Mark Leibovich’s NYT Magazine Cover Story on the GOP Identity Crisis
What does Donald Trump’s campaign—both highly public and decidedly unconventional—mean for the party he represents? Will the GOP become inextricably tied to Trump’s manner and viewpoints, win or lose? Two Lavin speakers have recently written high-profile pieces on Trump and the fate of the Republican party—Mark Leibovich for The New York Times Magazine and Matt Taibbi for Rolling Stone.
In this week’s NYT Magazine cover story, chief national correspondent Mark Leibovich weighs in on the disconnect between Trump and his fellow party members. Leibovich also stopped by CBS This Morning to discuss Trump’s lack of campaign funding, his outsourcing to the RNC, the Republican identity crisis, and more. “The culture and speed of technological change has fueled an accelerated shift in how voters engage with and perceive political institutions and politicians,” Leibovich writes for NYT Magazine. “Trump’s embrace of this à la carte approach comports to a sensibility of voters’ choosing between models of disruption rather than a singular ideology. In a sense, disruption in and of itself has become an ideology. Whoever swings the biggest wrecking ball wins.” Leibovich, who traveled with Trump back in September, has particular insight into the presumptive nominee’s motivations and ideals.
Matt Taibbi’s recent Rolling Stone article also examines the potential long-term fallout of a Trump-helmed GOP. With his Twitter-heavy campaign, “Trump emphasized that the GOP was now mainly defined by whatever was going through his head at any given moment,” Taibbi writes. “The ‘new GOP’ seems doomed to swing back and forth between its nationalist message and its leader's tubercular psyche. It isn't a party, it's a mood.” Taibbi has covered Trump, Hillary Clinton, the upcoming election, and the wider realm of American politics extensively for RS; check out more of his articles here.
For an intriguing look at one of America’s most polarizing public figures, be sure to read Leibovich’s full cover story and Taibbi’s Rolling Stone feature. And, for a daily injection of Trump-related news, follow James Fallows’s “Daily Trump” column in The Atlantic, which we covered in our last Lavin Weekly.