… if I was an American I suspect I would be a Republican. The Republican Party ~ the Grand Old Party ~ the Party of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan and so on, is in the news a lot today, for all the wrong reasons. If I was an American Republican I would have one message for my Party’s leaders and members … just on word and one image:
“What,” I would ask of every single Republican legislator and party official and especially every would-be leader, “would Dwight D Eisenhower do?“
The answers, I suspect, are pretty simple and obvious. Ike’s biographies suggest, to me, anyway, that he would, by now but more likely in 2016, have risen up in open revolt against Donald J Trump and almost everything for which he stands.
Ike was very much an ‘America First‘ sort of a guy. I’m quite sure he would have approved of some of the things that President Trump accomplished or attempted, but I am 100% certain that he would never have agreed to even shake hands with the man.
The test, “What would Ike do?” is simple enough. The answer, in almost every case, ought to be pretty obvious. Many would-be Republican leaders will, consistently, answer it correctly and they will act and speak accordingly. They should be favoured by all Republicans. Some would-be leaders will, equally consistently, do and say the wrong things: they must be rejected, out of hand.
So there you go, American Republicans: become, again, the “progressive conservatives” and preach and practice the “progressive moderation” and “dynamic conservatism” of the 1950s. That’s what led to Ronald Reagan and George W Bush.
What would Eisenhower do?
First, if history is a good guide he would ignore the radical fringe that still believes, against all the evidence, that the 2020 election was stolen and which stormed the capital.
Second, he would graciously, but cooly, congratulate President-elect Biden on having achieved so much and would promise ~ think Senator Arthur Vandenberg in the 1940s ~ to support the new president in the world even as he would oppose him domestically.
Third, he would spell out a suite of policies that aim to address the two or three most serious issues facing America. He would not be afraid to alienate friend or foe.
The next leader of the Republican Party needs to be like Ike … if the party wants to survive at all.