by Charles Uphaus
What this country needs in addition to a good five-cent cigar is a reasonable, responsible, conservative party. And, friends, the Trumpublican party ain’t it.
I don’t know how one might define conservatism these days, but in the recent past it has certainly never included coddling foreign dictators and authoritarian leaders (Putin, Kim, MBS, Erdogan, Modi, Bolsinaro, Duterte), trashing alliances, ignoring human rights violations all around the globe, restricting trade and immigration, unprecedented deficit spending (and this before the coronavirus relief packages), tearing young children away from parents, praising white supremacists and antisemites (“very fine people”), vilifying journalists (“enemies of the people”), rejecting scientific facts or embracing quackery. That’s why so many stalwart conservative politicians, public servants and commentators — among them former governors John Kasich and Christine Todd Whitman, sitting governor Charlie Baker, former senator Jeff Flake, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, commentators George Will, Max Boot, Jennifer Rubin, Michael Gerson — have abandoned the GOP and thrown their support to the Biden/Harris ticket. No one ever accused these people of being flaming liberals. Rather, what they are is responsible, patriotic, conservative citizens who put the interests of the country ahead of faction or sect.
The GOP declined to propose a party platform this past summer and simply declared total fealty to Donald Trump, wherever he may take them. (I could, at this point, note the similarity to the actions of parties in certain European countries in the first half of the last century. But I will refrain.) There was a time not too long ago when the Republican party was the one with the ideas. (Some of them were terrible ideas, to be sure, but at least the party was looking forward, not backward to some utterly fictitious golden age.) But that was then. The fact that now the party can no longer come up with a platform is a clear indication that it is brain dead. It’s time to pull the plug. And the way to do that is to make sure that it is repudiated, from the bottom of the ticket to the top. Only then will a rejuvenated conservative party be able to emerge from the ashes.