by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Isaac Schorr writes at National Review Online about a battle for control of the Republican Party’s future.
Gavin Wax, president of the New York Young Republican Club, writes for American Greatness that “MAGA Patriots Must Win the GOP Civil War.” His argument is that “the grassroots need [sic] to remain in the GOP, destroy RINOs in primary contests, support Republicans in general elections, and make sure establishment traitors cannot escape the specter of Trump for generations to come.” …
… There are two different axes upon which the battle for the GOP’s soul is presently and perpetually being fought. One is over policy, and pits traditional Buckleyite fusionism against a more populist, nationalist conservatism. On this axis, there is room for compromise, and for the development of an updated fusionist party that leaves the Right’s myriad constituencies mostly though not wholly satisfied. The other axis pits constitutionalism, restraint, and procedural conservatism against a visceral, power-addicted, paranoid style — one that talks proudly of secession and that takes its cues on democratic norms from former California senator Barbara Boxer and would-be Georgia governor Stacey Abrams.
Wax would likely agree with me that there is far less room for compromise in this latter fight, but would disagree with my side of allegiance, which is the first. Perhaps this is because he sees the role of institutions such as the Young Republicans Club differently. To Wax, Trump’s popularity mandates adherence to his exact policy agenda and to an unquestioning belief in whatever conspiracy theory he might push: Might makes right. To me, it is the responsibility of conservative writers, thinkers, pundits, and politicians to speak the truth. Right now, that means accepting that Trump lost the election. …
… [I]t is imperative that the party establishment and grassroots ignore voices such as Wax’s while working toward a productive conservative party that listens and responds to its constituencies, but does not allow the mob to dominate it.