The Corner

Donald Trump v. Jack Kemp

In Politico today, I wrote about the end of Marco Rubio, and, for now, of the Jack Kemp tradition in GOP presidential politics

Rubio represented an upbeat, opportunity-oriented vein in the GOP that ran through George W. Bush’s compassionate conservatism back to the late supply-sider Jack Kemp, who practically made a civic religion out of optimism and inclusivity.

Donald Trump has grabbed this Kempian tradition by the collar and frog-marched it from the room with all the delicacy of one of his security guards ejecting a troublesome protester from a rally…

Trump’s iteration of the Republican Party won’t have a bleeding heart; it will be out for blood. Far from eschewing negative campaigning, personal abuse — and threats — will be its calling card. It will care less about policy than attitude and shibboleths. Electorally, it will repel minorities and hope to run up the score with whites. It won’t have an open hand on immigration but will talk of mass deportation. It won’t care about human rights, and in fact will be happy to violate them — or threaten to — as the national interest and a desire for vengeance dictate.


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