What Does the Future Hold for the GOP?

The Democrats could potentially become a de facto one-party state like Mexico’s Institutional Revolutionary party for most of the 20th century or Sweden’s Social Democrats between the 1930s and 1970s. However, the Republicans could hold the line with some Christian Democratic-like or Ordoliberalism-like economic policies or rhetoric, combined with an anti-leftism of the #WalkAway variety. But their present “let them eat cake” position isn’t sustainable.

By Robert W. Merry, The American Conservative

Jelani Cobb has a piece in the current New Yorker that neatly encapsulates the magazine’s stock in trade when it comes to political analysis—tightly rendered arguments displaying elements of erudition but ultimately undermined by blinding ideology. In the piece, Cobb poses a question that is distilled in the headline: “How Parties Die: Will the G.O.P. go the way of the Whigs?”

It’s a pertinent question in the wake of the party’s presidential defeat last year and as the nation seeks to sort out the complexities and lingering political realities of the Donald Trump phenomenon. And Cobb provides a worthy sketch of the Whig demise as part of his thumbnail history of political parties in America, from the short-lived Federalists to our own era of partisan wrangling and positioning. But the repugnance he obviously feels toward the Trump rise, and his view that it represents a kind of political depravity, deprives him of any apparent ability to step back and consider in a probing and nuanced way a fundamental question of our time: How do we account for that guy blasting past all the political obstacles of 2016 to become the president of the United States?


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