The Candidate (1972) warns against telegenic candidates uninformed about policy. Forget Trump for a moment.
Nearly the entire Republican Party rightly campaigned for eight years to repeal the hastily conceived octopus of the Affordable Care Act. Most candidates specifically made this a feature of their 2016 races – a reason even to hold your nose and vote for Trump. It was at the heart of Paul Ryan‘s rise to the speakership. They didn’t expect to win, but did. What do we do now? Nothing. (What would a hard exit from the ACA have looked like? )
Most Tories campaigned for Brexit. This was to be a clean break from the Brussels Leviathan. They won. What do we do now? They don’t know. This has either the virtue or vice of nevertheless moving forward as policy. We’ll see.
Recognizing the utility of idealized policies in campaigning should make all voters wary of support for any candidate who has no record of implementing policy. Michael Bloomberg should be leading the 2020 Democratic field by twenty points now and a Draft Daniels movement should be sweeping the Republican party.