It looks more and more likely that Hillary Clinton will be our next President. She is almost certain to be the Democratic nominee and unlikely to be indicted for mishandling classified information. If Donald Trump is the Republican nominee, she will trounce him because his negatives are much worse than hers. If Mr. Trump is denied the Republican nomination, he is likely to run as an independent candidate and take votes away from the Republican nominee, thereby also electing Mrs. Clinton.
What happens then? The Republicans will regroup by broadening their base to better appeal to Mr. Trump’s constituency of disaffected white working class voters. Yuval Levin, editor of National Affairs, has visualized what policies a reconstituted conservative party might want to embrace to replace the no longer affordable progressive model:
- Healthcare: a new approach would liberate insurers and providers to offer many different models of coverage and care and empower consumers to choose between them.
- K-12 Education: a new approach would allow parents to make choices for their children and reshape the educational system around their preferences.
- Welfare: a new system would empower local problem solvers to mix resources, advice, experience and moral leadership in a process of bottom-up experimentation.
- Higher Education: a new model would no longer reinforce a cycle of rising tuition and declining value with inflationary federal loans. Rather it would open up accreditation to allow for more options and offer aid to the needy which rewards high value rather than high prices.
- Cultural Issues: moral traditionalists should emphasize building cohesive and attractive subcultures, offering alternatives to the chaos of the mainstream permissive society.
- Diminished Opportunity for the Working Class: Improvements to Trade Adjustment Assistance and Job Retraining programs (wage insurance?) will have to be embraced.
Conclusion. The disruption caused by Donald Trump could lead to a new and more broadly based Republican Party better equipped to address the emerging problems of the 21st century.