Behind Liz Cheney’s defeat is Trump’s victory over traditional conservatism

Behind Liz Cheney’s defeat is Trump’s victory over traditional conservatism

WASHINGTON | Republican Liz Cheney’s recent defeat by a pro-Trump in Wyoming reveals the upheavals of a Republican party that, with the former president, is moving away from traditional conservatism and focusing on one figure.

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Ms. Cheney’s defeat on Tuesday not only marks her impending departure from the House of Representatives, where she had a separate vote, but also signals strong rejection of an anti-Trump line by Republican voters.

Liz Cheney aligned herself with Donald Trump’s positions when he was President with 93% of her votes in the House of Representatives. But his sin is having since openly criticized the billionaire within a political movement that seems less and less open to dissent.

“I think the Republican Party is in a terrible state today, and I think we have a lot of work to do,” Ms. Cheney told NBC Wednesday morning.

“It could stretch over multiple election cycles, but I think this country needs a Republican party that’s basically rooted in substance, rooted in doctrine,” she continued. “A party that, conversely, has fully supported Donald Trump and his personality cult looks the other way.”

Many Republican presidents, from Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush, face internal opposition. But debates about people rarely eclipsed the party’s core tenets: lower taxes, free trade, weak federal power, and a powerful army.

An indefinite lesson

But the “Grand Old Party” or GOP is now united around a man with little regard for the codes of traditional conservatism.

“The Republican Party is no longer the +Party of Reagan+ or the +Party of Nixon+,” said Aron Solomon, legal counsel at marketing agency Esquire Digital.

“It is a party that has lost its way and has now found its way. But for many, this path is scary,” he analyzes with AFP.

While the doctrine dubbed “Reaganomics” has become a clear reference to neoliberalism, the ideology behind “Trumpism” is harder to pin down than nationalist-tinged populism.

If it bears the stamp of a form of freedom from the usual rules of politics, “Trumpism” also suggests a certain “cult of personality” surrounding the former President, as described by Liz Cheney.

However, Donald Trump, who calls his Republican critics “RINO” (“Republicans in name only”, “who are Republicans only in name”), was not always associated with this party.

The real estate magnate was a Republican in the 1980s, but then posed as an Independent and at times even as a Democrat, a party he sponsored.

withdrawal from the program

The metamorphosis of the Republican Party can also be seen in the 40-year comparison between two national party conventions, those high masses that vote the candidates before a presidential election.

In 1980, the party led by Ronald Reagan published a program of about sixty pages with detailed proposals on taxes, social protection, transportation, immigration, women’s rights, health, etc.

At the start of Donald Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign, the Republican Party refrained from updating its policy project to simply support the presidential nominee and his priorities, however vague.

“Unfortunately, Republican principles seem to have been lost,” wrote Sean O’Keefe, Secretary of State under George Bush senior, in a tribune at the time. “Nothing demonstrates this better than the lack of a Republican program for 2020.”

Donald Trump’s hold on the party was evident when more than two-thirds of his elected House of Representatives refused to confirm Joe Biden’s election victory just hours after the Capitol was stormed by protesters, supporters of a president who refused to leave the oval office .

And, further evidence of his grip, of the ten Conservatives-elected who voted to impeach him for the second time in January 2021, only two will seek to retain their House seats during this fall’s general election: four declined again run, four others were defeated in the primaries.

However, Liz Cheney, who belongs to the latter category, vowed to “do everything” to ensure that the former president is never allowed into the White House again, not closing the door on the possibility of presenting herself in 2024.

But for analyst Aron Solomon, Ms. Cheney would be more successful on the airwaves than in the elections.

“It’s more than likely that Liz Cheney will become a radio or television commentator,” he said. “It would look good on her and she will reach more voters who are really listening.”