But these theories have it backwards with respect to Trump and conservatives. On the vast majority of issues, it’s Trump who has discarded his past stands in order to conform with the views of most Republicans, not the other way around.
It’s true that Republicans now support a populist president who is a protectionist and has a soft spot for Russia, positions that most in the party opposed. Yet Trump the longtime liberal on domestic and social issues is now Trump the tax cutter, apostle of deregulation and president who has become a fierce defender of religious liberty and constitutional conservatism.
It may have taken a leap of faith for Republicans to vote for a man bereft of conservative principles or religious convictions, but he kept his promises to them about appointing conservative judges like Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.