Calmes: The biggest losers — the GOP and Donald Trump
Published Friday, Feb. 19, 2016, 8:14 p.m.
By M.R. Scott — The biggest losers of the 2016 election are not voters — not even Hillary Clinton fans like me. The biggest losers are the GOP.
Trump’s election is a catastrophe for the GOP. It is now possible that President Obama does not seek re-election. And that means the country is once again unalterably committed to one side in the national election.
Donald Trump’s anti-establishment Republicanism is a cancer on the nation’s governing institutions. It is not simply a party-line issue but a major challenge to basic American values and the nation’s direction.
The fact that Trump became the Republican presidential nominee is a sign that the GOP is not prepared to move forward with a more open and inclusive message. But the party is moving in the wrong direction.
And Trump’s personal unfixation as a presidential candidate poses a major challenge to the party’s national chairman, Reince Priebus.
It’s bad enough that the Republican Party has failed in its role as a national governing entity. What is worse is that the party is also damaging the country’s governing institutions by its refusal to address the country’s major challenges.
Some things are more important than party
The GOP can only be salvaged as an institution in the right direction by addressing three things:
National priorities: The GOP needs to have at the core of its identity a clear set of national priorities. If Trump is the nominee, that means the party has not yet defined its agenda.
A national-security issue, centered on the war-torn nation and its failed policy in Iraq, should be given more attention than it is getting from the party. It could be a central plank of a Republican alternative to Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy.
The party also needs to focus on the middle class and to address problems such as healthcare at a national level. How does the