The Atlantic

Why Trump’s Republican Party Is Embracing Russia

Ideological and civilizational conservatives united in opposition to the Soviet Union, but divide on whether Putin’s Russia is a totalitarian enemy, or a defender of the Christian west.
Source: Michael Probst / Reuters

Through his public statements and presidential appointments, Donald Trump is remaking Republican foreign policy in two fundamental ways. The first concerns Russia. Previous GOP leaders like Mitt Romney and John McCain described Moscow as an adversary. Trump describes it as a partner. The second concerns Islam. Previous GOP leaders—most notably George W. Bush—insisted that the U.S. had no beef with Islam, or with the vast majority of Muslims worldwide. Trump and his top advisors disagree. They often describe Islam itself as a hostile force, and view ordinary Muslims as guilty of jihadist sympathies until proven innocent.

On the surface, these two shifts seem unrelated. But they’re deeply intertwined. Before Trump, Republican leaders generally described the

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