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The word “rudderless” was used frequently to describe the Republican Party during the raucous battle for House speaker last month. But don’t forget that in 2020, the party dispensed with a platform altogether, or that it stumbled in the 2022 midterms with candidates more focused on relitigating the last election than offering a credible set of ideas for the future. The GOP has been adrift and lacking a coherent agenda for several years now. There are signs, though, of a growing impatience on the right with the angsty populism and 24/7 culture wars that have characterized the Trump-era GOP. This offers an opportunity for Republicans who want to break from the politics of personality that has dominated the GOP during and after Donald Trump’s presidency, and develop an agenda based on everyday concerns shared by most Republican voters — and most Americans. Republicans hoping to develop a workable set of governing ideas should resist the false choices currently in vogue. Many in the party think the GOP must choose between an anti-elitist nationalism and a return to establishmentarian small government. Or, between doing nothing and investigating the Biden administration. Or, between waging war against wokeism and capitulating to the left. These are not the only paths.


Goldsmith, Stephen, and Ryan Streeter. "The False Choices Facing the Republican Party." Politico, February 12, 2023.