Populist conservatism has already proven uniquely vulnerable to grifters and candidates who have no business running for office. It is also susceptible to the allure of any argument that can be described as politically incorrect no matter how noxious, dumb or ugly, making the kind of self-policing essential for successful movements difficult. It is easier to adopt a “No enemies to the Right” stance.
Barry Goldwater’s famous line might need to be updated for the Breitbart era: “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice; moderation in the pursuit of justice is virtue-signaling.”
Trump, by far the most successful politician to run on a Bannonite platform, has himself vacillated between what CBS News’ Will Rahn has called “rainbow nationalism” — “one that puts all Americans first regardless of religion or color or any of the other ways we identify as smaller groups, and emphasizes the quality of life of people living here over any abstract or international concern” — and more racially polarizing rhetoric.