Yanis Varoufakis, the former Greek finance minister, observed in a personal e-mail to me:

After Orlando, he came out all warm and fuzzy about LGBT victims/people—in a manner that no other Republican would have dared. Also, it is common knowledge that he is not a “faithful” Christian and that he only says that he is for show—and by ‘common knowledge’ I mean that this is known by the … Christian sects that make up the U.S. fundamentalist front. Lastly, his position on abortion has for decades been a liberal one and it is, again, common knowledge, that he does not favour a repeal of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. In short, Trump has managed to change the cultural politics of the Republican Party for the first time since [Richard] Nixon. By adopting a crass, misogynist, racist language he has managed to release the Republican Party from its traditional reliance on the Fundamentalist, the homophobic and the anti-abortion ideological straitjacket. It is a remarkable contradiction that only a Hegelian can grasp!

His reference to Hegel is justified. Trump’s vulgar racist and misogynist style is what enabled him to undermine the Republican conservative-fundamentalist dogma. Trump is not simply the candidate of conservative fundamentalists. (He is perhaps an even greater threat to them than to “rational” moderate Republicans.) The paradox is, thus, that within the ideological space of the Republican Party, Trump was only able to undermine its fundamentalist core through racist and sexist populist vulgarities.




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