Avik Roy is a Republican’s Republican. A health care wonk and editor at Forbes, he has worked for three Republican presidential hopefuls — Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, and Marco Rubio. Much of his adult life has been dedicated to advancing the Republican Party and conservative ideals.
But when I caught up with Roy at a bar just outside the Republican convention, he said something I’ve never heard from an establishment conservative before: The Grand Old Party is going to die.
“I don’t think the Republican Party and the conservative movement are capable of reforming themselves in an incremental and gradual way,” he said. “There’s going to be a disruption.”
Roy isn’t happy about this: He believes it means the Democrats will dominate national American politics for some time. But he also believes the Republican Party has lost its right to govern, because it is driven by white nationalism rather than a true commitment to equality for all Americans.
“Until the conservative movement can stand up and live by that principle, it will not have the moral authority to lead the country,” he told me.
This is a standard assessment among liberals, but it is frankly shocking to hear from a prominent conservative thinker. Our conversation had the air of a confessional: of Roy admitting that he and his intellectual comrades had gone wrong, had failed, had sinned.
There's a lot of that going around these days, and I'll say what I always say to Republicans looking for absolution: you will never find it from me. You created this monster and did everything you could to empower it with the ability to destroy this country and 99% of the people in it, including yourselves.
You lost control of the Rough Beast and once again you are looking to the rest of us to clean up the mess it made. I'm wholly uninterested in your confessions, Mr. Roy, or your apologies. What I want you to do is to have the good grace to shut the hell up and sit the hell down while the rest of us fix this country, and then the wisdom to stay silent while we make your miserable failures into a country worth being proud of.
Most of all, you preyed on this country and gave voice to the hatred, the bigotry, the divisive rancor and the outright racism that fed and watered an electorate that gave rise to Trump. You made them powerful. We have to deal with that now because of people like you.
Please take your analysis and your lament, cover them with broken glass and lemon juice, and shove them up your ass sideways.
Thanks for that ahead of time.