The Death of the Republican Party

I’ve been posting for some time about the death of the Democrat Party, and about how the Democrat Party is imploding in upon itself.  If you have not read those articles, I urge you to do so, as it will frame today’s article, in which I show why the Republican Party of old is also dead.  It is important that those on the right who read this understand that I am not predicting the end of just one party.  Both parties, as we know them, are done.

When Donald Trump first won the Republican nomination, I thought it was an anomaly.  Trump had a high floor, and a low ceiling.  With sixteen other Republicans to choose from, Trump was able to ride his high floor into the nomination, and it was as simple as that.  In a smaller Republican field, Trump could never have won, I assured myself.

I was wrong.

What really happened is that Trump ran on identity politics, and in doing so, he fractured the Republican Party.

The Republican Party has traditionally based itself on the notion of all people being equally under the law.  The party was founded to end slavery, and spent 100 years, after the civil war, fighting Jim Crow.  The Democrat Party, in the meantime, was founded first to defend slavery, and then to ensure that African Americans were treated differently under the law than were white people.  When Lyndon Johnson flipped on the Civil Rights Act (which Republicans had been pushing for 100 years – Johnson maintained a perfect record voting against it while in the House), Johnson went a step further and declared that one cannot simply make an oppressed people equal and call it done – African Americans, he said, must be treated differently under the law than were white people.

Interestingly, Johnson wanted African Americans treated differently under the law both before, and after, switching positions on civil rights.  Only the rational for doing so changed.  Johnson then put in place the War on Poverty, which has also been called American Apartheid.

Over the past sixty years, the Democrat Party has become more and more entrenched in identity politics, telling whomever will listen that the ‘Western Patriarchy’ our country was founded on is morally bankrupt – designed by angry white men, for angry white men – and that ours is an oppressive society in which white men, through the Republican Party, try to keep everyone else under their boot heels.  Democrats keep adding new groups to the so-called ‘oppressed,’ creating a coalition of people who believe they are oppressed, and who vote as a block to break down our society and our values, in the hope of ending the supposed oppression.

Democrats control their membership by utterly destroying anyone who questions the supposed oppression, and particularly members of supposedly oppressed groups who question their supposed oppression.  Ironically, these groups are forced to parrot garbage originally created by angry white men.

The Republican Party, in the meantime, has been fighting to have all people treated the same under the law, all along.  We’ve had other factions in the party as well, and had a dark period where the Christian Coalition, the Neo Conservatives, and the more nationalist parts of the Republican Party worked together to have undue influence over the party, but the backbone of the party has always been between the Constitutional Conservatives, and the libertarian-minded Republicans, who have always fought to have people treated equally under the law.

Then Trump came.

Trump energized groups of people who felt outcast, and downtrodden.  Trump focused rust belt workers, giving a very similar message to that Democrats had been giving minorities for sixty some odd years – that they are the poor, forgotten ones, and that their lot in life is not their fault.  Trump turned the rust belt workers into an identity group, and got them to vote Republican.  The Democrats, in the meantime, called them a ‘basket of deplorables.’  Others, such as white nationalists, also flocked to Trump’s cause, and since Trump’s campaign was largely based on identity politics, it was difficult for Trump to distance himself from the white nationalists verbally backing him.

Today’s Republican Party does not resemble the pre-Trump Republican Party.  Today’s Republican Party resembles packs of wild dogs, who roam the countryside devouring each other.  On the one hand, you have Trump’s supporters, who will throw all the hate they can muster at anyone who does not follow Trump with rabid abandon.   On the other hand, you have the Never Trumpsters, who work to undermine anyone who supports Trump in any way, including in crafting legislation Republicans have wanted for decades.  Trump has made the two largest factions in the Republican Party those that either support him with unwavering zeal, or who totally oppose him no matter what, and for both groups, it is personal.

The group in the middle, to the degree that there is a middle within the Republican Party, are those who work with Trump when they agree with him on a specific matter of policy, while working against Trump when they disagree with him.  Paul Ryan, who just announced that he is not going to run for re-election, is in this group, as is Trey Gowdy, Rand Paul, and a host of others, many of whom are not going to run for re-election.  This middle, which are the ones the Republican Party most needs, if it is to remain a viable political party, are being hollowed out.  This middle represents the adults within the party, and as the adults head for the exits, the party will unravel.

The midterm elections could be brutal.  The Republicans will do what they did in 2016, which is to brutalize themselves in the primaries, and then try to patch together some semblance of unity, however frail, for the general election, but with people in the middle like Trey Gowdy and Paul Ryan leaving, much of the heart and soul of the Republican Party will be gone.  Can the Ever-Trumpsters and the Never-Trumpsters coalesce around something with the middle of the party in such weak shape?  I, for one, don’t think they can.

I’m not going to predict a Democrat landslide only because the Democrats are largely in just as bad of shape as the Republicans, with different factions who absolutely despise one another.  The only thing Democrats can unite on is the same thing Republicans are so very divided over: hatred of Trump.

Our two party system is in an absolute shambles, and 2018 is going to be brutal, for both parties.  2020 will likely be just as bad.  What emerges as our current two parties break apart is anyone’s guess, and it will shape the future of our country for the foreseeable future.  My hope is that the future Republican Party will be one based on our founding principles of liberty and equal treatment under the law, but that is far from written.  The only thing certain is that it is an interesting time to be alive, and that the future will not look like the past.