This Is Trump’s Republican Party Now
ore is now r e quired of us than to put down our thoughts in writing,” declaimed Jeff Flake in his oration against President Trump, just before he announced he will be quitting the Senate.
Though he had lifted the title of his August anti-Trump polemic, Conscience of a Conservative, from Barry Goldwater, Flake is no Goldwater.
Goldwater took on the GOP establishment in the primaries, voted against the Civil declared, “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice,” and then went down battling to the end after the assassination of JFK made LBJ invincible.
Flake, with only 18 percent approval in Arizona, decided to pack it in rather than get waxed in his own primary.
Sen. Bob Corker is another calling on colleagues to stand - tires to Tennessee. It’s no wonder the establishment is viewed with such derision.
Flake calls Trump “dangerous to our democracy.” But the real threat Trump represents is to the GOP establishment’s control of the party’s destiny.
This is a struggle about policy, about the future. And Trump is president because he read the party and country right.
How could the Beltway policies — open borders, amnesty, free trade globalism, and military intervention in foreign lands for ideological ends — were alienating its coalition? What has Bushite free trade produced? About $12 trillion China alone, a loss of 55,000 plants and 6 million manufacturing jobs.We imported goods “Made in China,” while exporting our future. Beijing is challenging our position in Asia. Could Republicans not see the factories shutting down, or not understand why workers’ wages had failed to rise for decades?
What did the democracy crusades “to end tyranny in our world” accomplish? Thousands of U.S. dead, tens of thousands of wounded, trillions of dollars sunk, and a Mideast awash in blood, with millions uprooted.
With the Cold War over for a quarter of a century, what is the case now for America, $20 trillion in debt, going abroad in search of monsters to destroy?
Consider: Bush-Obama “open borders” brought in tens of millions of Third World peoples, legally and illegally, to rising resistance from Americans forced to bear the economic and social costs. What was the GOP establishment’s reply to the opposition to amnesty for illegals and calls for a moratorium on legal immigration, to assimilate the tens of millions already here? To call them nativists and parade their moral superiority.
Flake and Corker are being and George W. Bush and John McCain celebrated for their denunciations of Trumpism. Yet no two people are more responsible for the blunders of the post-Cold War era than McCain and Bush.
About which of half a dozen wars were they right?
Yesterday’s New York Times recognized Trump’s triumph:
“Despite the fervor of President Trump’s Republican opponents, the president’s brand of hard-edged nationalism — with its gut-level cultural appeals and hard lines on trade and immigration — is taking root within his adopted party.”
A new question arises: Can the GOP establishment believe that if Trump falls, or they bring him down, they will inherit the estate? Do they believe their old agenda of open borders, amnesty, free trade globalism and democracy-crusading can become America’s agenda again?
Trumpism is not a detour. For though unpleasant, it is not unfair to say that if there was one desire common to Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz and Trump voters, it was be rid of the regime resting on top of all of us.
Should Trump fall, and a restored establishment attempt to reimpose the old, there will be a truly uncivil war.
After the Trumpian revolt, there is no going back. As that most American of writers, Thomas Wolfe, put it, “You can’t go home again.”
Traditionalists have been told that for years. Now it’s the turn of the GOP establishment to learn the truth as well.
Goldwater lost badly, but the establishment that abandoned him never had its patrimony restored. It was the leaders they abhorred, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, to whom the future belonged.
Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., accompanied by his wife, Cheryl, leaves the Capitol in Washington Oct. 24, after announcing he won’t seek re-election in 2018.