I have distinguished between authoritarian populists and paleoconservatives, with the latter tendency including white supremacists and neo-nazis, in part on the denial of racism by authoritarian populists and its unapologetic embrace by the paleoconservatives. Donald Trump has, for quite some time, straddled that distinction, denying he is racist, but unapologetically saying and doing blatantly racist things. In yet another example of Trump’s blatant racism, Adam Serwer argues that Trump’s push to reopen the economy is based on the race of many victims, especially in the working class. Paleoconservatives also join capitalist libertarians and traditionalist conservatives in generally opposing war which, with his bluster, is hard to say of Trump. So on balance, I still count Trump as authoritarian populist, but I have to wonder what he has to do before I’ll consider him a white supremacist. And I have updated my new blog post noted above accordingly.
Adam Serwer, “The Coronavirus Was an Emergency Until Trump Found Out Who Was Dying,” Atlantic, May 9, 2020, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/05/americas-racial-contract-showing/611389/