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In The Age Of Trump, Republicans Have Divergent Visions For Their Party

US President Donald Trump gestures following a tour of Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wisconsin, June 25, 2020. (Saul Loeb/AFP)
US President Donald Trump gestures following a tour of Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wisconsin, June 25, 2020. (Saul Loeb/AFP)

The Republican Party is falling into dangerous traps that could cost the party elections for a generation. At least, that’s the premise of Harvard professor Thomas Patterson’s new book, “Is the Republican Party Destroying Itself?” We’ll talk to him, plus Republicans who have a different vision for the future of the GOP.


Thomas Patterson, Bradlee Professor of Government and the Press at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. His latest book, “Is the Republican Party Destroying Itself? And why it needs to reclaim its conservative ideals,” was released earlier this year. (@tompharvard)

Matt Gorman, vice president of Targeted Victory, a Republican strategy firm. Former communications director for the National Republican Congressional Committee. Rapid response director and national spokesman for former Jeb Bush’s 2016 campaign. Aide on Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign. (@mattsgorman)

Tim Miller, adviser for Republican Voters Against Trump. Contributor to The Bulwark. Previously served as senior advisor to the anti-Trump Our Principles PAC. Communications director for Jeb Bush. Former spokesman for the Republican National Committee. (@Timodc)

Kimberly Atkins, WBUR senior news correspondent covering national political news. (@KimberlyEAtkins)

From The Reading List

Excerpt from “Is the Republican Party Destroying Itself?” by Thomas Patterson. 

Copyright © 2020 Thomas Patterson.

The Washington Post: It’s almost as if Trump is determined to destroy the Republican Party” — “Let me summarize the Republican platform for the coming election: We are the party of white racial grievance. We believe those marching in Black Lives Matter protests are ‘thugs.’ We see the term ‘systemic racism’ as an unfair attack on white people. We support keeping Confederate monuments on their pedestals, and we have no idea why anyone would consider Confederate flags a problem. We are equal-opportunity racists. We see Latino immigrants as ‘bad hombres.’ And we believe that using the racist term ‘kung flu’ to describe COVID-19 is hilarious, not least because we are convinced the COVID-19 pandemic is basically over, anyway. Who cares what pointy-headed ‘experts’ might say — we know in our hearts that patriotic Americans don’t wear masks.”

National Review: “The Republican Party Is Not Dying” — “As long as I’ve been paying attention to politics — so through roughly three Republican administrations and a number of GOP wave elections — experts have been portending the end of the GOP. If it’s not the party’s retrograde views then it’s the shrinking numbers of rural voters or increasing number of immigrants or Donald Trump is finally going to put it out of its misery.”

The Bulwark: “Make Arenas Empty Again” — “On Saturday afternoon there was a palpable sense of dread in the news, as President Trump was building up to a rally poised to be a campaign event that was unique in its depravity. The president had called tens — hundreds (!!) — of thousands of people to Tulsa to gather inside a sweaty stadium, without masks, in a mass-contagion event that was sure to feature a hate-fueled rant targeting the Black Lives Matter protests that have enveloped the nation.”

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.