The best that proponents of third parties can hope for is something like the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), a pressure group with a national marketing profile but actual political power in a small handful of reliably Democratic congressional districts.

That is to say nothing of the problem alluded to above — namely, that no sizeable contingent of American voters share their aesthetic or nakedly personal objections to the GOP as it is presently constituted. Fifty or so former National Review editors and election consultants are not a political party — they’re not even an NFL roster. Meanwhile, as I write this, 70 percent of Republicans say they would be less likely to support any senator who voted to convict Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial. This might or might not be a good thing, but it is the reality on the ground in American politics.

But even this misses the real point, which is that the Ben Sasses of the world are every bit as crucial to the GOP’s present coalition as the Louie Gohmerts. The party needs a respectable, PBS NewsHour-approved way of saying that the last thing struggling American families need is more money in their pockets in the same way that it needs backbench congressmen willing to go on fringe YouTube talk shows and discuss grainy security footage from ballot counting centers.