Saturday, October 28, 2023

The Republican Party no longer believes America is the essential nation

 How the GOP went from isolationism to internationalism and back again

The Economist, Oct 28, 2023- Except for an admiration for Ronald Reagan and tax cuts, it is hard to see how the Republican Party of Donald Trump resembles the Republican Party of George W. Bush just two decades ago. In place of the “compassionate conservatism”, which aimed for a grand bargain to settle the status of illegal migrants, is a paranoid nativism. In place of a foreign policy that saw America as a protector of freedom and democracy is a new doctrine of America First that shuns allies (barring Israel) and would give up on the Ukrainians fighting off a Russian invasion, even when no American soldiers are at risk. The free-traders in the Bush administration entered into trade deals with 13 new countries and tariff rates remained close to zero; Mr Trump wants to put a 10% tariff on all imports.

.... much of the party is balking at the prospect of sending arms to Ukraine, which Reagan and both Bushes would surely have done. What happened? The obvious answer is: Mr Trump. But to make sense of this bewildering shift, it helps to look beyond a bit further back. ....

One of the reasons that the berserker caucus of the Republican Party defenestrated Kevin McCarthy, the speaker of the House, was their strong opposition to continued military aid to Ukraine. Mr Trump has pledged to end that war on his first day in office—presumably by promoting capitulation. In one recent vote on a bill that would fund training for Ukrainian military officers, a majority of Republicans in the House were opposed. ...

Although Reagan remains beatified within the party, the institutions he was aligned with have changed. The clearest example is the Heritage Foundation, the conservative think-tank that once functioned as the external brain for the Reagan White House. It is seeking to reprise the role for a possible Republican administration in 2025, preparing detailed policy manifestos and pre-screening personnel—but with a much more populist orientation. Heritage is still concerned about the size and cost of government spending generally and welfare programmes specifically. But the old free-trade agenda now has a large, China-shaped caveat. Once an exceptionally hawkish outfit, and among the most fulsome supporters for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Heritage is perhaps the most influential organisation in Washington that is rallying against additional American spending on Ukraine. 

... After the Soviet Union fell in 1991, the anti-communist rationale for conservative free-market economics disappeared. ... When Mr Trump launched his campaign for the White House in 2015 he was relying on a mix of old ideas—protectionism, isolationism and nativism—that seemed novel in the post-war Republican Party. (Read More)

Rod's Comment: This article explains why I feel more and more estranged from the modern Republican Party.  I have not changed, but the Republican Party has changed. I still believe American is the essential nation. In foreign policy, I am more aligned with Democrats than Republicans. I am not prepared to leave the party, however. I can never feel at home as a Democrat. I still believe deficits matter and cannot be part of a party that advocates gender affirmation care for minors, supports open borders, "equity" policies, and any number of other positions advocated by Democrats. I am still a Republican but feel like a person in a bad marriage. I hope that the Republican Party will come to its senses and again become the party of Reagan. 

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

No comments:

Post a Comment