Want to understand Donald Trump's rise in the GOP? Look to the financial crisis — of 1873

Are Republicans doomed to repeat the mistakes of Reconstruction?

Donald Trump could learn a thing or two.
(Image credit: Photo illustration by Jackie Friedman | Images courtesy Isaac Brekken/Getty Images, Three Lions/Getty Images)

Donald Trump will probably mark a turning point in the ideological history of the Republican Party. A party that since 1964 has been all about free trade and tearing up the welfare state has nominated as its presidential candidate a trade skeptic who promises to protect Social Security and Medicare.

He is also a deranged racist, of course. But as Arlie Hochschild shows in a long profile of various Trump supporters, this willingness to embrace government handouts (delimited by race, of course) is a genuine shift in many Republicans' ideology — and one which is confusing and annoying to more traditional conservatives.

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