How and why have freedom and social hierarchies and exclusions become fused in Trump's America? What causative factors can explain the emergence within twenty-first century US political culture of a movement notorious for its attacks on basic norms of tolerance, civility, and human decency? In their efforts to respond to such questions, prominent historians, political commentators, and theorists have correlated Trump's rise to political power in terms of his transmogrification of a large segment of the American populace into US liberal democracy's fascist totalitarian Other. While Trump's illiberal pronouncements and actions do indeed bear a resemblance to the political behavior of European fascists, the Americanness of Trump's conquest disposition might be better understood as his resurrection of an archaic variant of liberalism practiced by American settler colonists throughout the expansionist era of US history. How did President Trump persuade or provoke a broad swath of US citizens, who were for the most part accustomed to consider the principles and institutions of liberal democracy essential components of American democracy, to regard his settler conquest disposition as representatively American? What enabled Trump to advocate with preemptive impunity the demolition of liberal institutions and principles? How could he serve simultaneously as the president of the world's most powerful liberal democracy and leader of an insurrectionary movement of latter-day settler colonists? In an effort to address these questions, this essay engages Trump's March 23, 2011, endorsement of Birtherism; Trump's unauthorized transfer of power at the January 20, 2017, inauguration; Trump's August 12–15, 2017, statements about the Charlottesville protest; and Trump's role in the January 6, 2021, insurrection as distinct but interrelated moments in Trump's production of this settler-colonist conquest disposition.

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