The Only Alternative

Our very favorite reader is a reluctant supporter of President Donald Trump..He no longer musters any defense of Trump against Trump’s dishonesty and incompetence and corruption crudity, but he feels even greater disdain for the Democratic Party and is continually frustrated that we offer no alternative.
Alas, there is no alternative at the moment, except to begin the difficult process of creating a far better alternative in the future.That means helping the Republican Party of Trump go down in flames,
then trying to revive the Party of Lincoln and Grant and McKinley and Eisenhower and Reagan from the ashes.
America needs a sane center-right party, and always has and always will. Not just to thwart the most destructive ambitions of the left, but to formulate new innovations to improve America’s economy and culture. The party’s economic policy must bemixed but mostly free system based on facts, science and well-tested theories, and not whatever Trump’s gut instincts intuit on a certain day. A sane center-right party would reject Trump’s protectionist trade policies, which favor certain American industries over others and had the manufacturing sector in recession even before the coronavirus and somehow never resulted in those promised greatest deals anyone had ever seen.

The new Republican party should seek to maintain and strengthen the international institutions and the military and trade alliances mostly kept the world peaceful and prosperous since World War II, and stop antagonizing invaluable allies over perceived personal slights and aggrandizing the brutal dictators arrayed against us in exchange for their flattery. It should return to its previous principle of aiding democratic movements anyway.</div.

The new Republican party should be less overtly redneck. America has complicated racial that must be carefully worked out, and defending the confederacy and attacking athletes who take a knee during the National Anthem is not a solution. A more respectful attitude toward women would also be helpful, given the astounding gender gap the party of Trump now has. A new Republican party could continue to champion the rights of white men, but must realize that does no require restricting the rights of anyone else.

The new Republican party should continue to respect the best of the Judeo-Christian tradition, but absolutely reject theocracy, and be tolerant of the many belief systems Americans live by. It can continue to be an antiabortion party, but that cannot be its single issue, and dissenters must not only be tolerated but welcomed into the party.
Above all, a new Republican party would choose its leaders by their qualification and the quality of their character. It would choose men and women capable of responding to the opposition’s arguments with better counterarguments rather than schoolyard taunts and childish nicknames. It would respect the norms of civil discourse, and at all times seek satisfactory compromises rather than total annihilation of the hated enemy.
Admittedly, the downside to this plan is four long years of a Democratic administration, which we would no more relish than our favorite readers. We expect the country would survive that better than another four years of Trump, though. With trust in our constitutional systems and powerful non-governmental institutions, the country survived 16 years of Roosevelt-Truman, eight years of Kennedy-Johnson, four years of Carter, eight years of Clinton, and America somehow survived. Those years left America with a bigger and more expensive government, but they also created Social Security and Medicare and some things our favorite reader now praises. Somehow a Biden-Harris doesn’t seem likely to destroy the country in four short years.
The rebuilding won’t be easy, given how much of the Republican party has sold its soul to Trump, but it won’t be impossible. Much of the conservative electorate — George Will, Jennifer Rubin, Jonah Goldberg, Max Boot, Irving Kristol, Fred Barnes — have remained faithful to traditional Republicanism and unintimidated to call out Trump’s heresies. There are numerous economic and military think-tanks that have continued their center-right ideas with no regard to Trump. Utah Sen. Mitt Romney is the only Republican in Congress to have maintained his integrity, but Independent Rep. Justin Amash would be welcomed back into the party, and surely in each of the 50 states that are Republican legislators and state officials untainted by Trumpism and eager to establish a new and better Republican party. The party should have appeal to both big business donors and rank and file workers who will also pitch, and could be competitive by the next presidential race.
To many of Trump’s dwindling group of supporters this project won’t be nearly entertaining as Trump’s Charlie Callas routines at the rallies, and not so much fun as seeing all the liberals thoroughly enraged, but they’ll get more wins and fewer humiliations.

— Bud Norman

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