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In the short term, that could be a winning formula. In the long term, though, the GOP likely will have to choose whether to continue with its crippling contradiction and decline, or to become a truly modernist, future-oriented party. The latter would not only be the best thing for the party. It would be the best thing for the country.

Edward Hudgins is director of advocacy and a senior scholar at the Atlas Society and the author of “The Republican Party’s Civil War: Will Freedom Win?” (Atlas Society, 2014).