August 25, 2020

SECOND THOUGHTS: I Was Wrong About Trump. He Didn’t Destroy the GOP, He Saved It.

The intervening years since Trump won the White House have done nothing to inspire a renewed confidence in our political and expert class. The coronavirus no doubt represents challenges for Trump’s reelection, as it would for any incumbent. But Democrats in Congress and in governor’s mansions across the country have not exactly covered themselves in glory during the pandemic. Nor have they inspired confidence by their inaction in the face of widespread rioting and urban unrest in recent months. Amid the chaos, they appear weak and confused, afraid of the mob and the virus alike, oftentimes unable to articulate a vision even for re-opening schools.

Biden inspires no confidence. He now leads a party riven by internal tensions and contradictions, a coalition that will not likely hold together in defeat, and will certainly crumble in victory. His presidency would be dominated by Harris and bullied by the ascendant left wing of the Democratic Party. His pitch to America, such that it is, seems to be more of a plea that at least he isn’t Trump, he’s just a kindly old man who will be decent and do whatever his advisors tell him to do.

None of this is to say that Trump is a shoe-in come November. But win or lose, he has done something for the GOP that Biden cannot do for Democratic Party: he has helped clarify what the Republican Party is about and whose interests it serves, and by taking on the GOP establishment, he has done much to save the party from itself.

Nobody wants a party run by the John Kasichs and Jeff Flakes.

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