Calmes: The biggest losers — the GOP and Donald Trump
In the days after Donald Trump announced he was going to run for president, many of his supporters began to voice shock and dismay. Others were even more skeptical: What is Trump going to do? Can he really make a difference?
But then they watched his speech, and they had their answer.
“Oh, my God, he’s great,” said David Roesz, a writer for The Los Angeles Times.
“I’m very, very impressed,” Robert S. Bennett, a former chief economist at the Federal Reserve, told The New Yorker. “I’ve worked with and with friends who disagreed with Trump, and they all loved him.”
That’s because, for the most part, Trump didn’t just disagree with some economic policy or other on a particular day. Rather, he was essentially advocating for a change of direction, one that has long been advocated by conservative thinkers like Milton Friedman.
The biggest loser in this debate is still the Republican Party.
While some on the right seem willing to embrace Trump’s more radical economic philosophies — and they are right to do so — they are doing so at the expense of a party they have not always fully embraced.
“He’s really playing catch-up after three terms of being the standard-bearer for the GOP,” said Rick Tyler, the conservative columnist for USA Today.
Trump, of course, is not the first presidential candidate to make a break with conventional wisdom.
What happened in 2000 was a wake-up call for many of the GOP’s establishment, who feared the country was turning to the Democrats.
“If you are someone who thinks that politics is a zero-sum game, then we’re not going to have a country,” said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, now a political consultant and author.
But what happened then wasn’t as different from what is happening now as many on the right would have us believe.
After the election, the party’s leaders got together to figure out what needed to be done.
It was during this meeting, in the middle of the night, just after Republican George W. Bush had conceded to Al Gore, that they decided to adopt a more conservative course.
And it was during this meeting, after a long and divisive primary, that they came up