The New York Times reports that Donald Trump has been a consistent Republican in every election since his 2016 run, and it has even said he “tends to align with the party on issues that he thinks the Republican Party ought to be focusing on.”

But what about Donald Trump’s record on his own policies?

The New Republic reports that Trump’s platform has been the opposite of the Republican platform of the last several decades, with his campaign platform of economic populism and “hardworking, small business-focused solutions” on issues like income inequality and a border wall. 

But Donald Trump isn’t the only one who’s changed.

The New Yorker’s Jill Filipovic also noted that the “conservative-populist” message of Donald Trump was largely absent from the Republican platforms of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, as they were a “post-New Deal, post-Reagan era.” 

Trump’s message in those decades was a “corporate-friendly, pro-business, pro-” and “populistic” one.

The Trump agenda of the 1990s was also, according to the New Republic, “one of the most neoliberal and corporatist in American history.”

And while Trump may not have explicitly campaigned on a populist platform, his “popularity and appeal on the right have made him the Republican front-runner.” 

This is why it’s so important to understand the history of American populism.

The rise of Donald J. Trump and the Republican Parties in America