by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
There is much discussion among Republicans, and particularly for those of us who have long counted ourselves as Never Trump, about the future of the Republican party once Donald Trump is defeated on November 8, as many of us expect he will be.
Sometimes the best way to think things through is by asking the right questions, in order to help elicit the correct answers. (That’s especially true when you’re unsure of what needs to be done, as I am just now.) With the future of the Republican party and the conservative cause in mind, here are some questions I’ve put together, with the help of others, that may help organize our thinking in the months ahead.
1. Does Donald Trump represent, as former Indiana governor Mitch Daniels asked, an aberration, or a long-term, ongoing shift in what the Republican party stands for? Is he an anomaly — or a culmination of worrisome forces within the GOP and the Right? …
… 2. What are the two to three things those of us who are Republicans need to understand after this election because, if we don’t, we can’t possibly fix things going forward? (My assumption here is it would be a significant error to try to return the GOP to a pre-Trump party, as if the last 15 months hadn’t happened and that old, pre-Trump message was working.) ??
3. How much of what is unfolding is specific to American politics and America itself; and how much of it is connected to forces and movements that are sweeping much of the Western world? To simplify things a bit: What is the relationship between the rise of Trump and something like Brexit?
4. What has this year taught us about voters on the right that needs to inform any rebuilding?
5. What has this year taught us about Republican politicians and institutions that needs to inform such rebuilding?
6. What do we need to learn and act on from the Trump experience, and what do we need to forthrightly reject??
7. Assuming a significant Trump loss, what needs to be said and done first and most quickly?
8. Is the Republican party still the best vehicle through which to advance a conservative agenda?