Jonah Goldberg: Will the GOP finally do something about its Trump problem?
On Monday, Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. The New York real estate magnate, former reality TV star, billionaire celebrity and Twitter bully-in-Chief has had a tough time so far, but has been getting a lot of positive coverage since his election as the first ever “populist” presidential candidate to win a real electoral college victory, and with his strong showing in the polls since the election, a real mandate.
But the bad news for those conservatives who hoped that Trump would be the last Republican president for decades is perhaps even worse. Over the weekend some of them were left thinking that they’d never win again in the post-Trump Republican party. Now, after watching him be savaged by GOP candidates across the country, maybe it’s time to do something about it.
The conservative movement is like a ship that has taken on water. To put it bluntly, it may sink without a trace after two years of Trump. His worst problem is that he is too popular to be stopped, too popular to be defeated, too popular to be ignored, too popular to be ignored. He has become the norm. He has become the new GOP political model — the one-man-shows-up-at-your-door-and-wants-a-fight-with-you, winner-take-all, no-limits populist party. Which is to say that whatever one may think of Trump’s politics — and there are some who love him, and a lot who hate him — the man is the new normal. And it is hard to imagine that this new order will not be challenged by those who will not go away quietly.
As I have often said over the years: Never again do any of us have a president who simply can’t be criticized. There are no “bad” Trump policies. There are no good Trump policies. There are no Trump policies that can really work.
And never again do we have a president who cannot be defeated by his enemies. No matter how unpopular Donald Trump is, the GOP does not really have to “change” to be defeated. The “Trump problem”, as