Andrew Coyne writes that the Conservative Party has reached a fork in the road. It can, he writes, either be a party of big ideas or small fears:
Will it be the party of big ideas, or small fears? The party of free markets and limited government, or the party of nativism and intolerance? The party of equality, unity and civility, or the party of race-baiting, identity tests and virulent us-and-them polemics?
Will it embrace the conservatism of Reagan, Thatcher and Mulroney — or the know-nothing populism of Donald Trump, his imitators and idolators?
Clearly, Coyne would prefer that the party be disciples of Thatcher, Reagan and Mulroney rather than Trump. But there's a problem. Thatcher, Reagan and Mulroney's ideas are failed ideas. And the fears people like Kellie Leitch and Chris Alexander are fanning are not small. Now Leitch wants women to legally be able to carry pepper spray. There's a reason she's now being referred to as Dr. Pepper. More worrisome is the clear indication that she is casting her lot with White Supremacists.
I've always thought of the modern Conservative Party as the Harper Party because it has been -- essentially -- a cult of personality. And with no new ideas to run on, it risks transferring its cult of personality to another personality -- The Great Orange Id.
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