A Conservative Editorial Writer: Trump is a Demagogue, Republicans Are Without Principle

Diane Ravitch's blog

Bret Stephens is an editorial writer for the conservative Wall Street Journal. His rebuke to fellow Republicans is thoughtful and gutsy.

By BRET STEPHENS
Nov. 7, 2016 7:27 p.m. ET

Someday, maybe, when I’m old and a child asks me what I remember about the awful election of 2016, I’ll say: It was the Big Reveal.

Revealed: That the guiding spirit of the modern conservative movement is neither Burke nor Lincoln. It’s Marx. “These are my principles,” Groucho once cracked, “and if you don’t like them, well, I have others.” Everything Republicans once claimed to advocate—entitlement reform, free trade, standing up to dictators, encouraging the march of freedom around the world—turns out to be negotiable and reversible, depending onDonald Trump’s whims and the furies of his base.

Revealed: That moral clarity and moral equivalence have become interchangeable concepts in today’s GOP. The same Republicans who pontificated throughout the 1990s about…

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