IMAGE CREDIT: 2016election.com
Sadly, it has taken the apocalyptic Republican nomination of Donald Trump for president to force the Republican Party into realizing that perhaps facts really do matter. This exchange between MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and Bret Stephens from The Wall Street Journal makes the point so well (see the transcript below the video):
JOE SCARBOROUGH (CO-HOST): What do we — I don’t want to speak for you. I’m a registered Republican, I don’t know if you are or not. I’m a conservative, I certainly know you’re a conservative. How much do we look at our own party and say, well, you look at a lot of polls and in some states 50 percent of people not only wanted to ban Muslims, they wanted to ban mosques in America. Shouldn’t we, after this election, have a post-mortem, not just about the candidates we nominate, but the party that we’re in?
BRET STEPHENS: Well, I think the point you’re making is an important one, in that too much of the Republican Party became an echo chamber of itself. And so, if you spend your time listening to certain cable shows all the time, listening to nobody else, if you’re prone to the kind of conspiracy theories that whiz around on Twitter or certain fringes of the internet, you end up having this kind of conversation that’s just increasingly divorced from reality. The people coming over the border, from south of the border, is not a horde of Libyan jihadists, but you would think, talking to some large segment of the GOP base, that that’s the kind of challenge that we face. Trade is not hurting working class Americans. Trade is helping working class Americans. But, again, because of the echo chamber that we created — and by the way, one large problem I would add, and a wise Republican friend of mine made this point, because of redistricting, because red districts are so red, and the only challenges that incumbents face are primary challenges, we are moving in a kind of a self-polarizing direction. That doesn’t help the country, doesn’t help the Republican Party.
We believe that the best way to make your point is to use the words of others, and in this case, our point has been made quite well without further commentary.