The Never-Trumper will stop at nothing to remove any ounce of populism from the GOP. Here's why he will fail.
Paul Ryan was one of the main reasons why Donald Trump's presidency was not as successful as it could have been. His obstruction of any meaningful healthcare or immigration reform was living proof of that. He was not a friend of Trump from day one, and decided to cowardly retire halfway through Trump's term. He is the sole reason why the Republicans' house losses in 2018 were as bad as they were. He also prevented Trump from enacting policies that would expand his base, and instead made sure he only enacted ones that would semi-pacify members of the Republican Establishment. He now warns of his "cult of personality" at the most recent Reagan dinner. Ironically enough, it seems as if the establishment is the real cult, concentrating their efforts around stopping one man and one man only. Also, Ryan seems to be the one in a cult of personality surrounding Ronald Reagan--a man who has not served in public office in over 32 years.
Ryan's fusionist brand of fiscal conservatism and elitism is precisely what is wrong with the Republican Party. It is what has held them back in elections, and it is what has held back any conservative policy victories in the past few decades from actually coming into fruition. Ryan cares only about the budget and his donors, instead of the issues affecting everyday people. Yet, ironically enough, when he controlled the budget, the debt and deficit continued to skyrocket. This proves that Ryan is useless at everything he does. He abandoned Trump on healthcare, immigration, and made sure that his tax bill was a watered-down version of whatever he decided to propose during the campaign trail.
Ryan was on the losing Romney ticket back in 2012, in hopes that he would help Romney win the state of Wisconsin, a very blue-collar and populist state. The truth is that Romney lost the state by nearly 7 percent. It took a billionaire from New York City to bring the state to the Republican column. Instead of accepting the fact that the energy is shifting and that the overton window is moving within the Republican Party, Ryan is swimming upstream against the current. And when you try to swim upstream against the rising tide of National Populism within the right's ranks, you get rolled over, plain and simple.
It is time that the GOP moves on from Ryanism and moves on to Trumpism. Ryan is likely jealous that unlike Trump, he has no personality, therefore makes fun of Trump's movement as a cult of personality. The midterm primaries will be very entertaining to watch, but from the looks of it, America First conservatives will likely be those who win.