Over the weekend, the Republican Party and Trump campaign did two things that should be rather shocking. Indeed, in ordinary times they would be. But these are not ordinary times.
First, the party decided that it would not create a party platform for 2020. Instead, the party adopted a resolution that it would “enthusiastically support the President’s America-first agenda” rather than issue the normal, detailed statement of Republican principles and policies. The party was now plainly organized around a person.
Second, later that same evening, President Trump issued his second-term agenda, a series of bullet points titled “Fighting for You!” This was not a statement of ideology or philosophy. Instead, as my former colleagues at National Review noted in an excellent editorial, the document “is better understood as a series of aspirations, with little sense of how the powers of government might plausibly be used to achieve any of these goals”:
Thus, we are told, a reelected Trump would “Create 10 Million New Jobs in 10 Months,” “Return to Normal in 2021,” “Cut Prescription Drug Prices,” “Protect Social Security and Medicare,” “Wipe Out Global Terrorists Who Threaten to Harm Americans,” and “Partner with Other Nations to Clean Up our Planet’s Oceans.” How are voters supposed to evaluate a fuzzy and stilted pledge such as “Drain the Globalist Swamp by Taking on International Organizations That Hurt American Citizens”?