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History As It Happens

Oct 27, 2022

A generation before Donald Trump triumphed over the detested "establishment," a pugnacious media personality sensed that conservative Americans were ready to move the Republican Party to the right. Pat Buchanan didn't succeed in his insurgent campaign to defeat President Bush in the 1992 GOP primaries, but he may have set the stage for Trumpism nonetheless. By railing against illegal immigration, free trade, and cultural liberalism -- and by appealing to racial grievances -- Pat Buchanan began splintering the far right from the party of Reagan. Historian Nicole Hemmer, an expert of the rise of the New Right, discusses Buchanan's enduring, illiberal influence.