Reading: Opinion | Trump’s rot has reached the GOP’s roots – The Washington Post

From Opinion | Trump’s rot has reached the GOP’s roots – The Washington Post

Gerson in The Post gets at an underlying reason for conservative collapse under trump: no policy, no ideology, just fear:

There is a natural process by which political parties renew themselves. Newt Gingrich’s combative, uncompromising Republican revolution in the mid-1990s was a foil for the compassionate conservatism that defined the party in the 2000 presidential election. The rise of tea-party, anti-government populism set the stage for a contrasting reform conservatism, which sought to modernize government in pursuit of populist goals.

This dialectic, however, really operates only in the realm of policy. If Trumpism were merely a set of proposals, there could be an antithesis. But the movement fully revealed by the Jan. 6 invasion of the U.S. Capitol is united by a belief that the White, Christian America of its imagination is on the verge of destruction, and that it must be preserved by any means necessary. This is less a political philosophy than a warped religious belief. There can be no compromise in a culture war. There can be no splitting of differences at Armageddon.

Depressing. No way out?

The greatest need in our politics is a conservatism that opposes authoritarianism. The greatest question: Can such a movement emerge within the framework of the Republican Party?

As it stands, I am skeptical.

Doldrums, or Sargasso Sea?

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