I don’t think it’s accurate to say, as The Washington Post does today in an editorial, that the Republican Party “stands for nothing.” The GOP officially offers no platform — no policies or ideas — at its 2020 convention and, instead, fully endorses Trump. Critics say that makes the Republican Party nothing more than a cult of personality. But I disagree. I think a Republican in the time of Trump can say exactly what being a Republican in the time of Trump means. I bet I can describe at least 10 things that Trump Republicans endorse. Some of these things have already been brought to fruition, some are just ideas, but any of them could be in full force with a Trump second term.
Being a Trump Republican means:
— You embrace the harshest of all approaches to immigration, particularly the asylum process. Employing a zero-tolerance, militaristic approach to the southwestern border and separating children from their parents are just two of several ways to discourage illegal border crossings and, more importantly, send a message throughout Central America that poor, brown people are not welcome here. Additionally, you think we should only take in immigrants who are educated and prosperous while banning entry of immigrants and refugees from “shithole countries.”
— You might like the U.S. Postal Service but think, as Trump does, that it is badly run and ought to be operated as a for-profit business, even if it means increased rates for deliveries. In fact, let’s privatize the whole thing, right?
— You’re not a nihilist; life still has meaning for you. You love your children and grandchildren, but not enough to see climate change as an existential threat to life on the planet. Even with all the evidence right before our eyes, you really don’t think climate change is the problem scientists and Democrats claim it is. You endorse the opening of wilderness areas and the nation’s coastlines for oil exploration. You oppose government subsidy of energy-generating wind turbines and just about anything that has the word “green” associated with it.
— You think the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act place unnecessarily heavy burdens on industry and ought to be subject to further deregulation. In fact, you probably think we should consider repealing both. You would support Trump in closing down the Environmental Protection Agency.
— You want the Supreme Court to toss out the Affordable Care Act, primarily because it was promulgated under President Obama, and you would be OK with the nation returning to the days when 50 million Americans had no health insurance.
— You oppose requiring developers of housing to include housing units for low-income families, and generally regard government efforts to reduce segregation and increase socioeconomic diversity in housing as “social engineering.” In your view, nothing would more quickly destroy the “beautiful suburbs” for “suburban housewives” than government endorsement of workforce housing.
— You think the payroll tax that funds Social Security and Medicare is too heavy a burden for Americans and ought to be eliminated. If they want it, seniors should purchase health insurance from the private sector, and doesn’t everyone have a 401-K by now?
— You believe we should form new alliances with Russia, China and North Korea and tell our long-time allies in Europe they’re on their own.
— You think Black Lives Matter is a terrorist uprising and that federal police, under the direction of the Attorney General and the Department of Homeland Security, should be deployed to stop protests and jail protesters. You think the Confederate flag and Confederate monuments need to rise again. And you think those who marched on Charlottesville and the people who follow QAnon are all “very fine people” who just love their country.
— In a major public health crisis, you believe Americans should listen to President Trump, not to all the scientists and public health officials who are likely Democrats and Trump-haters supporting the Deep State. You think the rate of death from the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 is not that bad, and, in fact, Trump probably kept it from getting worse by shutting down travel from China, by endorsing unproven remedies and by calling for states to “liberate” from the shutdowns imposed to stop the disease’s spread. You think the pandemic has been exaggerated by the media to make Trump look bad.
So, you see, if one tries hard enough, one can put into words exactly what Republicans in the time of Trump support. And it’s not nothing.