Feehery: The 5 Ways Republicans can channel Trump without Trump

Barring some thus-far undiscovered evidence of widespread election corruption, Joe Biden is going to win the White House. I don’t like that fact, but sometimes reality is a bitter pill to swallow.Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: Feehery: The 5 Ways Republicans can channel Trump without Trump© Getty Images Feehery: The 5 Ways Republicans can channel Trump without Trump

Donald Trump successfully reshaped the Republican Party for a generation to come. What can the GOP learn from Trump as it moves to counter Joe Biden and the progressives that dominate the Democratic Party? Here are five things:

MAGA is more than just a slogan: A profound belief in American exceptionalism is a key component of Trumpism. Trump is unapologetic about our national history. He doesn’t agree with the eggheads who dominate our nation’s top schools that America is fundamentally flawed and a fundamentally racist country that needs to atone for its sins while being completely remade to better reflect the progressive zeitgeist of the intellectual set. Trump understands that believing in America’s essential goodness is not just an empty exercise in the jingoistic patriotism but a critical element to creating national unity. If we don’t all love and believe in America, then what the hell are we all doing here anyway?

No Borders means No Country: I am a convert to the idea that to have a nation, a government needs to be able to control who comes into the country. Nothing like a pandemic to remind us all why we have borders in the first place. And yes, national security is predicated on border security. There is nothing racist about building durable and effective barriers to keep those who would do harm to America out of America. And stopping the flow of illegal immigrants not only improves national security but also improves the economic security of working-class Americans of all colors and creeds.

Look out for America first: There are times when it makes sense to send aid to folks in need in other parts of the world. But charity must start at home. If there are people who are starving in our small towns or who are addicted to opioids in our streets or who can’t pay for life-saving drugs in our cities, our government has an obligation to take care of our citizens first. If we are going to get involved in any foreign war, it must make sense for our national security first. If we are going to put our troops in harm’s way, we must have burden-sharing with our allies and partners.

Stand Up to China: The biggest threat to our national and economic security is the Chinese government. We can argue about how successful Mr. Trump has been in facing off against the communists in China, but the president gets some credit for sounding the alarm that the Chinese have been eating our lunch for years. Joe Biden sees that Chinese less as strategic competitors and more as strategic partners. The Republicans should continue to beat the drum of standing up to China. It is not only good politics but good policy.

Less Government Means More Jobs: Gutting the regulatory state was one of the most useful things that the president’s team did to promote economic growth in the country. Relaxing labor rules, easing environmental regulations amid cutting taxes all had a real impact in creating the strongest economic growth in a generation. Coming after eight years of the oppressive Obama regime, the Trump years showed how giving the small business sector the freedom to prosper meant higher wages for the average American family. Republicans should continue to fight for small businesses as Joe Biden continues to fight to make America regulate again.

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