What the Republican Party needs vs. what it wants

Wood, whom I first met when he was a National Review Institute Regional Fellow in Dallas, is the sort of candidate conservatives used to dream about: under 40, a decorated veteran, articulate, educated (bachelor’s from NYU and an MBA from SMU), a business owner with a big, photogenic family, he had everything going for him with the exception of one thing: apostasy... “I want to serve in elected office,” he says, “but I don’t want to go to Congress if that means I have to act like Madison Cawthorn or Lindsey Graham. If the cost of entry into Republican politics is that you have to pretend to buy into lies, then I don’t want to do that.” Wood’s anti-Trump stance won him national media attention and the endorsement of the Dallas Morning News, but it did not win him a lot of support in the Republican rank-and-file. After the election, noted QAnon kook Marjorie Taylor Greene ridiculed Wood and Representative Adam Kinzinger, one of his political allies. The nice lady who thinks that California wildfires are caused by Jewish space lasers wrote that Wood and his backers are “clueless about what Republican voters think and feel” and that what Republicans demand is “America First and loyalty to Trump.” And, as strange as it is to write, the nice lady who thinks that California wildfires are caused by Jewish space lasers is almost correct: Wood is far from “clueless” about the Republican demand for “loyalty to Trump” — he is keenly aware of what Republican voters think and feel, but he believes that these thoughts and feelings are grounded in falsehood and paranoia that ultimately will destroy the Republican Party and do great damage to the country itself. And, to the detriment of his electoral prospects, he says so.