Conciliation or Conviction
The question in the GOP primary has come down to whether conciliation or conviction is the best approach to challenging Trump's dominance.
What is the proper and plausible path for building an off-ramp from Trumpism? Is it a calculated positioning on issues and rhetoric designed to be attractive to populists and at least palatable to non-populists, forging a new coalition that attempts to blend Trumpism and Reaganism? Or is it confronting the failures of populism, challenging the dysfunction of Trumpism, and rebuilding the old coalition of Republican politics from its Reagan-era golden age?
While DeSantis and Haley don't fully present quite that stark of a dichotomy, their choices on campaign strategy and the base of support that has gravitated to each of them have increasingly led them to embody these competing paths for challenging Trump.
Increasingly, then, as the contest to become the consensus non-Trump candidate enters its final stages, the question to be asked and the one that must be answered is which path truly offers the better challenge to Trump's candidacy. Can DeSantis run a conciliatory campaign that keeps the Trump averse on board while winning over a serious chunk of the Trump enamored? Or must we turn to Haley as the candidate more willing to challenge Trumpism head-on and to bring Trump-hostile conservatives back into the GOP in a reassembly of the Reagan coalition that Trump has largely destroyed?
To quote King Arthur as Sir Robin approached the bridge, we must simply watch and pray.
The Daily Saucer is our place for freelance contributors and editorial staff to offer short takes on the news cycle, quick observations on the issues, and brief thoughts on broader topics. The views offered in this space strictly reflect only the personal views of the authors.
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