Perspective: Yogi's Advice For Republicans

Mar 22, 2021

The wise philosopher Yogi Berra once urged, "When you come to a fork in the road, take it!" Republicans may need to take that fork, and soon.

The party is split between Trumpists and those who long to move on. This schism may be irreconcilable because it is rooted in both policy and personality.

The personality problems are obvious. Trump's modus operandi is to attack and antagonize. Policies and opponents are caricatured for effect. Trumpists enjoy and applaud, but many others are put off and turn away--literally. They turn away from the party itself.

Policy disputes also widen the schism, and they may be irreconcilable. Trumpists espouse most of the conservative populist agenda: opposition to free trade and globalism, immigration, and an activist foreign policy. They favor political control of monetary policy. More traditional Republicans advocate very different policies.

These are not small differences, and it is difficult to imagine "splitting the difference." Compromise is only possible when we agree on the ends and debate only the means.

If the two groups cannot truly reconcile both policy and personality differences, then a takeover by one of the contenders appears inevitable. The losers would be exiled. The history of third parties in America is a history of failure.

Oh, Yogi, where are you when you are really needed?

I'm Bob Evans, and that is my perspective.