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Wrong vision for Republican Party - and America

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By Karl W. Smith

Conservatives are currently engaged in a vicious intramural debate over their future in the Republican Party. Like all such debates, it can seem opaque ― even its participants aren't always sure what they're arguing about ― but the implications for both the tenor and content of American politics are profound.

The debate is sprawling, but its contours are pretty well defined: One side wants to restore the old fusion between social and economic conservatism. The other wants to abandon it and embrace the authoritarian traditionalist vision embodied by President Donald Trump.

This is a false choice. There is no authoritarian traditionalist future for the Republican Party. Meanwhile, the fusionist bargain has delivered pretty well for social conservatives, and may be their only hope for future relevance.

First, consider the case for abandonment, most passionately articulated by Sohrab Ahmari, the op-ed editor of the New York Post. One of Ahmari's........

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