Trump foreign policy has reshaped GOP position? - Peter Feaver interviewed in The Atlantic
Peter Feaver, a Duke University political scientist, rejects the idea that changes in the GOP’s coalition have irreversibly shifted the party toward Trump-style isolationism and unilateralism. “The cost of alienating our allies … will start to mount,” said Feaver, who analyzed public opinion for Bush’s National Security Council. “It’s going to be harder and harder to sustain it.”
Yet in recent days, the GOP’s internationalist voices have been stifled at every turn. Beyond Arizona Senator John McCain, stunningly few criticized Trump’s outbursts around the G-7 meeting, when he questioned the cost of NATO, urged Russia’s reinstatement to the group, and lashed the trading practices of Canada and the European Union. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked a vote on bipartisan legislation to limit Trump’s power to unilaterally impose tariffs. And House Speaker Paul Ryan stymied a moderate rebellion to demand a vote on legalizing young people brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents.
Feaver sees an opening in the future for more elected Republicans to reject Trump’s foreign-policy course because few of them have explicitly endorsed it (even if they haven’t overtly condemned it, either). Yet Republican internationalists face the risk that Trump’s truculent nationalism will accelerate the drift of college-educated voters away from the party—tilting its internal balance further toward the blue-collar voters most sympathetic to his belligerent approach.