Tom Friedman actually penned a (mostly) righteous rant about that present status of the Republican Party, and he’s right that the country needs a center-right party that isn’t just a racket for grifters and nuts. But, maybe this shouldn’t be our highest priority right now. Can’t the modern GOP be vanquished before we start talking about building its replacement?

The Republican Party presently has a lot more power than the Democratic Party in Congress and on the state and local level. The upcoming elections may go a long way toward rectifying that situation but it’s doubtful that they will completely reverse it.

Rebuilding a credible and responsible center-right in this country won’t happen overnight, and it won’t happen at all unless the voters insist that the existing party change. Maybe Trump will make things so bad for the GOP in places like California and New England that some financial heavyweights will start a new center-right party in those areas of the country. That could be a starting point. Maybe a new center-right that conforms to Friedman’s wish list can first take hold on a regional basis. They can be serious about climate change, for starters.

It might be useful to think about how to create a more viable and reality-based alternative party to the Democrats, and I’d almost be willing to work on a project like that just for the good of the country even if I’d never agree with them on most things.

But, first things first, is how I see it. The danger posed by this late-stage Conservative Movement hasn’t left us, and it’s still possible that they’ll wind up with the nuclear codes at some point in the not-too-distant future.

Preventing that is probably a higher priority than building, as Friedman wants, a “healthy center-right party to ensure that the Democrats remain a healthy center-left party.”

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Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at