What Would Be The Future Of The Republican Party if Donald Trump loses?
Thenational.com reports”Donald Trump seems to be sinking fast in the run-up to the November election, now less than 100 days away, and many fear he’s dragging the whole Republican Party down with him. Yet Republican officials, with rare exceptions, are sticking with the President, and aren’t uttering a word of criticism or trying to distance from him.”
Most elected Republicans were never big fans of Mr. Trump. Four years ago, the US President engineered a hostile takeover of their party. Eventually, the establishment capitulated. But now, given the mishandled coronavirus pandemic and concomitant economic effects, Republican leaders face a conundrum.
Do they effectively shake off Mr. Trump’s leadership or distance themselves from him in the hope of being re-elected? Can they try to salvage their own reputations, and that of their party, in what seems set to go down as a historically remarkably failed presidency?
Are they to hope that Mr. Trump will find a way to turn his and their own fortunes around by fighting a close race against Joe Biden and, perhaps more importantly, retaining Republican control of the Senate.
Many Republican candidates need to secure their base while reaching beyond it but are confronted with Mr. Trump’s combative stridency. Anything that smacks of betrayal is fatal but so is being too close to his most controversial statements and policies.
A powerful right-wing media ecosystem provides the enforcement, especially in vituperative evening opinion shows on Fox News. It is fiercely loyal to Mr. Trump and eager to punish any deviant heretic who can be made an example of.
A further complication is that because Mr. Trump doesn’t care about most policies, he has adopted a familiar Republican agenda on many important issues.
Republicans have achieved some significant goals by submitting to Mr. Trump, including securing tax cuts, environmental and other forms of deregulation, extremely conservative judges, increased military spending, limits on rights for transgender Americans, and support for Christian fundamentalism.
It’s a Faustian bargain but they do like what they got out of it.
Yet, insofar as they believe in anything, most of these Republicans remain traditional conservatives and have been set ideologically adrift in the party’s new Trumpian era.
Most came of age within a more libertarian movement, influenced by former president Ronald Reagan, that was based on smaller government and lower taxes. But few have the stomach or intellect for a major ideological conflict. And they lack any credible alternative that is not rooted in the now-distant late 1970s.
Four years ago, to save themselves, they jumped onto Mr Trump’s lifeboat. But what will they do if it falls apart soon?
If Republicans suffer a devastating defeat, traditional conservatives like Senator Mitt Romney or Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (both sons of centrist former Republican leaders) could potentially mount a comeback.