The Corner

What Should a Post-Trump GOP Do?

Last night’s results, in which Senators John McCain and Marco Rubio easily beat back primary challengers trying to run as mini-Trumps, will reinforce the view of some Republicans that Donald Trump’s victory in the primaries was a fluke: that it reflected his personality and his celebrity, and the fractured field, more than it did any issues. Trump will probably lose in November, and then, Republicans with this mindset think, the party can go back to business as usual.

On the homepage today, I have an article from a recent NR arguing that this would be a mistake. Trump won for a lot of reasons, very much including his celebrity. But we may also be seeing the emergence of a newly organized and self-conscious faction of working-class nationalists within the Republican coalition. This faction should not set the direction of the party on all issues, and it will not–take away the special factors that helped Trump in the primaries, and it’s not strong enough to dominate the party. But it should have a place at the table. But to integrate it into a well-functioning GOP, the other factions in the party, such as Chamber of Commerce Republicans and movement conservatives, will have to take it seriously and try to understand it. Right now, it seems to me that their inclination is to keep fighting each other instead.

Ramesh Ponnuru — Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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