David Brooks was pretty happy when the Republican Party was a party in which he could believe. Donald Trump's election has made it difficult for him to be an advocate for a political party with tainted leader. He considered the idea of starting up a third party but he describes a more practical alternative in this article. He believes that coalition between moderate members of Congress from both parties can work together to define a new political center that is between Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. The ingredients for the new center would contain a mixture of Milton Friedman's economic ideology, Ronald Reagan's foreign policy and Franklin Roosevelt's social welfare policies. In other words, it would be two parts Republican and one part Democratic. That seems a lot like the old Republican Party that he admired. Its economic policies were centered around Milton Friedman's libertarian ideology; its foreign policies were backed up by a powerful military. It did not oppose most of FDR's social welfare programs but they were incompatible with Republican efforts to cut taxes, primarily for wealthy Americans. The richest nation in the world cannot afford them and remain fiscally responsible.
I can sympathize with David Brooks' efforts to locate an ideological space for his op-eds. Donald Trump has made it hard for him to remain an advocate for the new Republican Party. Unfortunately, it is the party that now controls Congress and the White House. We will have to figure out how we can survive four years of "Animal House".