“How can ‘traditional’ Republicans make their voices heard?”

The Washington Post has published several responses to the op-ed written by three GOP ex-senators: Danforth, Cohen, and Simpson. In their op-ed, they explained that they are creating a new organization called “Our Republican Legacy” inside the Republican Party. The premise of their endeavor, they said, is their belief that “traditional Republicanism, though currently in eclipse, is no more extinct than the sun was over portions of the country on April 8.” Their plan is for their new organization to “facilitate” the “expeditious return” of old-guard Republicans.

One of the responses to this op-ed that the Post published was mine. My point was that these three ex-senators, while laudable in their motives, are mistaken if they think their “traditional Republicanism” can make a “comeback” without electoral reform along the lines that Eric Maskin and I have been advocating. I cite the examples of Rob Portman and Matt Dolan–their kind of Republican in Ohio–as unable to compete under the existing electoral system, even though the median voter in Ohio would prefer them to the MAGA candidates, like J.D. Vance and Bernie Moreno, that emerge as the nominees of MAGA-dominated Republican primaries. I also cite Nikki Haley’s inability to prevail in this year’s Republican presidential primary even though she would beat either Biden or Trump head-to-head. If traditional Republicans like these three ex-senators don’t learn to embrace the electoral principles of Condorcet, upon whose insights Eric Maskin and I rely, they will become extinct like dinosaurs–leaving Americans only Democrats and MAGA candidates from which to choose.

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