This nonsense has a lot to do with why Donald J. Trump owns the Republican Party today. It’s a report from … well, check out this excerpt:
Toward this end, last week I was privileged to participate in a small gathering of influential conservative and libertarian leaders who came together for three days to imagine a “more evolved” version of right-wing politics. The group included distinguished author Charles Murray, Republican gay rights activist Margaret Hoover, and anti-tax icon Grover Norquist. Also present were prominent libertarians, right-leaning political scientists, and numerous Republican media personalities. And while we did not reach a clear consensus on the “future of the right,” we did find remarkable agreement around the potential for a revitalized center-right coalition that could offer a viable alternative to unprincipled right-wing populism.
“Republican media personalities”? Tonstant Weader fwowed up. More:
By the end of the three-day meeting, many were optimistic that a fresh kind of conservative and libertarian politics will rise from the ashes of Trump’s impending loss. The group was excited by the possibility of a new American right that could be “radically innovative and radically inclusive.” We agreed that a key strength of the right is found in its championing of entrepreneurial innovation and the values of personal and economic liberty. And this same spirit of creative innovation can be used to craft positive proposals for market-based healthcare reform and a meritocratic immigration policy.
Despite polls that show large-scale Republican support for Trump, after Hillary Clinton’s likely victory, conservatives will come to realize that they need a more moral (while simultaneously less moralistic) form of Republican politics. This post-Trump soul-searching can accordingly lead to a new coalition of business people, libertarians, progressive conservatives, and even market-friendly Democrats who are worried about the left’s move toward Sanders-style socialism and its intensifying identity politics.
By freeing itself from the backward-looking concerns of nativists, Tea Partiers, and some religious conservatives, this emerging center-right coalition could embrace political issues currently owned by the left—issues such as income inequality, environmentally friendly energy policy, immigration reform, and even a conservative plan for affordable health care.
I know! Let’s get behind Jeb Bush again!
Look, there’s no doubt that this is where institutional conservatism post-Trump is going to want to go, because that’s where the money is. They despise “nativists, Tea Partiers, and some religious conservatives,” though how they think they’re going to win elections by being Jeb! is a mystery. All their friends hate the same people, so hey, what’s not to like? It would be interesting to know where they draw the line between religious conservatives they can live with, and those they can’t, but I’m pretty sure that those who haven’t been tamed on the religious liberty question are going to be on the outs.
If this column is indicative of the lessons the leadership class of the GOP has learned from the Trump revolution, then they bloody well deserve him.