Conservatives that have been critical of United States President Donald Trump are in the strange position of wishing for a Republican loss in the mid-term elections. This position is due to a belief that the president will shoulder the blame if the Republican party is humiliated on November 6th.
The number of anti-Trump conservatives is in constant decline. Some have retired from Congress, others have penned memoirs that criticize former colleagues, while those committed to the cause remain in the fight against what they feel is the wrong direction traveled by the party. The one thing they all have in common is a wish for the Republican party to return to prior form.
The philosophy of anti-Trump conservatives is that a party that can be transformed so dramatically by one man over a three-year period, can be turned in the other direction. They also point to a Trump base of supporters that do not appear to be built for longevity. After all, they consist of southern evangelicals, disillusioned white voters from rural areas, and businessmen only concerned with capital gains.
The problem with the position taken by anti-Trump conservatives is that the Republican Party appears to be more united than ever. Donald Trump has remade the Republican Party in his own image. While doing so, he has rediscovered the formula that allowed the party to enjoy the landslide victories enjoyed by the Reagan and Nixon campaigns.
President Trump has added the concepts of tough immigration policies and economic nationalism to the policies that resulted in his party being successful in five out of six elections that were held between the years of 1968 to 1988.
Many of the similarities are obvious. The current president preaches anti-crime rhetoric and agitates the left-wing in a way similar to former President Nixon. Ronald Reagan was also known for these tactics, especially during his time as governor of California.
Trump compares to Reagan and Eisenhower when considering his military rhetoric and buildup without moving to involve the country in a prolonged military engagement. Also, the way Trump addresses Kim Jong-un reminds many older Republicans of the Nixon situation with China’s Mao Zedong.
Trump’s Republican Party emulates past version of the party in indirect ways also. One remembrance is the party’s promotion of nationalism during the cold war. Americans were happy to support the party that demonstrated the most nationalism at a time when communists threatened to subjugate the world. President Trump has waged a similar ‘war’ against what many perceive to be an attempt at world dominance by the Chinese.
Many Trump detractors do not understand the reasons behind his success. It is true that he is both combative and at times far right-wing, however, this alone could not propel him to the popularity he enjoys. The truth is, President Trump has a true vision of what Americans feel will make their country great again.