Pushing Back the Obama Legacy: Trump’s First Year and the Alt-Right—Evangelical—Catholic Coalition

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In the 2016 presidential elections Donald Trump carefully courted an unholy alliance of alt-right, conservative evangelicals and Catholics in his successful campaign united around an agenda of pushing back against Obama reforms on LGBT, same sex marriage, healthcare, reproductive rights, education, environmental policy and foreign policy. This chapter makes use of George Lakoff’s understanding of Strict Father Morality to examine the key issues bringing together this coalition and analyses the campaign promises made by Trump, prior to the election, and the extent to which these are being fulfilled over the first year of his presidency. The chapter explores the durability of the coalition across and beyond the first year and how support for Trump’s presidency has manifested across key policy issues. The chapter analyses the extent to which Trump has pushed back Barack Obama’s legacy. The chapter concludes that the coalition came together around a shared moral framework, that this support was essential to securing Trump’s election victory, and although Trump was able to make only incremental changes to the Obama legacy, such changes were consistent with a strict father moral framework, which helped retain support among this key demographic.
(pre-publication version)
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Trump Presidency
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Campaign Trail to World Stage
EditorsMara Oliva, Mark Shanahan
Place of PublicationBasingstoke UK
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-96325-9
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-96324-2
Publication statusPublished - 18 Oct 2018


  • Trump
  • US Presidency
  • Religious Right
  • Alt-Right
  • Obama
  • Conservatives
  • Religion

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