Does Trumpism Now Define the Republican Party? That's What They're Saying...

Caricature by DonkeyHotey

The “they” isn’t just everyone, but specifically, for this article, a Washington Post editorial. And they’re right. Aren’t they?

My only real question is: what do you mean by “now”? What took you so long to figure this out?


Over just a few days last week, the essence of Trumpism was on global display: The president ignored his advisers by congratulating Vladi­mir Putin, took the first steps toward imposing tariffs on billions of dollars in Chinese goods and signed a huge $1.3 trillion spending bill that will balloon the federal deficit.

In each case, President Trump cast aside years of Republican orthodoxy — and most of the party followed right along. The raw, undefined brand of populism that Trump rode into office is now hardening into a clearer set of policies in his second year, remaking the Republican Party and the country on issues ranging from trade and immigration to spending and entitlement programs.

. . . .

The spending legislation — which puts the deficit on track to pass $1 trillion in 2019 — faced little meaningful opposition from Republican lawmakers despite years of GOP complaints that federal expenditures were out of control. Trump called the bill “ridiculous,” but focused on issues other than the amount of spending.

It was another example of how Trump seems to have overtaken his party’s previously understood values, from a willingness to flout free-trade principles and fiscal austerity to a seeming abdication of America’s role as a global voice for democratic values.

I said goodbye to the Republican party on May 3, 2016, the day Ted Cruz dropped out:

I am not a “NeverTrump” guy because that implies support for Hillary Clinton, and I cannot support Hillary Clinton. But I cannot support Donald Trump, a leftist con man with an “R” after his name. At this point, I am a disinterested observer. I believe Donald Trump would be better for the Supreme Court, because he doesn’t care about the Court and might pick someone good if his advisers tell him to. I believe Hillary Clinton would be better on almost everything else — because I believe the GOP would fight her more than they would fight Trump. I can’t choose between “the Court” and “everything else.” So I’m just someone who doesn’t care about the presidential race any more.

William Brennan was not a good Supreme Court justice because he was appointed by a Republican. Affirmative action is not a good policy because it has been pushed by many Republicans. And continuing entitlement programs, growing federal interference in health care, imposing disastrous tariffs, and other Trump-style policies are not good policies even if they are pushed by a “Republican.”


Let’s look at my list.

Continuing entitlement programs? Check.

Growing interference in health care? Check. ObamaCare has not been repealed and won’t be.

Imposing disastrous tariffs? Checkity-check check.

I said goodbye in May 2016, but many more said goodbye on Friday, when Trump signed the absurd omnibus bill, ballooning the deficit and funding Planned Parenthood and sanctuary cities.

To those people, I say: Welcome to the ranks of the disaffected! For the longest time, many have treated any critic of Trump like monsters. But I’m not a monster. I’m just ahead of the curve.

What’s amazing to me is that people kept telling us Trump critics that we had “changed” because we didn’t support Trump. We were lining up with leftists! And our response was: we opposed ridiculous spending before and we opposed it now. We opposed disastrous tariffs before and we oppose them now. We opposed entitlements before and we opposed them now.

So how is it that we changed?

Isn’t it obvious that, by following Trump down his destructive path, Republicans are the ones who changed?

If this omnibus is what you signed up for, then by all means, stick with Trump. But if you’re starting to tire of more of the same GOP Establishment crap, then heed the words I spoke in May 2016:

If you believe in limited government, constitutional principles, and liberty, stick with me. There are others like us. We’ll figure out what to do next. It won’t be supporting Donald Trump, but it will be supporting our natural rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

I am watching Ted Cruz right now and I am proud of him and the campaign he has conducted. He made mistakes, but he has been a forceful and effective advocate for liberty and the Constitution. He still has my respect and support, as do folks like Mike Lee and Justin Amash.

Such people are the only hope for this nation.


They still are. They are the people who opposed this omnibus. Trump supported it. With all his grumbling, he didn’t do a thing to change it in the weeks leading up to it, he sent advisers out the day before the signing to say he would sign it, he boasted about its benefits on Twitter the day before he signed it, and he signed it.

Yeah, I know: he grumbled about it, and he claimed he would never sign such a bill again.

But, as Trump supporters have told me time and time again: don’t look at what Trump says. Look at what he does.

And what he did was sign this garbage.

Republicans, Trump defines your party for now. Are you going to let him continue to define it for you? Or are you going to stand up for what the party always stood for, and force Trump to do the same or lose relevance? Will you stand for principles like opposition to abortion, fiscal conservatism, and defunding absurd lefty organizations like Planned Parenthood and dangerous leftist projects like sanctuary cities?

Or are you going to take this loss and accept more of the same?

Trump doesn’t care about principles. He wants to be liked. If you make it clear that, to be liked, he must espouse the principles you care about, maybe you can steer him back to lead a party you can be proud of.

And if you can’t, then chuck him overboard. And if the party won’t follow you, then chuck the party itself overboard.

The choice is yours.




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