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JULIE KELLY is a former political consultant in suburban Chicago and a stay-at-home mom. She is a senior contributor to American Greatness. Her past work can be found at the Federalist, National Review, the Hill, and the Wall Street Journal. Kelly wrote about food policy, agriculture, and climate change before covering politics in the Trump era. She lives in Orland Park, Illinois, with her husband and two daughters.
The election of Donald Trump in 2016 didn’t just shock the country, it jolted the Republican Party and forced an overdue reckoning between rank-and-file Republicans and party leadership. Long-held beliefs promoted by the Republican Party establishment were smashed in real time as Republican voters, and millions of Obama voters especially in the Midwest, rejected the bi-party consensus on illegal immigration, international trade pacts, and losing foreign wars. The GOP—and the conservative movement—was upended by a brash Manhattan mogul who connected with coveted working-class voters in a way no other Republican presidential candidate had in three decades.