you can get.
The biggest differences are on issues like immigration, trade, taxes, campaign finance, national security, abortion, and foreign policy. The right is far more conservative on matters of war and peace. It’s right on trade. It’s also right on the rest of the issues that they’re critical of on the left.
The question has been raised recently — particularly among Trump supporters — about the likely consequences of him joining the growing ranks of America’s nativist right. The answer is that there are few. But a lot will depend on how Trump navigates the political environment.
When it comes to economics, the left is generally far more progressive. Yet, the right is far more conservative. So, a lot of the policies on the left that do not work — such as increasing the minimum wage, strengthening unions, or implementing social programs like Medicare — are likely to be supported by the right as a result.
The left is significantly more willing to expand freedom of speech, to reject restrictions on abortion and homosexuality, and to support the rights of minorities. It will not tolerate the limits on its freedom of expression that it sees as an infringement on freedom of speech and press freedom.
The right, by contrast, is much more supportive of the limits on its freedom of expression and of freedom of speech and press, and is much less tolerant of restrictions on abortion and gay rights. It also supports a less tolerant immigration policy (to the extent that they’re willing to) and is much more willing to take steps to suppress the freedom and expression of minorities on its own terrain.
And the left does not believe in national borders or that the U.S. should act as a country in which a few of