(Originally broadcast October 21, 2020)
Today, on this archive edition of Midday, a conversation Tom had two weeks before the November election with Gerald Seib, a journalist who's covered politics for The Wall Street Journal for morte than forty years, and now serves as the paper's Executive Washington Editor.
The election results showed us that the divisions in our country and within the Republican and Democratic parties themselves have never been this pronounced in modern times.
Gerald Seib’s fascinating new book, We Should Have Seen it Coming: From Reagan to Trump-A Front Row Seat to a Political Revolution, chronicles the transformation of the Republican party from the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 to the shocking elevation of Donald Trump to the highest office in the land in 2016.
Seib observes that for 20 of the 36 years after Ronald Reagan was elected, “someone pledging loyalty to his precepts occupied the Oval Office.”
In Reagan’s first term, Republicans controlled 14 state legislatures. By the Clinton years, that number had increased to 25. By the time Donald Trump was inaugurated, it had grown to 30. But Trump’s brand of conservatism bears little resemblance to that of Reagan’s.
It is that evolution of the Republican Party that Gerald Seib calls “the most important political story of the new millennium.”
Gerald Seib joined us on Zoom.