Trumping Democracy : From Reagan to the Alt-Right book cover
1st Edition

Trumping Democracy
From Reagan to the Alt-Right

Edited By

Chip Berlet

ISBN 9781138212497
Published December 2, 2019 by Routledge
282 Pages

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Book Description

Since 2014, over 80 people have been killed in the United States of America by Right-wing terrorists. In 2016 Donald Trump was elected President of the United States and received substantial support from White nationalists.

This book explains the increase in violent White nationalism and Trump’s ascendancy in the context of the backlash against the presidency of Barack Obama. It demonstrates how there is a dynamic relationship between the Republican Party, various Right-wing populist movements, and the Right. Far Right social movements, political campaigns and the online presence of the so-called ‘alt-Right’ are all discussed. The book argues that unfair hierarchies of race, gender, and class are not aberrational tremors in America, but the fracturing bedrock of a nation in which being White, male, Christian, or straight no longer ensures a stable floor for power, status, or privilege.

This is vital reading for students, researchers, and activists interested in American politics and the dangers of Right-wing movements and political parties.

Table of Contents

Interlude A: What is Democracy?; Introduction: The Roots of Reaction; 1 Theocracy and White Supremacy: Behind the Culture War to Restore Traditional Values; 2 Swastikas in Cyberspace: Ultra-Right White Supremacy and Antisemitism Online; 3 The European New Right and US Politics; 4 Militia Nation; 5 Defending the Four Freedoms: My Dad, Memorial Day, and Democracy; 5 Why Now?; 7 Drifting Right and Going Wrong: An Overview of the U.S. Political Right; 8 What We Face in the Year 2000; 9 Culture, Religion, Apocalypse, and US Middle East Foreign Policy; Interlude B: Condi’s Dad and the Lessons of War; 10 Running Against Sodom and Osama: The Christian Right, Values Voters and the Culture Wars in 2006; 11 The Rise of Dominionism: Remaking America as a Christian Nation; 12 Exporting Right-Wing Christianity, Jean Hardisty and Chip Berlet; Interlude C: Taking Tea Partiers Seriously; 13 From the KKK to Dylann Roof: White Nationalism Infuses Our Political Ideology; 14 Romney Appeals to White Tribalism in Ohio; 15 ‘Trumping’ Democracy: Right-Wing Populism, Fascism, and the Case for Action; 16 Republican Ideological Shift in Election 2016; 17 From Fascist Ratlines to Republican Party Politics: How Nazi Collaborators Came to America; 18 The Patriot Movement, Armed Insurgents, and Trumpism; 19 Trump, Sado-Populism, Alt-Right, and Apocalyptic Neofascism; Afterword: Defending Democracy Itself; Postscript

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John Foster "Chip" Berlet is an American investigative journalist, research analyst, photojournalist, scholar, and activist specializing in the study of Right-wing movements in the United States.


"For over four decades, Chip Berlet has tirelessly exposed the reactionary forces that threaten our democratic foundations. With this book he assembles prescient contributions from a diverse array of scholar-activists committed to confronting anti-democratic threats both within and outside of political parties. The authors lay bare the roots of current political challenges; and offer progressive paths forward. Anyone seeking astute analysis of the forces that drive right-wing populism in the 21st century should look no further than this volume."

Professor David Cunningham, Author of Klansville, USA: The Rise and Fall of the Civil Rights-Era Ku Klux Klan

"This book will help you to understand how authentic movements harmonize individual freedom and aspirations with community ones. Communities raise up authentic leaders rather than leaders raising themselves up above their communities because of their Empire credentials. Movements for liberation start with a common vision that the collective agrees to struggle and risk together to achieve."

Ruby Sales, Civil Rights and Human Rights Activist, founder, Spirit House Project

"We can build a world based on friendship or fear. The authors in this volume document what happens when political strategists choose to mobilize our fears and unilateralism that are elements of de-civilization.  

Professor Mohammad Jafar Mahallati, Presidential Scholar in Islamic Studies and Chair in Middle East and North African Studies at Oberlin College

"If you want to know about right-wing populism you should read Chip Berlet."

Professor Noam Chomsky, Emeritus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Linguistics department, University of Arizona in Tucson. Author of Global Discontents: Conversations on the Rising Threats to Democracy

"Chip Berlet continues to courageously and brilliantly expose the dangers of white supremacy and Christian nationalism. This book is a fascinating and indispensable roadmap of the US political right…arriving just in time!"

Penny Rosenwasser, PhD. Founding Board Member: Jewish Voice for Peace. Author of Hope into practice: Jewish women choosing justice despite our fears

"For scholars seeking a better understand events which led to the Trump Presidency, this is a must read. For interested readers, shocked by the rise of the American right, this is the history you need. For Americans who genuinely desire for our country to live up to ideals of our Constitution - ideas of justice and equality - this is where you start."

Professor Angelia Wilson, University of Manchester, England; Author of The Politics of Intersectionality: Politics, Policy, and Power.