Hillary Clinton and her campaign have been going out of their way to make a surprising argument about Donald Trump: He’s not really a Republican.
At the Democratic convention, several speakers said Trump represented a complete break from the conservative traditions of the GOP. Last month, Clinton delivered a similar message in a speech linking Trump to the white-nationalist political movement known as the “alt-right.” “This is not conservatism as we have known it,” she asserted.
According to Clinton — and many conservative intellectuals who oppose Trump — the conspiratorial, winking-at-racists campaign he has been running represents a novel departure from Republican politics.
That’s not quite true, though. Trump’s style and positions — endorsing and consorting with 9/11 truthers, promoting online racists, using fake statistics — draw on a now-obscure political strategy called “paleolibertarianism,” which was once quite popular among some Republicans, especially former presidential candidate Ron Paul.
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