I wrote about Trump and the party of Reagan for Politico today:
What Trump has discovered by accident is that many conservatives aren’t as attached to conservative policies as they seemed; that labels don’t mean much to voters; that you can bring new people into the Republican coalition instead of playing by the old rules; and that at least a significant plurality of Republican primary voters don’t care whether you bend your knee to the memory of Ronald Reagan or not.
In fact, Trump is showing how a secular Northeastern moderate can threaten for the Republican nomination as long as he says he’s pro-life and pro-gun and taps voter anger and the right’s hatred of the media. It is astonishing that Trump has signaled that everything is negotiable and he will be the consummate deal-maker and yet has gotten air cover from elements of the conservative media that, until now, were most hostile to perceived ideological deviations and to Washington deal-making. Ladies and gentlemen, don’t try this at home.
For their part, Trump’s rivals are — for admirable and understandable reasons — beholden to a Reagan nostalgia that has long been prevalent on the right.