Last July, expecting no doubt a resounding defeat in the fall election, conservatives Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam wrote a sobering analysis, A Cure for Trumpism, of what was wrong with the modern version of conservatism in the US and provided an outline of how conservatives might change to remain relevant going forward. I encourage you to follow the link and read the article. The piece addressed trade and globalization, immigration, international security, taxes and the social safety net and in many ways tracked the path to the future desired by many of those of us on the left. Now that the unthinkable has happened; Trump wins, the Republicans have control of both houses of congress and are poised to tip the balance on the Supreme Court; the question is what path will conservatives follow?
Needless to say, the signs are not encouraging. The leadership team that Trump is assembling consists largely of corporate billionaires, retired generals and domestic hardliners, many of whom have a documented distorted view of the world. Each day the news is filled with stories of changing alliances and growing instabilities abroad and radical proposals on taxes, opportunities for corruption and shredding of the social safety net on the domestic front. Winning has a way of changing one’s perspective, particularly for those who tend to focus on today rather than on a future tomorrow. Failure to heed the advice that stresses national interest abroad and national solidarity at home will insure that the win is merely a temporary, albeit possibly generational, setback.