Prominent conservative and progressive figures argued that their movements could expand their appeal with more precise messaging on economics and inequality in remarks at The Wall Street Journal’s Future of Everything Festival.

As the GOP mulls its course following former President Donald Trump’s defeat last year, Republican lawmakers in Washington have debated his place in the party going forward. That debate is coming to a head Wednesday, when House GOP lawmakers are expected to vote to remove Rep. Liz Cheney (R., Wyo.) from her post as the No. 3 Republican in leadership.

Oren Cass, executive director of the conservative think tank American Compass and Mitt Romney’s former policy adviser, on Tuesday likened Mr. Trump to an earthquake that exposed “what was poorly built or outdated” but also presented an “opportunity to rebuild.”

Mr. Cass added that the GOP’s tensions aren’t just about personality but also about whether the party should think more intentionally about how the economy is divided by class.

“All of these debates get tangled up in the more personality-driven component. I think when you strip that out, you still find the conceptual debates there,” he said of the party, arguing that the gaps between middle-class Americans and so-called elites deserved attention from conservatives. “The reality is, we’re going to have to resolve those, if conservatism is going to move forward beyond Trump to actually provide a direction for the country.”

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