Longtime GOP strategist Stuart Stevens, who is a veteran of multiple Republican presidential campaigns, tells Mother Jones' David Corn that the party he has worked to elect all his life has devolved into something akin to a criminal cartel.
Stevens, who left the GOP in the wake of President Donald Trump's rise, says the party at the moment has no rationalization for existing other than the simple maintenance of its own political power.
"No one asks a cartel, ‘What’s your ideological purpose?’" he explains. "You don’t ask OPEC, ‘What’s your ideology?’ You don’t ask a drug gang, ‘What’s your program?’ The Republicans exist for the pursuit of power for no purpose."
In fact, Stevens goes so far as to tell Corn that he doesn't think the Republicans ever really believed any of their rhetoric about fiscal responsibility, family values, and the promotion of democracy abroad.
"I feel like a guy who was working for Bernie Madoff," he says.
All of this has left Stevens to conclude that there's no way to save the Republican Party -- only to "burn it to the ground and start over."