Analysis

Two Insights on the Trump Era from David Frum

Republicans are giving up on democracy.

Michel Temer Donald Trump
Presidents Michel Temer of Brazil and Donald Trump of the United States meet at the G20 in Hamburg, Germany, July 8, 2017 (Bundesregierung)

Two insights from Sean Illing’s interview with former Republican official and author of Trumpocracy, David Frum:

  1. The Republican Party has a platform that can’t prevail in democratic competition. And when highly committed parties believe they cannot achieve their aims democratically, they don’t give up on their beliefs — they give up on democracy. Frum believes Republicans should have moved to the middle, for example on health care and taxes. Instead, they elected Trump.
  2. Bureaucracies can function on their own for a long time, but the coordination between them requires a competent executive. That is lacking. The National Security Council is defective. There is no director of national drug policy at a time when opioid abuse is killing more Americans than any other disease. The Department of Justice keeps arresting people, Health and Human Services keeps sending out Medicaid checks, but there is no center, no stability.

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