A few weeks after the presidential election, Donald Trump’s economic advisor Stephen Moore told a group of top Republican lawmakers that they no longer belonged to the conservative party of Ronald Reagan but to Trump’s populist working-class party. Moore said Republicans, in this new era of Trump, should be “less ideologically pure” and instead try to help Trump give Americans what he promised them: trade protections, massive infrastructure spending, and a border wall.
This is the same Stephen Moore who up until November 8 had spent much of his career arguing for supply-side economic reforms, ample immigration, and free trade. Not anymore. Trump’s election has turned him into an economic populist. “Having spent the last three or four months on the campaign trail,” he told The Hill, “it opens your eyes to the everyday anxieties and financial stress people are facing.” For Moore, as for Trump, that means the government is here to help.
Moore’s transformation from free market economist to Trump populist is emblematic of a change sweeping the conservative political elite.