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The Trump Rupture of the Right | Munk Debates

SEASON TWO - EPISODE #8

The Trump Rupture of the Right

Be it Resolved, the political survival of the Republican Party requires a clear and irrevocable break with Donald Trump and Trumpism.

Guests
David Frum
Stephen Moore

About this episode

Refusing to concede his loss to Joe Biden in November’s Presidential election.
Pressuring the Secretary of State to invalidate Georgia’s votes.
The President’s supporters storming the Capitol during the certification of electoral college votes.

You can’t say that he didn’t warn us but the lengths to which President Donald Trump has been prepared to go to prevent a peaceful, post election handover to the Joe Biden’s administration has convulsed the final days of his presidency and deepened the already profound divisions in America and also within the Republican party. But despite the profoundly anti-democratic events of the past two weeks supporters of Donald Trump say that it’s futile for the Republican Party to divorce itself from the man who last November enabled it to capture the most votes in the party’s history. They say that Trumpism is the Republican Party’s future, and that its populist rejection of elites and embrace of the concerns of disenfranchised middle-class voters its path to reelection in 2024.

Republican critics of Donald Trump respond that the disastrous events of the past weeks are the culmination of four years of leadership that have been consistently at odds with the principles of Republicanism, at enormous cost to the party and the country. They say that it’s not too late to rescue the GOP. The Republican Party can claim a bright political future if it rebuilds itself as an inclusive and culturally modern party of the centre-right that focuses on healing, not exacerbating, America’s divides.

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Guests

David Frum

"We are seeing a Republican party at risk of evolving into a post-democratic party. If it’s a party that is racist and environmentally disdainful, it has no hope. It’s future is going to shrivel into one of these reactionary, nationalist parties we see in Eastern Europe."

David Frum

"We are seeing a Republican party at risk of evolving into a post-democratic party. If it’s a party that is racist and environmentally disdainful, it has no hope. It’s future is going to shrivel into one of these reactionary, nationalist parties we see in Eastern Europe."

David Frum is a senior editor at The Atlantic and a frequent guest on television in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, and Canada. His popular Twitter feed is followed by about 825,000 people. 

From 2001 to 2002 he served as a speechwriter and special assistant to U.S. President George W. Bush and, from 2014-17, chaired the board of trustees of Policy Exchange, the United Kingdom's leading center-right think tank. He was, for many years, a member of the board of directors of the Republican Jewish Coalition in the United States. 

Frum is the author of ten books, including the New York Times bestseller Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic and the recently published Trumpocalypse: Restoring American Democracy.

He and his wife Danielle Crittenden Frum live in Washington, DC and Wellington, Ontario.

Stephen Moore

"The trick for Republicans is to embrace Trumpism, but not Trump himself. His policies work, and with a friendlier face that is not so antagonistic to minorities and doesn't shoot at the hip, it can be a real formula for the long standing success of the Republican party."

Stephen Moore

"The trick for Republicans is to embrace Trumpism, but not Trump himself. His policies work, and with a friendlier face that is not so antagonistic to minorities and doesn't shoot at the hip, it can be a real formula for the long standing success of the Republican party."

Stephen Moore is the senior economic contributor for FreedomWorks. Stephen previously served as president of the Club for Growth, chief economist of the Heritage Foundation, and as a member of the Wall Street Journal editorial board.

Stephen Moore served as a Senior Economic Adviser to Donald Trump, where he focused on tax reform, regulatory reform and energy policy. In addition to this role, Moore is a Heritage visiting senior fellow and a Senior Economic Analyst at CNN.

During his career, Moore has served as a senior economist at the Congressional Joint Economic Committee, and as a senior economics fellow at the Cato Institute, where he published dozens of studies on federal and state fiscal policy. He advised the National Economic Commission in 1987, and served as a research director for President Reagan's Commission on Privatization.

Show Notes

David Frum has recently published Trumpocalypse: Restoring American Democracy. You can read his critique of the direction the Republican Party has taken in recent years in this Atlantic article. You can learn more about David Frum’s push for a reset of the Republican party in a recent The Walrus article, David Frum Fights the Right.

Stephen Moore is the author of Trumponomics: Inside the America First Plan to Revive our Economy. He is the Chairman of the Task force on Economic Revival at FreedomWorks where he has recently co-authored a report called Joe Biden’s “Georgia Tax”.

During the debate there is considerable disagreement between David and Stephen on how the economy has performed over the last four years. The BBC provides six charts where you can compare the economic numbers (economic growth, stock market growth, unemployment rate, wages, and poverty rate) during Donald Trump’s presidency with Barack Obama’s presidency.

During the debate Stephen Moore argues that you can gauge the health of the Republican Party by its success at the state level. After the 2020 election the Republicans hold 23 state “trifectas” (where a party controls both the state’s legislative chambers and the Governor’s Office) and the Democratic Party holds 15 trifectas.

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