Texas finds itself back at the center of politics and elections, with debates over everything from its chances of going blue this November to the impact of its status as an in-migration destination from places such as California. The Washington Examiner Magazine spoke with rising Republican star Rep. Dan Crenshaw about the election and about his state’s, and his party’s, future.
Washington Examiner: If President Trump wins, where do you see the Republican Party and ideological conservatism going from here?
Rep. Crenshaw: There’s multiple narratives out there. One narrative is that it’s changed drastically because of Trump. I don’t really agree with that. Perhaps around some marginal policy issues. The Republican Party might be skeptical of trade. More skeptical of foreign interventions. That happened naturally. Trump didn’t create that. These are nuanced shifts or situation-dependent policy shifts. So, what Trump brings … is sort of a combining of Congress-style Republicans with labor and the middle class. I think that’s a healthy coalition. It should be all about job growth and wage growth, but in a free-market way. An economy that continues to grow and is strong and works for people who are working for it. This isn’t a bad message. Democrats used to play that message, but they gave up a long time ago. They’ve moved to a much more radical message, more about culture wars. You see this play out in the academic side of conservative politics, say, with Oren Cass. I wouldn’t call it anti-libertarian, but you’ve got more libertarians on one side and industrial policy types on the other. These are healthy conversations to have, so I think that’s the general direction.