Ideologically I am much closer to former Massachusetts governor William Weld, but as a matter of political pragmatism, former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford may be the best bet to save the Republican Party from itself before the Democrats do it for them in 2020. No one can accuse him of being a phony conservative, or adopting views for the sake of political expediency. He is saying the same things he has said for years, and that makes for a damning indictment of Trump’s presidency.
Listening to Sanford on the cable TV rounds over the past few days, I’ll admit, gave me a sense of relief. Here’s a rock-ribbed conservative saying President Trump is imperiling the country with debt and trade tariffs (he should be calling them trade taxes), as well as by his assault on democratic institutions and his horrible tone. Wow! It’s like digging up a time capsule back to the olden days of . . . 2016. Even more refreshing, he’s expressed a conservative vision different from the Luddites who enable Trump.
In a folksy way, he describes what has happened to South Carolina’s Low Country. He believes in climate change, and argues it is illogical to believe in science when it comes to the galaxy and medicine, but not when it concerns the Earth. Thank goodness! You don’t have to be an elite from the coasts or a socialist to understand climate change is real. (Many more Republicans would say the same if they weren’t cowering from Trump and his know-nothing base.)