The two Republican Parties

Jonah Goldberg argues persuasively that no matter what happens with Donald Trump’s presidential aspirations, his campaign spells the end of the Republican party as we know it, the GOP’s two main camps disunited by Trump’s illiterate populism. Divorce indeed seems imminent, which suggests another question: What ever kept them together in the first place?

Advertisement

There are policy fissures, class fissures, and social fissures in the Republican party, but the fundamental divide is one of mood: Aspiration Republican vs. Resentment Republicans.

Aspiration Republicans are familiar enough: They are deeply rooted in the classical-liberal principles of the American founding, they are in the main happy warriors in the Reagan-Kemp-Buckley tradition, they tend to see domestic social problems such as the recent race riots as bumps on the road to a more perfect union, and they tend to extend a fair amount of leeway to a decent guy making a buck. Their vices are a tendency to indulge Whig history and naïve universalism, believing that “the desire for freedom resides in every human heart,” as George W. Bush once put it. In reality, there are hearts of darkness.

Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on HotAir Videos

Sponsored

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement