Where does the Republican party go after Trump? | FT

The FT’s global business commentator Rana Foroohar and US finance editor Robert Armstrong discuss the struggle for the soul of the GOP after the departure of Donald Trump. See if you get the FT for free as a student ( or start a £1 trial:

If president trump is practically and morally responsible the new york times reports thousands of republicans are leaving the gop one of the most striking things to me in the november presidential election was the fact that biden took the portion of america that represents 71 of the economy so the coastal elites uh a lot of the wealthy urban areas um parts of

The country where basically things are made and that there are jobs and so you have this odd uh way in which the republican party has kind of morphed from being a party of financial elites i mean certainly there are still some financial leads to voting for republicans uh because of deregulation low taxes loss et cetera et cetera but you’ve really got republicans

Saying hey we’re the party of the working class and in fact you have some republicans like josh hawley you know openly saying that is us we are about the working class now i want to talk a little bit about who republicans are really for but let me ask you first that that basic question do you think it’s possible the republicans could be the party of the working

Class i think you’re right that they you know if you count up the states where they won they are the democrats represent the majority of the country’s productivity america uh the part of america trump won is more towards the center of the country where there is a more working-class population but the picture isn’t completely simple uh in voters with household

Incomes under 100 000 biden won solidly of course there was a mix of different kinds of voters in that in that demographic white black hispanic young old et cetera et cetera but uh so i would say the picture is more the republicans need to be the party of the working class they haven’t achieved that and that’s the problem trump got them closer than mitt romney’s

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Or the bob dole’s of earlier elections but they’re not there yet and it’s a problem going forward it’s interesting to think about um what factions aside from the trump portion of the party really exists so you mentioned romney you’ve got romney cassidy you know just a handful of republicans that have really stood up uh amidst impeachment and said look we you

Know we have a moral core here we’re representing a more traditional kind of conservatism we are going to um try and bring back this sense of public service of of conservative small c um prudent republicanism they’re not doing so well i mean they’re really not i think they’re a small part of any possible future conservative coalition in this country uh i think

The point that pundits on both left and right have made that the republican party has sunk into zombie reaganism uh a lot of the party the establishment wing of the party is just singing from this 40 year old hymnal that the voters aren’t singing along to that’s interesting because i have always thought that even pre-trump one of the reasons why the republicans

Were beginning to falter is that they don’t have a post uh las vegas chicago school kind of unifying theory of economic policy now you can argue with the democrats do or not but certainly certainly they won the presidential election right so they don’t have to search their souls quite as hard as the gop does well lisa i mean they may have to be searching by midterm

Or post-midterm depending on how it goes which is not that far away but it’s interesting because that brings up that that need for a new economic theory to underpin policy actually brings up another faction the party which is you know i always think of them as the sort of patriotic nationalists so this is the the hawleys rubio you know um some of the candidates

That say hey okay you know maybe elizabeth warren’s got a point about industrial policy maybe we need to connect the dots there is no way forward for the republican party if they don’t take income inequality seriously and the posture has been you know the zombie reaganism posture is if we just let the market alone it will solve this incoming inequality uh problem

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And i don’t think anybody buys that anymore yeah and now you have a party that got absolutely smoked among young voters absolutely smoked among first-time voters and a lot of these people are looking at houses they cannot afford and not great job prospects and heavy student debts and they want to hear a story about what is going to be done for the have-nots here

You can disagree with the trump story told but he told the story which is your job is being stolen by china your job is being stolen by an immigrant you and i are probably not inclined to believe that but it’s the story and it’s not a story like oh the market will just figure this out you know if we can just lower taxes everything will be fine i just don’t think

That’s you know i think what we’re learning is that story doesn’t fly and it and frankly it hasn’t flown for a long time i have a market question to you that could potentially um impact how republicans position themselves particularly as we get to the midterm which is going to be very very telling it’s going to be close it’s going to be tight um but the market

Could change dramatically by then um you know we we know we there’s froth um the us policy makers right now are trying to pull off some real economic growth at the same time that they’re you know firefighting a pandemic rising debt um we’ve got concerns about the fed and treasury working too tightly together what happens in the next 12 to 16 months that could

Impact the midterms do you think well uh we have all of the ingredients for a significant correction which means not only extremely high asset valuations we have not only high prices but prices that are rising at an accelerating pace and we have nut job behavior whether it’s gamestop or bitcoin or tesla right those are the kind of holy trinity of times to worry

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Now the other thing that you and i have probably both learned in our investing lives it’s the timing the market is hot it’s hard yeah don’t remind me of that rob i pulled out of us equities two years ago it’s like it’s a very sore topic yeah yeah and you know well but the point is that conditions are right right for a correction and if we have one uh it will

Change the electoral calculus immediately and dramatically it is not true that the president is responsible for the stock market but it doesn’t matter that it’s not true everybody thinks that it is obama wasn’t responsible for his great stock market trump wasn’t responsible for his great stock market and biden might not be responsible for his terrible stock market

But that is a reality that could save the republicans bacon that’s why i think ultimately that someone like rubio is probably going to be the future of the party if there is a post-trump future it’s going to come from someone like that that actually has policy ideas that are not too far off what some on the left would like to see i mean personally i’ve written

This i think that we’re going to need a major government pushed if not government funded government um underwritten in terms of you know rules of the road infrastructure program um we’re going to need to retool for a world in which supply chains are probably going to be somewhat shorter asset prices are going to be somewhat lower we’re going to need to do some

Major retraining um how you’re going to sell that um amidst all the usual vested interests of the party and corporate lobbyists that are swarming around washington uh remains to be seen but we will leave that topic um lobbying perhaps for another time um thanks for thanks for being here with me it’s been a pleasure ron

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Where does the Republican party go after Trump? | FT By Financial Times

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