Michael Strain: Cleaning Up the Trump: "Conservatives need to be clear-eyed about the enormity of the Failure of 2016... (Live from the Republicans' Self-Made Trump Hell)

...The Republican Party... nominated a man... manifestly unfit.... Adding insult to injury, Trump is at odds with conservatism in so many ways.... The first step... is to acknowledge the size of this failure. It is, if you’ll forgive me the word, huge.... Any party and political movement that nominated this man must have serious problems that extend all the way down to its roots. It will be necessary to name those problems... Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and Rush Limbaugh... organizations that make money by whipping the GOP base into a fury... the process by which the GOP nominee is selected... the GOP primary base.... Those voters have agency, and they should not be exempt from the healthy criticism that will be necessary....

Figuring out how to address these problems is hard work, and the solutions aren’t obvious. That hard work should begin now.

Another problem has been the conservative policy agenda.... Enough with the gold standard... illiterate arguments that the “real unemployment rate” is 40 percent... inflation is out of control... individual income tax cuts will always pay for themselves.... GOP politicians need to be more discerning about who they turn to for advice. Real economists should be advising leaders on economic policy....

Conservatives should not abandon their commitment to free trade and reasonable levels of immigration... to supporting economic growth, entitlement reform, lower tax rates and less regulation, either. But we need to supplement this agenda with policy solutions to address the challenges and realities of 21st-century America. How can we create more good-paying jobs? How can we increase employment, especially among prime-age men? How can we increase wages and the skills of the workforce? How can we transition workers from occupations and industries in decline without losing them to disability insurance and non-employment? Conservatives simply must have good answers to these questions beyond the words “economic growth.”

Conservatives also need to be able to address... the rising costs of higher education... present alternatives to the Affordable Care Act and the Dodd-Frank Act.... Conservatives should accept that government is not always the enemy, and that it has a positive role to play in a healthy society.... Public policy is vitally important, and that the tools of government can and should be prudently and cautiously used to offer people a hand up, and to make their lives better. The hard work of creating this agenda should proceed without delay.

Trump is pus oozing from the infected wound. The wound needs to be cleaned and healed--quickly. The time for reform is now.