Two columns that recently appeared in the Detroit Free Press struck a chord as they seem to be out of the same playbook. One asked the question what kind of a party the Republican Party wishes to be, the Reagan type or the Trump type. The other story focused on the Trump Republicans and their apparent willingness for a civil war because of Trump.
What causes some people to think in terms of a civil war? I think one answer is for perhaps 50 years a very large group of people—I call them the “folks”—have felt that their government has ignored their plaintive cries for help. Instead, the government has ignored them, taxed them, regulated them, and sent their sons off to die in foreign wars, all the while endorsing and promoting social values they find abhorrent.
Whether Trump was sincere or not, his words of America First hit home with the “folks.”
So, can the Republican Party return to the party of Reagan or should it be the party of Trump? I think the answer to both is no. The Republican Party cannot be the party of Trump. His actions and words these past two months, in my opinion, have disqualified him from being a person of influence or leadership. But the “folks” have had a taste of what it is like to have their concerns listened to. That genie is out of the bottle, never to be put back in again.
The Republican Party, if it wants to be relevant and win elections, must listen to the “folks,” respond to their concerns and adopt the winning policies of Trump while divorcing itself from Trump the man. Approximately 75 million people voted for Trump but to ignore the feelings and concerns of those voters, or the bulk of those voters, will be to assign the party to the dustbin of history.
No, civil war is not an answer and the mere concept is abhorrent nor is restoring the old Republican Party an option. The Republican Party must be responsive to the concerns of the “folks.” That will put to bed even the thought of a civil war or anything close thereto and will win elections.