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The Republican Party needs to move on from Trumpism
Trumpism is not a policy agenda or a set of principles. Trumpism is a combative attitude and a raised middle finger.
Printed in the Herald-Times, October 13, 2023
To the Editor:
The death of Senator Dianne Feinstein was illustrative of the state of the modern Republican Party. There has always been a strain of cruelty in politics, from all sides, but it has become more open since 2015.
It is possible to think that Feinstein was wrong on a great many things, yet it is appropriate to mourn her death. This is because she, like every other man and woman, was made in the image of God. But too many people on the Right actively attack conservatives who mourn her passing as compromisers or worse.
This is what Donald Trump has done to the Republican Party and the conservative movement. Instead of seeing our political opponents as wrong, Trumpism treats political opponents as personal enemies who cannot be afforded any kindness whatsoever. Having compassion for political opponents as persons, even while opposing them on policy, is “why we lose.” We have to “fight fire with fire” if we hope to “win.” Trumpism is not a policy agenda or a set of principles. Trumpism is a combative attitude and a raised middle finger.
But the 2020 election showed that Trumpism is not the path to victory. Sure, Trump turned out millions more voters than voted for him four years earlier, but millions more turned out to vote against him. Had Trump been disciplined, restrained, and focused, he may well have been re-elected. But Trump could not resist venting his spleen every day on social media. Trumpian candidates then lost critical races in 2022 that were winnable.
It is time for the Republican Party to move on from both Donald Trump and Trumpism.