Can the Republican Party Be Saved? Should It?

7 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2019

See all articles by Thomas Firey

Thomas Firey

Cato Institute; Maryland Public Policy Institute

Date Written: March 5, 2019


The elevation of Donald Trump as head of the Republican Party and the coalescing of Republicans behind him marks a dramatic shift in the core ideologies of the Republican Party. This creates a dilemma for Republicans who continue to embrace the party's former right-of-center philosophy of free markets, limited government, liberalized migration, and skepticism of politicians and politics. They must decide whether to remain in a political party currently hostile to their political beliefs. This paper argues that it is unlikely the GOP will return to the center-right Republicanism of the past half-century, and that supporters of that type of Republicanism should seriously consider attempting to form a new party. Though the odds that such a party will succeed are uncertain, they are better than what is commonly believed.

Keywords: Trump, Republican Party, Republicanism, GOP, American political parties, new political party

JEL Classification: H00, H1, H19

Suggested Citation

Firey, Thomas, Can the Republican Party Be Saved? Should It? (March 5, 2019). Available at SSRN: or

Thomas Firey (Contact Author)

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Maryland Public Policy Institute ( email )

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