Corker: In today’s ‘tribal’ politics, Trump is all that matters

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker tells the Times Free Press that the Republican party has discarded its core principles under President Donald Trump as national politics has become “tribal”

“It’s Trump. You’re with him or you’re against him, and that’s all the campaigns are about now.”

…”Before the [2016] election, Republicans generally thought that America was a force for good in the world, and their involvement helped make the world a better place and made us as a country safer. But not so much anymore,” Corker said.

“Republicans used to believe in fair free trade, and, really, Republican congressional people still do. But the base following the president, he doesn’t. So not so much anymore, free trade.

“Republicans used to care about fiscal issues? Not so much anymore.

“And then Republicans had a lot of respect for the institutions of government, right, because we’re conservative, traditional people? Not anymore.

“Now, it’s so tribal. The Republican base out there, which has changed a lot since the election, all they want to know is, are you a Trumper? Period. I don’t care what the issue is.

“And I would guess on the Democratic side they want to know one thing, are you doing everything you can to hurt the president?”

…. Republicans’ hatred of taxes and Democrats’ rigidity against entitlement reform make realistic budgeting impossible, he added.

“We’re in a place where Republicans, period, are not going to propose paying for anything, and where Democrats, period, are not going to propose even changes that really don’t hurt people,” Corker said.

“The way the political parties are, the people in the right ditch, and in the left ditch, you have people back home saying, ‘Look at the courage this guy’s got. Look at how he’s standing up.’ On both sides of the aisle.

“There’s no courage. None. Not an ounce of courage. What takes courage is to burn your political capital to solve the nation’s problems. There are times you can reach across the aisle, burn some capital, solve a problem, and make our nation stronger. It’s those moments that mark your career as being a statesman or not being a statesman.”

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