Republicans shift towards ‘America First’ on trade, immigration, and foreign policy.
Win or lose come November, the new platform makes it clear that Donald Trump’s success has begun the process of updating the party for success in a new era.
Trump’s success has set the GOP on a possible path to become an authentic anti-globalization, nationalist Party.
The proposed 2016 GOP platform has been released, and while it doesn’t line up entirely with Trump’s campaign positions, it is clear that in the key areas of trade, foreign policy, and immigration, the GOP has actually listened to the millions of people who voted for Trump in the primaries.
“We need better negotiated trade agreements that put America first,” the initial draft says — a line that could have easily come straight from a Trump stump speech. “Republicans understand that you can succeed in a negotiation only if you are willing to walk away from it,” it continues.
“A Republican president will insist on parity in trade and will stand willing to implement countervailing duties if other countries don’t cooperate.”
In addition to language skeptical of free trade, there is absolutely no positive mention of Trans-Pacific Partnership — a favorite target of Trump’s — which was featured in the 2012 platform.
The 2016 platform’s approach to foreign policy also reportedly echoes points raised by Trump’s campaign. It is said to include language critical of “nation building” — a stark and welcome departure from the neoconservative imperialism that has dominated GOP foreign policy over the last few decades.
But nowhere is Trump’s influence on the 2016 GOP platform as evident than in the area of immigration. The party seems to have turned its back completely on the infamous 2012 Republican National Committee “autopsy” which recommended the party pander to Hispanic identity politics.
The 2016 platform calls specifically for the construction of a wall that will cover “the entirety of the southern border and must be sufficient to stop both vehicular and pedestrian traffic.” Reports also indicate the platform has abandoned the use of the term “illegal immigrant” for “illegal alien.”
“Back in June 16 of 2015, Donald Trump proposed this, and it resonated with the people of America,” said Stephen Stepanek, an RNC member and delegate from New Hampshire, of Trump’s border wall idea.
“So not only is the Platform Committee recognizing the position Donald Trump has held throughout the primary process, it has been endorsed by the American people, who have overwhelmingly supported his positions and overwhelmingly made him the presumptive nominee,” he continued.
In forcing the Republican Party to adopt positions critical of mass illegal immigration, free trade, and neoconservative foreign policy, Trump’s success has set the GOP on a possible path to become an authentic anti-globalization, nationalist party.
For at least the last three elections, the GOP seemed to believe that adapting to a liberal worldview was the only way to secure electoral success. Now, finally, the GOP seems ready to take that liberal world head on and fight it.