David Brooks was comfortable being the spokesperson for the Republican Party that he grew up with. He can't really do that job anymore. He is very upset by what he is hearing from the candidates that are on the verge of becoming the Party's nominee for the presidency. He does not believe that either of them could build a coalition that would enable them to run the country, or establish cooperative relationships with our allies. He argues that they are more like authoritarian foreign conservatives than the more democratic conservatives that seem to have disappeared from his party. Moreover, he does not believe that either of them could win a general election. The Republican Party loses whether they win or lose the election.
He offers two ideas for saving the Party. Tactically, the real Republicans have to get behind one of the other candidates (he likes Rubio). More strategically, the Party has to offer solutions for many of the real concerns that Trump and Cruz have been taping in the electorate. He has been a proponent of a reformed conservatism that would go beyond cutting taxes for the rich. He believes that there is a "silent majority" of Republicans who would respond to a more moderate conservatism that offers real solutions to many of our social and economic problems. The Tea Party Republicans are only 17% of the Party's base.
David Brooks does not like what he sees in his Party and neither do most Americans. The question is whether Trump and Cruz are an anomaly or representative of what the Party has become. All of the current candidates (except Trump) have had to audition for their candidacy. They had to convince the wealthy supporters of the party that they will support the policies from which they benefit. They all took that pledge in order to join the race. They also have to convince their supporters that they have a good chance to win the nomination and the general election. They will jump ship during the nomination process and move their support to the candidate who has the best chance of winning. They have no personal loyalty to any of the candidates. The Republican Party has placed individuals on the Supreme Court who have made it possible for the wealthy elite to determine the candidates that run for political office. David Brooks was not uncomfortable with the Republican Party that has consistently served the interests of the economic elite, and have undermined our democratic system. The good old Republican Party in which Brooks believes is a figment of his imagination.
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