Date: September 11, 2019
By: Therese Shaheen
Whatever other legacies President Trump leaves after his time in office, he will be remembered as a figure who realigned the GOP by bringing many of its core tenets into question. The party is no longer reliably supportive of multilateral trade agreements and opposed to tariffs. It is no longer interested in reforming entitlements, or in balancing the federal budget. It is no longer a proponent of the overseas deployment of U.S. forces for the sake of maintaining stability in unstable places. None of these shifts are necessarily permanent. To be sure, there will be reassessments of all of them after the Trump presidency, as the party decides what it wants to be going forward.
Here’s another shift, one I hope the party holds firm to over time: For the first time since the Nixon presidency, the GOP is no longer willing to accommodate Beijing. Republicans no longer see China as a benign emerging power to be nurtured as it merges into the society of nations. In action if not in fact, the Trump administration has redefined China as an economic and military adversary, and a human-rights abuser of massive and systematic proportions.
This is an overdue and welcome shift. There are practical actions that the administration can take to ensure that it lasts beyond Trump’s time in office as something more than a bargaining tactic in trade-deal negotiations. An important one is rethinking the role the U.S. has played as the handmaiden in Beijing’s decades-long global isolation of Taiwan. [FULL STORY]