Republicans at a Crossroads: Weighing the Boost and Baggage of the Trump Train

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This week on Hubwonk, host Joe Selvaggi talks with political scientist and author, Northeastern University Professor William Mayer, about the new book he has edited, The Elephant in the Room: Donald Trump and the Future of the Republican Party. They discuss how former President Trump has changed, and has been changed, by the GOP, and which path the Republican party is likely to take in the future.

Guest:

William Mayer is a Professor of Political Science at Northeastern University, where he focuses on presidential politics, political parties and organizations, public opinion and media. Some of his books include: The Elephant in the Room: Donald Trump and the Future of the Republican Party, forthcoming in 2022, co-edited with Andrew Busch; The Uses and Misuses of Politics: Karl Rove and the Bush Presidency (2021); The Making of the Presidential Candidates 2012, co-edited with Jonathan Bernstein (2012); and The Front-Loading Problem on Presidential Nominations, Brookings Institution Press, 2004. His awards and honors include: Fulbright Scholar Award, Laszlo Orszagh Distinguished Award in American Studies, Eotvos Lorand University, 2022; Inaugural Visiting Scholar, Colonial Academic Alliance, College of Charleston, 2015; Secretary, Political Forecasting Group, American Political Science Association, 2015-2017; and Winner, Best Paper Award, APSA section on Political Organizations and Parties, 2011. He earned his PhD in Government at Harvard University.

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Please excuse typos.

Joe Selvaggi:

This is Hubwonk. I’m Joe Selvaggi.

Joe Selvaggi:

Welcome to Hubwonk, a podcast of Pioneer Institute, a think tank in Boston. What is the future of the Republican Party? If past this Prelude, 2016, witnessed the election of President Donald Trump, along with Republican majorities in both houses of Congress. The 2018 saw the loss of control in the House of Representatives, and in 2020, the loss of both the White House and a majority in the Senate. Rather than interpret these election defeats as imperatives to change course or candidates, a substantial percentage of Republican voters prefer to embrace a Trump authored narrative that the election had been stolen either by the casting of a substantial number of fraudulent votes, or through the misinformation campaigns of news and social media. Indeed, this competence that Trump did in fact win as empowered Trump himself to politically defenestrate party leaders who opposed his stolen election assertions and hand victories and state primaries with his endorsement to otherwise weak candidates with the midterm elections less than a month away.

Joe Selvaggi:

Republicans will soon learn whether Donald Trump’s political involvement has indeed helped to grow party support and election success, or whether his influence has been so detrimental that the party fails to win majorities in either House of Congress. How did Donald Trump change the Republican party? How will the party of Donald Trump faire in the upcoming midterm elections and what will be the future of the GOP heading towards the 2024 election? My guest today is Professor William Mayer, political scientist, author of 11 books and co-editor of the newly released book, The Elephant in The Room, Donald Trump and The Future of The Republican Party, as the name suggests, the book endeavors to understand the effects of Donald Trump’s influence on the GOP, Explain the changing constituencies of the party and explore the likely path the party will take as it searches for ways to regain majorities in Congress in 2022 and the White House in 2024. The book is a collection of nine essays written by Republican thinkers, data analysts, and political scientists, including Professor Mayer, with a range of views from those who think former President Trump, a good leader and president to those who do not. We will discuss where agreement exists within the party and where it does not, and explore how those differences are likely to be resolved as the party looks forward with the 2024 presidential election. When I return, I’ll be joined by political scientist and author, Professor William Mayer.

Joe Selvaggi:

Okay, we’re back. This is Hubwonk. I’m Joe Selvaggi, and I’m now pleased to be joined by political scientist and author of 11 books, including the recently released The Elephant in the Room. Professor Bill Mayer. Welcome to Hubwonk. Bill.

William Mayer:

Well, thank you very much for having me.

Joe Selvaggi:

Well, I it’s great to have you. I just finished reading the Elephant in the room, Donald Trump and the Future of the Republican Party. I recommend it to our listeners. But for the benefit of readers, I just wanna give a a sense of what the book is all about. It’s, it’s a, a collection of nine, I would call them a long essays, each chapter, the different author. Each is an esteemed writer, a thinker, or I, in some cases, election data analysts. It covers a, a huge range of views on both the G O P and and former President Trump. You wrote one of the chapters and served as the books editor. So let’s start with you and your background. How did you come to be a, a student of political science?

William Mayer:

Well, I went to college thinking actually I was going to become a lawyer, and then I happened to take a statistics class in my my sophomore year. And I’d always had a certain, I I, I, I enjoyed math, and so I enjoyed this political science statistics class. And then I was the research assistant to a professor, and I said, Wow, this would be fun to do for a living. And so I went on from there to get a PhD. And I do a variety of things, but I, it is the case that, that I’d like to think I have very practical interests. I’m interested in elections and the media and certain practical issues in political thought. And so I’ve been at it ever since.

Joe Selvaggi:

Well, the book reflects that sort of worldview in that it’s, it’s practically free of a wild normative assertions and really does try to stick to most of the, the facts, well supported facts data points and tries to support them. I, I think, in a somewhat logical way. So we have your book before you set out to write it, what was your goal in writing a book about effectively the future of the G o p vis-a-vis four years of President Trump?

William Mayer:

Well, as we say, or try to indicate in the title not only obviously it plays on, on the symbol of the elephant as the symbol for the Republican party. But if you care about the Republican if you care about the future of American politics, whether you like Republicans or used to be a Republican or would like to get rid of the party entirely you really do have to come to terms with the the character, the future of Donald Trump. And one thing that that I should mention to you to anyone inclined to read the book they are nine separate chapters. And the other thing about it is they are all written by, as we say in the introduction to the book by conservatives, libertarians, Republicans and ex Republicans. So these are not just people who categorically say, Donald Trump is awful, Let’s get rid of him. Some of them do, but some of them support him. And I think it’s fair to say that most of the authors take a rather mixed view of him. Yes, he got a few, there were some good things he got, he accomplished, but also there were some some negatives. And, and as I say, if, if you wanna think about the future of the Republican Party you really have to come to terms with that question about what, how they are going to relate to Donald Trump in the future.

Joe Selvaggi:

It, it, I found it interesting and perhaps educational to think about the long arc of the G O P and some of the pieces, actually, frankly, go back to Hamilton and, and Madison, but also to more recent Lincoln, all the way up to Calvin Coolidge. You know, again, following the arc to Nixon, Reagan, and all the way to Present Day some make the assertion in there that Trump, or let’s say this, this sort of, if I may call it a more populist wing of the go, o p seems to be more in keeping with more historical traditions rather than more recent, let’s say, modern movement conservatives, let’s say from the mid sixties onward, we’re thinking, Will f Buckley and the and National Review if you go back to Lincoln someone like Trump might actually look more familiar than perhaps to those who are more modern movement conservatives. Say more about the history of the g o p.

William Mayer:

Well, the Republican let me start, if I may, at the New Deal, because I think that really was a profound reshaping of both American political parties. Prior to that time, the Republicans were the majority party in this country. They dominated elections between 1896 and 1928, and then along comes the Great Depression. And ever since then, there the Republicans have been the the minority party the Democrats have been, I actually just for a class I’m teaching check the data two days ago and found, and it’s still the case, that if you ask most Americans, Are you a Democrat or Republican or an independent, that more people say they are Democrats than Republicans? And given that that’s the case Republicans have always, th there have often been two sorts of viewpoints.

William Mayer:

One says we really kind of need to soften some of the rough edges of the party. In some cases suggested maybe not explicitly, but clearly in terms of their their platforms, we need to be more like the Democrats. Whereas others have said no, we need to present a much clearer alternative. And the record is actually in, in, in, I mean, the, the fundamental questionnaire is who wins. And the record is actually rather mixed. The if there was ever a, what was sometimes called a Me Too Republican, it was Thomas Dewey. And of course, he lost both times. Dwight Eisenhower was also a candidate of what you could have called at the time, the Eastern Republican establishment. But he won twice after Nixon loses the party embraces in, in a sense the ultimate non me too Republican Barry Goldwater, and he gets trounced.

William Mayer:

On the other hand, there’s, there’s Ronald Reagan, who was widely declared especially in 1976, to be unelectable. And but he gets the nomination and wins overwhelmingly, and then gets reelected overwhelmingly. It’s also though a question of what they’ve actually done in office. And I think in a number of cases Reagan managed both by and large, to get not only to win twice, but to convince people that he did his best to turn the government in a more conservative direction. I think a lot of the appeal of Donald Trump comes from the presidency of George W. Bush, where I think an awful lot of conservatives believe that he surrendered too much to the Democrats. And if there is one issue where I think this was most apparent, it was probably the immigration issue where he showed virtually no interest in cracking down on illegal immigration.

William Mayer:

He another classic example of this was education, where the he am pushed through Congress a program No Child Left Behind that dramatically expanded both federal spending and the federal role in education. This from a party that up till then had been talking about the need to get rid of the Federal Department of Education. And I think it was in part a reaction to that, that made a lot of people say, We’re tired of these establishment Republicans. Let’s nominate somebody like Donald Trump, who at least, I mean, I mean, Trump’s an interesting character in the sense that in many respects, his views are not particularly conservative. And he certainly didn’t have a very conservative history, as I argue in my chapter. I don’t think he changed the Republican Party so much as the Republican Party changed him prior to his election, or prior to his running for the presidency.

William Mayer:

He had been pro-choice on abortion. Now, suddenly he’s pro-life. He had, at various points endorsed gun control. Once he runs for president, he says, No, actually, no, I’m opposed to gun control. Almost the only issue in which he really kind of challenged the Republican orthodoxy was trade policy on virtually every other issue sometimes enthusiastically, sometimes at times, you got the sense reluctantly, he he ultimately adhered to the Republican orthodoxy. And I still find it difficult to explain not how he beat Hillary Clinton. I, you know, I, she was a weak candidate, and as I say in my chapter she was a per candidate, absolutely designed for him, because all of his weaknesses were in various ways matched by hers. He had told a lot of lies. Well, so did she he was, had some suspect business dealings. Well, the Clinton Foundation was pretty suspect. He refused to release his tax returns. She didn’t, she deleted 33,000 emails and so on. You can go. What I find more difficult to explain is how he won the Republican nomination in the first place. And I’m surprised that more Republicans were not just incredibly skeptical of him and unwilling to you know, rally behind him, but they did in, in, in, in the primaries, and I’m talking about now.

Joe Selvaggi:

Indeed. So, let’s, let’s unpack a lot of what, what you said. You’ve covered a lot of ground there. So I, I think if you’re, if I’m gonna put together what you’ve just said is that the the Republican Party under Donald Trump hasn’t changed that much. In fact, it was Donald Trump who changed more than the Republican Party under Donald Trump. So, let’s take apart that and talk about those areas where there was substantial disagreement from, let’s say, movement conservatives. You mentioned trade policy. I think it’s received wisdom of, of, of conservatives that free trade in general redown to the benefit of consumers, workers, certainly in the long run. Though it, of course, creates disruptions. How is it that that particular issue of course, resonated with pit base, but also resonated with Donald Trump himself? Why didn’t he abandon the why, why didn’t he embrace those of us who, who embrace free trade?

William Mayer:

Well, I think if nothing else, he is a very strong nationalist. And I think it was easy for him to indicate and I think in addition to thinking that this was probably a a good political stance to take, because it is the case, whatever. I mean, again, as you, as you exactly as you say I mean, it’s not just conservatives economists in general are pretty strongly pro, pro free trade. There are some exceptions, but if you were to survey the economists that say the Harvard Economics Department, the vast majority of them would be free tr pro free trade. But they’ve never succeeded in convincing the American people of that. It’s clear that a lot of people are skeptical of it. I think it’s fair to say that the benefits of free trade are often difficult to recognize. But the costs are, are often very apparent. You have automobile plants shutting down and steel industries saying they’re about to go out of business unless they get more protectionism. And so it was an appealing posture. And as I say he is, it, it, it in some ways fit very nicely with his slogan, Make America Great Again, that this was a way of, he thought of rebuilding the American economy.

Joe Selvaggi:

I wanna back up just a little bit, and I, I hope this doesn’t offend any of our, our listeners, but I think in the book, you point out the the fact that Bush that Jo Donald Trump makes the claim himself, that he hasn’t finished a book in his adult life. Those of us who are sort of love reading the books and, you know, the intellectual underpinnings of both our political view and our economic view. And we can all cite chapter in verse if our favorite philosopher, economist it, it’s always been my view that the Republican Party was foundationally a party of ideas, and yet as sort of, its, its touchstone, its most recent leader claims not to have finished a book. Is the Republican Party moving away from the idea of being a party of ideas and rather sort of a appealing to you know preferences of the moment? Or is there some, will the party essentially move away from, let’s say you say core, traditional conservative values, free markets liberty, you know, those kind of things or do you think it will be, in a sense more of a customer service party whereby it, it, it learns what the majority wants and, and moves in that direction?

William Mayer:

Well, I think the Republican party has law, well, the again, say, go back to about the 1950s had a bit of an ambivalent attitude towards intellectual activity in general. It is undoubtedly the case today that if you do surveys of college faculty, they are overwhelmingly left of center. I’m a professor at Northeastern University, and frankly, I’m the only conservative in the department. And and so they’re, while they’re always ha while somebody like William F. Buckley and have and, and any number of others have tried to, I mean, there genuinely is a conservative intellectual movement in this country, for lack of a better term, that includes people like Friedrick Hayek, and Mil Friedman, Buckley, and Milton Friedman. Yeah. But I think it’s fair to say that a lot of the mass base has been skeptical of that mm-hmm.

William Mayer:

<Affirmative>. And Ronald Reagan I think is an interesting character because while he portrayed himself as a, just kind of a, a, a an ordinary citizen, not a politician who was simply concerned about the issues it is at least my understanding that in fact, he was pretty well read yes, on a lot of conservative ideas mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, but he wore his learning lightly, which I think led a whole lot of people to underestimate his intellectual abilities. This was a guy who was successful in an enormous range of careers. He was successful as a radio announcer, as a an actor, as a union leader, as a corporate spokesman, and then in politics. And yet there were people who had dismissed him as an amiable dumps. Well, you can’t be that successful in that many different careers without having something on the ball.

William Mayer:

But clearly Trump is of a different character. And I, I, I was just gonna say one last one other statistic, which I think is revealing about why Trump did win the Republican nomination. The after all the major Republican primaries, there were exit polls conducted by the media. And one of the questions on this exit poll was something like what one issue or what one, what was the most important reason to explain your vote? And some of them Trump did okay on, but there was one that he absolutely dominated. And that was the question an answer that said, tells it like it is. And if that was what people said was there a reason for voting? He won 80% of the vote.

Joe Selvaggi:

Indeed. I,

William Mayer:

Yeah. And, and I think that there were just a lot of people who, who, you know, I criticize him in my chapter for being in temperate for needlessly alienating a lot of people. But I think there were a whole lot of people who I think sadly found that actually an appealing quality. You know, he’s insulting he’s not just opposing Hillary Clinton, he’s insulting her. He’s not just saying that he’s opposed to illegal immigration. He’s calling them rapists and murderers.

Joe Selvaggi:

Yeah, I, so I, I understand this sort of the appeal of, to some people for that, but without sort of the intellectual underpinning, I, I, I don’t think, I dunno who is our last president who was a, a professor, maybe Woodrow Wilson. But we’ve had, in, in the interim, we’ve had a few that haven’t even had college degrees, Right? Like Truman, Right.

William Mayer:

Truman’s the last thought.

Joe Selvaggi:

That’s right. So, so we do have a range of, of backgrounds, but let’s say without the intellectual underpinning, you know, one could argue that you’re going to alienate people, or, or at least for people, before Trump was president, I was quite concerned he would return to a more, I mean, he was a Democrat for most of his life. I wasn’t sure of his conservative convictions. But let’s talk more, more practically about the analysis in your book about where voters are going, who, who is staying with the party and who’s migrating. You made some assertions about whether Hispanics are sort of were were drawn to a looser position on immigration, and you were dubious of, of the idea that that would make a difference with them. Indeed, I don’t think it did make much of a difference.

Joe Selvaggi:

One clear difference in your book’s analysis is the migration out of the party of voters with college degrees. I, I think that’s often be been portrayed as the transformation of the Republican party into the working class party. But actually the data suggests it’s not an increase in the number of working class people joining the G o p, rather an exodus of those with professional degrees who are leaving. So in a sense he’s losing more or this populist view, anti-intellectual, anti elite view is losing more people than it is gaining. What would you say to that observation?

William Mayer:

Well, I think that’s right. I mean, it is important to remember, this is a guy who averaged about 46% of the vote. He did not he in, in, in many ways, it’s remarkable that he managed to get elected in 2016 when he lost the popular vote by about 2%. I think without going into to, to details that the claim that he really won in 2020, and it was vo he was denied the presidency by vote, fraud is nonsense. And yeah, he’s, he’s I mean, I think you, you, you could argue he’s, he’s, he has gotten a little bit more of the vote from non-college educa in particular, those who do not have a high school degree or those who just finished high school. They don’t turn out as much as people with college educations.

William Mayer:

And and, and that may be partly a, a perception that that the democrats, I mean, that may be partly trumpet, may be partly a perception that the Democrats are entirely, which used to be the party of the working class, are too responsive to a lot of liberal college educated elites. The the defund, the police movement, for example, has no support among working class whites. It doesn’t have much support, frankly, among blacks, but it does appeal to certain largely white college educated liberals. You can go to the climate change movement is something that, that ranks very low on most voters scale of priorities. Who does it appeal to? Again, white college educated liberals. And I think there are a lot of working class voters, again, largely white, but, but to some extent black as well, who have gradually developed the perception that the Democratic party is no longer their party. And I think that explains Trump’s appeal as much as perhaps some of his own qualities.

Joe Selvaggi:

Well, I I agree with everything you’ve just said. I, I you know, I guess it’s the contest of who can alienate voters faster. <Laugh>, you know, they’re both doing a great job of, of making everybody utterly disgusted. So you know, again, I don’t want to bury the lead. I really do wanna ask your opinion. You have some writers in your book that says, the future of the G O p I think it was the first author in your book who said he had a little decision tree diagram that said the only way to successfully win in 2024 is by either nominating Trump or someone who has been nominated as Trump’s successor by Trump. And another that said, the only way to win in 2024 is to distance oneself from Trump.

Joe Selvaggi:

And then since move on with, you know traditional conservative, albeit more updated views. So they, the, the Venn diagram seems to, to allow for no intersection there. So, as, as one of the editors I’m gonna ask you first a big loaded question I won’t hold you to it. Do you think Trump is likely to run again and do you see the, the, the best prospects to be sort of Trump or wanna trump’s acolytes? Or do you, do we need to, in a sense, say maybe he got some things right, but we don’t embrace his style at all? What, what do you see?

William Mayer:

Well, I would hesitate to predict what Donald Trump is gonna do next, but everything from his behavior suggests he’s gonna run again. I think he if nothing else, he does not want to go out as having lost, He would love to win and, and feel as though he’s being the, the, the the voters are repudiating what they did in 2020. I think I argue in my chapter that he has been a significant net negative on the party that he turned awful lot more people than he gained. It is, you know, during his presidency, his approval ratings almost never exceeded his disapproval ratings. Today, a lot of Republicans think that Joe Biden is unpopular. Well, if you ask people, do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Biden? And, and then ask the same question about Trump Biden’s more popular than Trump today.

William Mayer:

So I think you know, if, if I think almost any other serious Republican candidate could beat Biden I don’t think that about Trump. Trump may be the one candidate that gives Biden a decent shot at getting reelected. So I’m very much of the opinion that they should distance themselves from Trump. And there is at least some indication in some of the polling that people are starting to rally around Governor DeSantis of Florida as a, as the alter the major alternative to Trump. Now, as you say, there is a, a chapter by a guy named Jim Campbell arguing that either the Republicans should nominate Trump again, or a Trump acolyte. The problem is Trump doesn’t want a Trump acolyte. Trump wants Trump the only person he would accept as a legitimate replacement for himself as one of his kids.

William Mayer:

As far as far as I’m concerned. I think if the Republican, I mean, you can, I know a lot of Republicans who saythis is in some ways like Trump, but he’s a little more respectable. He’s you know, he doesn’t have the, the checkered business career. He’s he doesn’t tell as many lies. He’s smarter. It’s he’s apparently more book read. But but I don’t know that Trump feels that, that he’s an adequate replacement for him. And I think if DeSantis wins the Republican primary Trump is going to be very upset about that. What effect that will have is a little unclear, but, but depends on what he decides to do with that level of anger. But and I think the other thing, one, one final thought in that regard it depends, I think to a fair extent on a lot of what happens in a number of the contested Senate races this year in a number of states, Trump actively endorsed one of the candidates and that candidate won, I’m thinking of me, Oz in Pennsylvania and JD Vance in Ohio, and Blake Masters in Arizona.

William Mayer:

Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>. And a lot of those candidates are and, and Herschel Walker in Georgia. And a lot of those candidates are, at least according to all the current polling in trouble. And if a lot of those candidates lose there may be an increasing perception among many Republicans who might otherwise be favorably disposed toward Trump to say, Yeah, but he, he’s a loser. And maybe then they will rally around somebody like DeSantis, who again, according to current polling, looks like he’s going to get reelected rather comfortably in in Florida.

Joe Selvaggi:

Indeed, I want to, again, we, we run outta time, but I wanna zero in on that. I, again, I’ve had many lively conversations with Republicans about what, which direction to go in, in 2024. But as you mentioned hopefully both as a party and as voters and as Americans, one wants one’s own party to be in charge. So one wants to win elections. If you look at Trump you say certainly won 2016, but 2018 was not a good year for Republicans. 2020 he underperformed other Republicans, but still they underperformed really what we would’ve expected and including. So you might argue he lost the presidency, surely, but he also lost the house control the house of 18, and he could have easily by staying out of the race kept Georgia, either one or both those seats Republicans. So he, he’s lost the house 18 and 20, that’s two times he’s lost a Senate. And he’s arguably, as you mentioned, for let’s say easily winnable states may have be lost and thereby the entire Senate because of his influence. So how could losing all those races for a party not be at least offer some alarm to people who would otherwise, as you say, be inclined to wanna support him?

William Mayer:

Well I think a lot of people will draw that conclusion. I mean, one finding in a lot of political science is that people overestimate the attractiveness of their own favorite candidate. So there are gonna be a lot of hardcore Trump supporters who, if say Oz and Walker and Masters all lose are gonna say, Oh, well, but it wasn’t Trump’s fault. It was because the rest of the party failed to rally around those candidates, or those candidates could have won if they had run better campaigns or something like that. But if a significant number of people do draw that conclusion, then, and, and, and certainly there are going to be a lot of people who are going to press a lot and commentators and other Republicans who are going to press that conclusion we’ll see. But I think I think that would be real bad news for Trump if a lot, I mean, I really think he, he made he took a real risk by nominating a lot of these people. And it, it isn’t at all clear to me why he felt, for example, that me, Oz would make a great candidate in Pennsylvania. Yeah. Or that that Herschel Walker of all people would make a great candidate down in Georgia.

Joe Selvaggi:

Yeah, it is public. So again we get to the end. I just wanna ask one more question. Let, let’s assume we do have two and only two candidates for the Republican nominee for 2024, and it’s Ron DeSantis and, and Donald J. Trump. And for reasons we just describe folks pull the lever for DeSantis, whether they agree more with him or not, they think he’s more a able to win. Do the Trump supporters then take their ball and go home? Is that the danger that Trump is so disparaging about the outcome of a primary, I suppose you could say that was stolen but that, you know, you ultimately go into a general with half the party angry at the nomination process or the nominee?

William Mayer:

Well, that’s a, that’s a good question. And it depart depends in part on his behavior. You may remember that in 2016 when he was asked if you lose, will you endorse the Republican nominee? He refused to say it until he had locked up the nomination, and then he said, Oh, yeah, yeah, I’ll, I’ll, I’ll support the nominee. Well easy to say if you know you’re gonna be the nominee. I think I think initially a lot of the Trump supporters will say, if it’s not him, I’m, I, I I’m gonna vote for the Democrat or the Libertarian candidate, or a lot of them in particular are gonna say, I’m gonna take my ball and go home. Yeah. Now the general finding in a lot of these cases is that a lot of those people are going to be initially upset, but as the general election rolls on, and they think more and more about the issue of another four years of Joe Biden or whoever the Democrats nominate, I think a lot of them are gonna say, Okay, I’ll, you know I don’t know if you remember in 1976 Ronald Reagan tried to win the nomination and fell short.

William Mayer:

And one of his more vocal and less temperate supporters wrote a an editorial that said Hold your nose and vote for Gerald Ford <laugh>. And I think a lot of people are, probably, a lot of Trump supporters are, are in the end, gonna come around to that, but some of them will stay home. There’s, there’s no doubt that that’ll be the case,

Joe Selvaggi:

But of course, that got us Jimmy Carter, so, you know, he doesn’t have a happy ending.

William Mayer:

<Laugh>. Yeah. Well, I, yes, I agree.

Joe Selvaggi:

<Laugh>. Okay. Well, that we’re up against our, our time. I, I could talk about your book much longer. Bill, I really appreciate you coming on talking about it. Where can our listeners who now for the hardcore Trump supporters wanna see their favorite piece written about why he’s the best thing? And those who don’t care for Trump will find a, a chapter that will appeal to them, and everybody else, I think will learn a little bit about the range of views on, on, on the Party and, and Donald J. Trump. Where can we find your book and buy it?

William Mayer:

Well, it’s on Amazon and the, you can find it under my name, but actually the first of the two co editors listed is Andrew Busch, that’s b u s c h, not like the President. And I’m William Mayer, m a y e r. And the book, again, is called The Elephant in the RoomDonald Trump in the Future of the Republican Party, and I think it’s also available from Barnes and Noble published by Roman and Littlefield. If you can’t find it anywhere else, you can go to the publisher.

Joe Selvaggi:

Wonderful. I got it through the Kindle version. So I don’t have any dog ear copies on my desk. I’ve got so many darn books. I, I’ve bought the Kindle version and got it in immediately. So very, very good book. Again, as you say, it’s the elephant in the room, Donald Trump and the future of the Republican Party, I recommend it. Thank you very much, Professor Mayer, you’ve been a, a great fund of information, and for our listeners, I hope we’ve, we’ve connected them with a at least a provocative piece of, of work for them to, to think more on the topic. Thank you for joining us. Well,

William Mayer:

Thank you very much for having me. Really appreciate it.

Joe Selvaggi:

This has been another episode of Hubwonk. If you enjoyed today’s show, there are several ways to support Hubwonk and Pioneer Institute. It would be easier for you and better for us if you subscribe to Hubwonk on your iTunes pod catcher. If you’d like to help make it easier for others to find Hubwonk, it would be great if you offer a five star rating or a favorable review. We’re always grateful. If you want to share Hubwonk with friends, if you have ideas or comments or suggestions for me about future episode topics, you’re welcome to email me at hubwonk pioneer institute.org. Please join me next week for a new episode of Hubwonk.

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This week on Hubwonk, host Joe Selvaggi talks with climate scientist and Johns Hopkins lecturer Dr. Patrick Brown about his recent paper, Human Deaths from Hot and Cold Temperatures and Implications for Climate Change, on the factors that contribute to high climate-related mortality, and those that lead to better resiliency.

Legal Property Theft: Legal Defense Against Town Taxman Taking Neediests’ Deeds

This week on Hubwonk, host Joe Selvaggi talks with President of PioneerLegal and retired federal judge, Hon. Frank J. Bailey, about PioneelLegal’s work to advocate for the U.S. constitutional prohibition against the practice of municipalities taking an the entire value of a property to settle a relatively small tax debt, a procedure legal in Massachusetts and thirteen other states.

Right To Save: Paying Healthcare Consumers To Shop For Value

This week on Hubwonk, host Joe Selvaggi talks with healthcare policy expert Josh Archambault about the findings from his Cicero Institute report, The Right to Save: The Next Generation of Price Transparency. He outlines how to incentivize healthcare consumers to utilize price information to reduce out-of-pocket costs, and lower healthcare costs for everyone.

Grading State Governors: Do Higher Taxes Equate To Higher Value?

This week on Hubwonk, host Joe Selvaggi talks with Cato Institute’s Chris Edwards about the new report he co-authored entitled, "Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors 2022." They discuss how Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s fiscal stewardship compares with other states, and explore whether higher tax rates and spending correlate with better state performance and resident satisfaction.

The Causes and Potential Cures for Inflation

This week on Hubwonk, Harvard economist and Pioneer Institute board member Ed Glaeser interviews Larry Summers, former U.S. Treasury Secretary and President Emeritus of Harvard University, for a special episode on the origins of inflation, its impact on the American economy, and a roadmap to recovery.

Republicans at a Crossroads: Weighing the Boost and Baggage of the Trump Train

This week on Hubwonk, host Joe Selvaggi talks with political scientist and author, Northeastern University Professor William Mayer, about the new book he has edited, The Elephant in the Room: Donald Trump and the Future of the Republican Party. They discuss how former president Trump has changed, and has been changed, by the GOP, and which path the Republican party is likely to take in the future.

Supreme Judicial Preview: Court Poised To Face Controversy

This week on Hubwonk, host Joe Selvaggi talks with constitutional scholar Thomas Berry about the important questions being decided in the more high profile cases facing the newly opened session of the Supreme Court. They discuss how the addition of newly appointed Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson could add a fresh perspective on the concept of originalism.

Income Inequality Explored: Wage Gap Overlooks Government Intervention

This week on Hubwonk, host Joe Selvaggi talks with John F. Early, economist and author of the newly released book, The Myth of American Inequality, about the history of income inequality, its true size, and trends. They also discuss how census data used in policy decision-making misses nearly all the effects of government intervention and distorts the truth about the income American families actually have to spend.