Steve Sailer quotes from a very interesting David Frum tweetstorm analyzing the GOP’s dilemma — this, in reaction to an interview House Speaker Paul Ryan gave to the WSJ. Frum discusses the inability of the Republican Party’s elites to understand what nemesis is upon it. The tweetstorm ends like this:
12) Yet even as the R elite sees what’s probably coming, it won’t believe it. What worked in 1980 must work again. It just *must*.
13) I’ve spent a lot of time being dismissed as a RINO squish, or worse, because I think to save most of conservatism, we must change some.
14) The dominant faction on my side of the argument, however, has insisted that it can win all, by changing none.
15) Instead, the “change-nothing” faction has lost control of their own presidential nomination. We’ll see what more there is left to lose.
I heard a couple of weeks ago from a fairly well known conservative who confided that he is voting for Trump because he is sick and tired of going from election cycle to election cycle with the party elites refusing to learn anything (in particular, about the effect of globalism on local communities). He’s not so much for Trump as he is for something that will break the hold of Reagan-era dogmas on the GOP.
Individualistic Reagan-Kemp conservatism had a good run in its day, but then it hit diminishing marginal returns. So, it’s time for solidaristic conservatism for awhile. Do the low-hanging fruit that have been neglected, like build a border fence, implement E-verify, fire the SJWs from Executive branch sinecures, eliminate the most plutocratic tax loopholes like carried interest for hedge fund guys, encourage the most desirable global manufacturers to set up factories in America (as Reagan reluctantly did with Japanese car companies), etc.
Then when solidaristic conservatism starts to run out of ideas and gas, individualistic conservatism can have another shot, after they’ve been away in the wilderness for awhile and have had time and incentive to come up with some better ideas. First, though, let the solidaristic conservatives have a time to fix the biggest weaknesses in the individualistic model, such as not defending the nation’s borders in an age of ever increasing smartphone-enabled Third World migrations.
A Trump campaign across the industrial Midwest, Pennsylvania and New Jersey featuring attacks on Hillary Clinton’s support for NAFTA, the WTO, MFN for China – and her backing of amnesty and citizenship for illegal immigrants, and for the Iraq and Libyan debacles – is a winning hand.
Lately, 116 architects and subcontractors of the Bush I and II foreign policy took their own version of the Oxford Oath. They will not vote for, nor serve in a Trump administration.
Talking heads are bobbing up on cable TV to declare that if Trump is nominee, they will not vote for him and may vote for Clinton.
This is not unwelcome news. Let them go.
I think a “solidaristic” conservatism is a good idea, but I have no confidence at all that Donald Trump is capable of delivering it — or if getting it would be worth having someone as unstable as he as Commander in Chief. And where is the money behind this model of conservatism? It doesn’t serve the interests of Wall Street or corporate donors. Hey, I think that’s a feature, not a bug. But the money to build the infrastructure has to come from somewhere. And DC is filled with think tanks and activist groups that are thoroughly bought in to Conservatism, Inc., and they aren’t going away.
Still, it’s hard to imagine the Republican Party going back to business as usual after Trump, especially if he’s the nominee. Questions to the room, assuming that Trump is the nominee, but does not win the presidency: What do you want the post-Trump GOP to look like, and what do you think it will actually look like?
That is, what will change — and what won’t?
As you ponder the questions, keep in mind Pete Spiliakos’s piece in First Things yesterday, in which he reads a Sid Blumenthal autopsy of the dead Democratic Party after its 1984 wipeout, and applies its insights to the GOP of today. Excerpt:
The Republicans are reliving the Democratic Party’s nightmares. The cancelled Donald Trump event of Friday March 11 seemed to presage 1968-style disruptions at political events, but 1968 might not be the right analogy. As the party of tired myth and exhausted agenda, the Republicans of 2016 most closely resemble the Democrats of 1984.
It took eight years for the Democrats to win the presidency again. The Republicans ought to thank their lucky stars that charmless Hillary Clinton is not a Ronald Reagan figure of the left.