This isn’t George W. Bush’s Republican Party anymore.
Speaking with the Washington Examiner, the president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., expressed his indifference to the absence of Bush-era Republicans from this week’s Republican National Convention, saying that they’re not “relevant” in the GOP anymore.
Don Jr.: GOP has evolved
It was four years ago that President Donald Trump rose to the White House on the Republican ticket after publicly humiliating former President George W. Bush’s little brother and former Florida governor, “low energy” Jeb Bush.
This week’s 2020 Republican National Convention was anything but “low energy,” and it seemed to reflect the waning influence of the neoconservative Bush years, with a major highlight being Trump’s “America First” foreign policy, which seeks an end to the “endless wars” that Bush began and counsels caution before jumping into fresh conflicts.
“He called America’s endless wars what they were: A disaster,” Trump’s former ambassador to Germany and intelligence director, Ric Grenell, said, looking back on the 2016 primary, according to the Daily Mail. “The media was shocked, because Donald Trump was running as a Republican.”
Trump Jr., for his part, told the Washington Examiner that the Republican Party has evolved since his father’s rise in 2016, when the president injected a populist brand of politics into the party’s bloodstream.
“Trump winning shows you that those aren’t the people who are relevant,” Don Jr. said.
Fall of the neocons?
The absence of Bushies at the convention was partly a function of their voluntary flight from the GOP after years of steady polarization since 2016. That movement recently culminated in a number of Bush-era Republicans finally making for the exits to unite around Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
Former President Bush himself has become a kind of sentimental relic to many Democrats, along with figures like the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who some liberals see as palatable in comparison with Trump — despite the left having previously savaged both individuals in the past.
But the loss of neoconservatives is the party’s gain, Trump Jr. told the Examiner.
“I’m thrilled that those people aren’t here because I don’t think that they represent the party well anymore,” the president’s son said.
“Honestly, I think we’re sort of past that. I think we have to move on, we have to represent the American people, we have to fight for America for a change, not for our friends in D.C., not our buddies that run the military-industrial complex. We have to put an end to that,” he added, as the Examiner reported.