How to Make Conservatism Great Again

To save their party from Trumpism, Republicans need to once again take on monopolists.

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Media Outlet: Washington Monthly

Phillip Longman wrote for the Washington Monthly about how antitrust activism could help Republicans reclaim their party:

In the aftermath of Mitt Romney’s defeat in the last presidential election, the political press focused briefly on a network of conservative writers, most of them still in their thirties, who were challenging at least some of the orthodoxies of the Republican Party. “Reformish conservatives,” the Washington Monthly called them in one of the first articles to take note of this coterie. In a long and sympathetic group profile published a year later, the New York Times Magazine tagged them “reformicons,” and suggested that they might make the Republicans the “party of ideas.”

If there was any single theme that defined these would-be reformers, it was their insistence that the GOP needed to stop mindlessly following the agenda of the donor class and start focusing on the increasing economic insecurity facing the majority of working-class Americans. Long before Trump’s capture of the Republican Party proved their point, two prominent reformicons, Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam, used the term “Sam’s Club” voters to describe a demographic whose members accounted for an increasing majority within the Republican Party, but who were increasingly ill served by, and alienated from, the glib, “free market” ideology peddled by the party’s plutocratic elites.

Author:

Phillip Longman was policy director and managing editor of New America’s Open Markets program.