The question of whether there is a Trumpism ideology was kicked around among the commentariat, with this Michael Brendan Dougherty piece arguing the affirmative and Jason Willick arguing the negative. The truth is somewhere in the middle.
Dougherty kicks off his piece as follows-
I've been waiting for a Republican who would say, bluntly, the Iraq War was a disaster. I've been waiting for a Republican candidate to say that the trade deals and legal frameworks that drive globalism have been bad deals for America's workers. I've been waiting for a candidate who would question the elite consensus on mass immigration, not tweak it. And I've been waiting for a candidate to deliver a shock to the conservative movement and the Republican Party, something that would force them to reconnect to the actual material interests of their voters, to make them realize that the market was made for man, and not man for the market.
Unfortunately, the candidate espousing these views is Donald Trump. And the few good causes which he espouses — the ones which could stand on their own, apart from the crutches of noxious racism and populism he uses to prop them up — are too important to be entrusted to him.
What Dougherty is pining for is paleoconservatism, a desire to keep the rest of the world at arm's length militarily, economically and culturally and to defend traditional values. Trump's platform, such as it is, shows skepticism of past Wilsonian misadventures and would move from playing whack-a-mole with ISIS to carpet-bomb-a-mole (nuke-a-mole if you crank the hyperbole to 11) in the future. He also isn't a fan of trade liberalization, being distrustful of the players, including China.
Trump isn't a critter of the Religious Right, being a largely nominal liberal Presbyterian who speaks Evangelical with a thick accent. However, he does hearken back to an older civil religion worldview that was the norm a half-century ago when he was growing up. Trump reminds me of the old Churchill line of being a buttress of the church rather than a pillar, since he supports it from the outside.
While paleocons and other conservatives share a general cultural conservatism, they part company at the border. Non-paleocons like free trade by and large, as free markets produce better and less-expensive goods and let countries specialize in what they're relatively good at. If you don't have a vested interest in an industry that is hurt by imports, a conservative would be better-served by free trade from an economic standpoint.
Big business tend to be pro-free-trade, donating big cash to promote increasing globalization. Since punditry is less likely to be outsourced to Mexico or India, the conservative commentariat leans towards the free-trade side both on priniciple and on career-advancement terms, since there's less of a market for protectionist pundits.
However, some Americans, mostly blue-collar, are in the short end of that creative destruction. They also are often on the short end of immigration, as they are the ones lesser-skilled immigrants will be competing with. They don't have much money, but their vote counts as much as a pundit's does.
We haven't had a viable paleocon candidate in a while. Pat Buchanan in the 90s was the high-water mark for that world-view until now.
Trump combines a paleocon-flavored platform with reality-show flair. A billionaire businessman get a certain amount of respect in GOP circles and someone who's willing to be pointedly politically incorrect gets bonus points with the base even as the more civilized pundits have indentations in their forehead from repeated face-palms.
Getting the establishment to bang their heads daily appeals to folks, as Willick notes-
There clearly are many voters—especially on the far-right—who are excited by Trump’s singular willingness to speak about immigration and ethnic minorities in a way that is unprecedented in modern American politics. But at the end of the day, Trump’s populism may be more visceral than substantive. Like [French nativist populist] Pierre Poujade and Huey Long before him, Trump’s appeal is partly about the the fantasy of a strong leader, and the desire to see a grand simplification of the nation’s problems. It is also partly about affect: “By flouting PC norms,” as Walter Russell Mead has written, “Trump offers a different kind of ‘representation’… he is living the life that—at least some of the time—a lot of people wish they had either the courage or the resources to live.”
You have a nativist message that resonates and an over-the-top entertainer that would be getting double-digit support by insulting the folks that folks on the right love to hate. Pitchfolk Pat from a luxury condo in South Park. A combustible mix going off at a voting booth near you.