Tevi Troy: How GOP Intellectuals’ Feud With the Base Is Remaking U.S. Politics – POLITICO 

[T]he rapprochement scenario is unlikely, especially since the GOP intellectuals are disconnected not only from Trump, but also from a significant portion of the GOP voter base. Some think tankers have spoken “reform conservatism”—a new mix of issues designed to appeal to today’s struggling lower middle-class voters—but this effort itself is controversial among conservatives, and looks to be going nowhere. The reform camp has failed to achieve the fusionist consensus that Buckley and Meyer forged decades ago, which brought together the three main strands of conservative thought—economic, social and foreign policy—under one anti-communist umbrella.

Today’s conservative intellectuals appear to be splintering, over Trump, over Cruz, over questions like immigration and America’s proper role in the world. If they scatter, the loss of conservative intellectuals as a somewhat unified force could mean the end of the era of the GOP as the party of ideas. The battle of ideas is already an uphill battle for Republicans, especially given Democratic advantages in the faculty lounges and in the mainstream media—and without a reliable phalanx of intellectuals to help defend it in the larger marketplace of ideas, the Republican Party would eventually lose the respect of conservative-minded voters as well, potentially dooming it to suffer long-term electoral damage or outright disintegration. This could mean that the Democrats would take the initiative in shaping the country’s policy directly for years or decades to come.

Source: How GOP Intellectuals’ Feud With the Base Is Remaking U.S. Politics – POLITICO Magazine

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