Editorials

The Trumping of the GOP

There were two reasons to support Donald J. Trump in the presidential campaign last year.  The first was the man himself, whom one could trust to deliver a much needed shock to the utterly narcissistic, self-involved American political system that would knock it off stasis and get it moving again in a sane and responsible direction.  (Responsible to the American people, that is.)  The second was the potential Trump showed to be either the reformer of the Republican Party—a party that never conserved anything in more than a century and a half—or the death of it.  In both respects, things seem to be moving along nicely.

It was always a gamble whether Trump could, and would, act as the crowbar to pry the GOP apart, without delivering the country to the Democracy.  The great risk was that of winning the election at the cost of fatally dividing—and losing—conservative and antiliberal voters.  Ten months after the inauguration, it’s beginning to look as if the gamble paid off.  Despite the legislative failures to date that are far less attributable to Trump himself than to previous divisions within “his” party, he has already inflicted major damage on his predecessor’s “legacy,” thus dealing a grave blow to the fact as well as the ideal of the virtually omnipotent liberal regulatory state.  Now it appears that a Trumpist movement is developing...

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