- In the decades before Trump, the Republican Party stood for an idea: character before policy. To Mitt Romney, John McCain, the Bushes and Ronald Reagan, personal character and moral integrity were paramount. They stood for the idea that you can’t be a good leader or a good nation unless you are a good person and a good people.
(Were I to edit the title a la kleinbl00 I would probably call it, "In which David Brooks forgets that Richard Nixon, Lee Atwater, Roy Cohn, Roger Stone, Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, Oliver North, et al. are Rupublicans")
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