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Everything Trump Touches Dies

A Republican Strategist Gets Real About the Worst President Ever

By Rick Wilson
12-minute read
Audio available
Everything Trump Touches Dies: A Republican Strategist Gets Real About the Worst President Ever by Rick Wilson

Everything Trump Touches Dies (2018) is an unflinching critique of how conservatives within the Republican Party have abandoned their values to support Donald Trump. It offers a damning look at the state of the Republican Party today and proposes a way to change its political direction.

  • Anyone interested in the Never Trump movement
  • Conservatives wondering how GOP leaders have rationalized Trump’s behavior
  • Students and professionals who want insight into a right-wing critique of the US president

Rick Wilson is a Republican political strategist, ad-maker, public speaker and writer, with over 30 years of political experience. He was one of the founders of the Never Trump movement. In addition to writing a column for the Daily Beast, he has published in the Washington Post and Politico, among other esteemed news outlets. He has also appeared as a guest on shows and channels such as HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, CNN, MSNBC and NPR.

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Everything Trump Touches Dies

A Republican Strategist Gets Real About the Worst President Ever

By Rick Wilson
  • Read in 12 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 7 key ideas
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Everything Trump Touches Dies: A Republican Strategist Gets Real About the Worst President Ever by Rick Wilson
Synopsis

Everything Trump Touches Dies (2018) is an unflinching critique of how conservatives within the Republican Party have abandoned their values to support Donald Trump. It offers a damning look at the state of the Republican Party today and proposes a way to change its political direction.

Key idea 1 of 7

By getting behind president Trump, Republicans and conservatives have compromised their principles and values.

Cast your mind back to November 2016. The result of the US presidential election shocked many people, not least the Republican candidate himself. Donald Trump somehow emerged as the front-runner in a crowded field of Republicans, took the party’s nomination and then went on win the presidency.

What’s interesting about Trump is not so much that his voter base embraced his espousal of conspiracy theories and his departure from well-established conservative principles. It’s that the leaders of the Republican Party – the Grand Old Party (GOP) – came along for the ride, dutifully following Trump as though their long-held beliefs in fiscal conservatism, limited government and constitutionalism never mattered at all.

There’s no escaping it: the GOP’s embrace of Trump has laid the foundation for its own demise.

Time and time again, conservative politicians have thrown their principles to the wind. In supporting Trump, they are putting their party and their own ambitions above the nation’s well-being. That’s to be expected of die-hard Trump supporters like Congressman Steve King, but selling out is a phenomenon that currently runs the gamut of the Republican Party. There are opportunists like Senator Mitch McConnell; rationalizers like Paul Ryan, the speaker of the house; and a whole swarm of yellow-bellies afraid of being hounded by Trump’s twitter followers.

Prior to 2016, Ryan was the poster boy of modern Republican conservatism. He was all about limited government, fiscal conservatism and balanced budgets. And, as speaker of the house, Ryan had the authority to indicate to his fellow caucus and party members just what sort of threat Trump posed to the Republican Party and to its agenda.

Ryan knew full well that Trump would put Republican principles on the bonfire if he became president.

But Ryan folded. During the first three-quarters of Trump’s campaign, Ryan rationalized Trump’s behavior. He was happy to tolerate Trump’s waywardness so long as he thought there was a way to achieve conservative goals like passing major corporate tax cuts and entitlement reforms. After all, a Republican president was hardly going to use his veto powers against a Republican legislature.

When a tape emerged during the campaign that captured Trump boasting of sexually assaulting women, it was clear that it was too late for Ryan to take a serious stance. He’d already sold himself out. His criticisms of Trump’s actions were worthless.

But all is not lost. The age of Trump may have witnessed Republicans defending the utterly reprehensible, but there is still hope for the country. The GOP may be fractured, but a sound conservative movement can still emerge.

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