by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Though today’s Republican party is viewed increasingly through the lens of the seemingly rudderless Donald Trump and his populist adherents, many on the right are disenchanted with this vision, and they’re ready for a change.
Unsettled conservatives would do well to turn to South Carolina senator Tim Scott, a man who has illustrated in just a few short years that he has both the desire and the capacity to rebrand conservatism for a new age.
When Scott entered the U.S. Senate in 2013, he was the first African-American senator from the South since Reconstruction — and, like those earlier senators, a Republican. While he has consistently refused to use his race as a trump card or to score cheap political points, he never shies away from the reality of his upbringing. And there is no question that his story uniquely situates him to step forward as a conservative leader in a time of bitter political division.
Over the course of a day I spent with the senator — on Capitol Hill and in Anacostia, a neighborhood in Washington, D.C. — a picture of Scott as a vocal, visionary leader came into focus. He’s the man of the hour, though he might not know it.