Donald Trump has said plenty of outrageous things. He’s insulted Hispanics, Muslims, and women at various times during his presidential campaign, all of which has translated into a highly unfavorable rating in the polls.
But if Trump becomes the nominee, there is a positive for Republicans. Trump’s refusal to embrace orthodox Republican stances on social issues could lead to an updating of the party’s social agenda.
The latest example of Trump bucking conservative orthodoxy is his comment on transgender people using bathrooms on the “Today Show.” Trump came out against the North Carolina “bathroom bill” and said the transgendered could use whatever bathrooms they want in his buildings. This comes as Target announces a policy that allows customers and employees to use the bathrooms that fit their gender identity.
And unlike Ted Cruz, who is strongly opposed to gay marriage, Trump has been inconsistent on the topic.
The Republican Party’s traditional stances on social issues are killing it among Millennials and others. Trump is proving that it’s possible to deviate from the socially conservative base of the GOP and still be a contender for the nomination.
However, Trumpism is not the solution. Whereas many Republicans engage in needlessly divisive culture war issues, Trumpism’s appeal is equally divisive identity politics. Neither is the correct path forward for the GOP.
Republicans would be better off emphasizing the things that bring us together as a nation. The motto on the Great Seal of the United States, E pluribus unum, which translates to “out of many, one,” should be a guiding principle on cultural and identity issues.
No matter our skin color, national origin, cultural background, or regional home, we’re all Americans who deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.