FOX | Trump Wins on Cruelty, not in Spite of It

Last week, Democrats swept into complete control of the Virginia state government. This momentous success comes a year after governor Ralph Northam (D-Va.) faced calls for resignation for a now-infamous racist image in his medical school yearbook. The next-in-line for the governorship had Northam resigned was Democratic Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, who faced two sexual assault allegations. Should both men have stepped down without replacement, Attorney General Mark Herring, also a Democrat, would have assumed the office of the executive, but he too admitted to wearing blackface decades ago. The Democratic Party, which has been on a continual rise in Virginia for years, confronted the possibility that the mass resignation of their leadership would elevate Republican Kirk Cox, Speaker of the Virginia House, to the office of the governor.

Has Trump Killed the Republican Party?

Several Cornell professors and students tell different stories of the roots and implications of Trump’s rise through GOP ranks. Their analysis diverges on whether the candidate has corrupted the Republican party or merely carried conservatives’ policy and rhetoric to their logical conclusions.

FORKEN | How an Autopsy and Jeb Bush Predicted Donald Trump’s Presidential Run

After a 332-206 shellacking in the 2012 Electoral College, the Republican National Committee issued an autopsy diagnosing the failure at hand and providing guidance to future Republican candidates. In the months preceding the election and prior to the auto-autopsy, two congressional scholars with bipartisan Beltway credentials penned a notorious op-ed in The Washington Post titled, “Let’s just say it: The Republicans are the problem.” In December 2014, before he had declared himself a candidate, Jeb Bush imagined that the 2016 nominee would have to be willing to “lose the primary to win the general without violating your principles.” Roughly three years after the autopsy report was published, Donald Trump revealed his candidacy to capture the Republican nomination for President of the United States. The announcement seemed like a gag at the time, a publicity stunt to sell neckties and brand hotels; of course, it was unforeseeable that Trump intended to double down on the aforementioned evaluations in the most perverse manner imaginable, positioning himself for primary success yet general doom. Before President Barack Obama won his second term over Mitt Romney, political scientists Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein — who was, and still is, employed by the conservative American Enterprise Institute – wrote that, “The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.