On Tuesday, writing for The Bulwark, longtime Republican strategist Bill Kristol, a Never Trump conservative, discussed whether the GOP even deserves a political future beyond Trump.
“On the one hand, with embarrassingly few exceptions at every level, the Republican party is Donald Trump’s party. So in many ways it deserves to be a lost cause,” wrote Kristol. “On the other hand, after November 3, the GOP may stop — more or less suddenly, and more or less convincingly — being Donald Trump’s party. It might even stop being the party of Trumpism. On the third hand, it will still have been Donald Trump’s party. And that moral and political stain can’t, and shouldn’t, simply be wished away.”
Kristol suggested that perhaps the only people who can save the GOP, from a political standpoint, are the people who allowed it to become corrupted by Trumpism in the first place.
“Maybe we should root for the GOP to be salvaged, while acknowledging it won’t be saved by us people like us,” wrote Kristol. “After all, if the GOP is to be rebuilt, it will likely have to be done by people who have been complicit in Trumpism. Because one thing that is certain is that the Republican apostates will never be forgiven by their erstwhile colleagues. Not because we were wrong about Trump, but because we were right.”
Kristol ultimately said, “I will admit that my heart, today, is with ‘the Republican party is a lost cause’ faction” — but that he is still conflicted intellectually about what should become of the GOP going forward.
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