With Donald Trump in the White House, and Republicans controlling the House and Senate, I know it might seem as if the GOP is stronger than it’s been in quite a long time.
Spoiler Alert: it really isn’t.
Most people who follow me on either Twitter or Facebook know that I’m a “big picture” kind of person who tries to avoid knee-jerk emotional reactions to the things going on in our country. While I think passion is great, I’ve found that emotion can make people irrational, often siding with their own personal feelings rather than actual facts.
That brings me to the point of this article and my belief that the GOP is inching closer to the brink of collapse.
I’m not saying it’s absolutely going to happen in the next year or two, but I do believe the party is at a tipping point and it’s about to be pushed right off the proverbial cliff.
Before the rise of Donald Trump, I always saw the “breaking point for the GOP” to arrive sometime between 2024-2028. However, with his unexpected rise to the top of the party in 2016, I could see it coming much sooner than my original 2024-2028 window.
Here’s why I feel that way.
1. Trump’s success is inspiring the deplorable people the Republican Party has spent decades denying represented their party to run for office: More and more we’re seeing stories where some sick, revolting lowlife has announced they’re running for office — as a Republican. The Huffington Post recently published a great article where they ran down all the candidates and elected Republicans who are either known white supremacists or have close ties with white supremacy groups.
Though to make my point, I want to focus on Alabama’s Roy Moore.
While he lost, it’s not as if Sen. Doug Jones cruised to an easy victory. It was fairly close, with Moore still receiving a lot of support from conservative voters.
That said, I feel it’s important to point out that had Moore been a “normal” (though I use that word lightly when talking about Republicans) GOP candidate, he would have likely won that race by 25-30 points. So I think that perspective is important.
Even without allegations that Moore had sexually assaulted and preyed upon underage girls when he was in his 30s, it wasn’t as if he was a candidate the GOP wanted to win their party’s nomination. They knew full well he was a kook. Without these women coming forward Moore would have likely won, but it wouldn’t have been by huge margins like most would expect a Republican candidate to win over a Democrat in a very red state like Alabama.
The problem for the GOP here is that these bottom-feeders like Moore have seen what worked for Trump with “the base” and they’re trying to emulate it. Not surprisingly, it seems to be working for them in many instances. That’s a problem which I only expect to get worse for the Republican Party as time goes on and “establishment Republicans” who are sick of dealing with the radicalization of their party retire as quickly as they can.
Unfortunately for Republicans, while that works for primaries, as we saw with Moore, it’s not working out as well come the general election. Again, even though Moore would have probably won without the allegations made by these women, it would have been by much closer margins than we’ve seen other Republican candidates win by in the past.
With success will bring more people trying to copy that blueprint. So the more these GOP candidates realize running a racist, bigoted campaign like Trump’s will earn them favor among “the base,” the more we’re going to see these types of detestable candidates win primary elections — but lose in the general.
That’s extremely bad news for the long-term outlook of the Republican Party.
2. They’re quickly becoming a party fueled by conspiracy theories: While conspiracies have always been a fixture among elements of the right-wing, they’ve never really been “mainstream.” It wasn’t until Barack Obama’s election in 2008 that we saw fringe conspiracies begin to be pushed by some rather prominent Republicans.
Now conspiracies are a main driving force behind the party.
Everything is a conspiracy.
If a negative story comes out about Trump, it’s a conspiracy by the media. If the FBI discovers something questionable about Trump his supporters don’t want to believe, it’s a conspiracy by the FBI. If they lose an election, it’s a conspiracy to rig elections through voter fraud.
Long considered an entertainment channel for Republicans, it’s morphed itself into Trump’s own version of state-run media. Sean Hannity’s gone from a typical right-wing hack pushing propaganda to an Alex Jones-level conspiracy theorist who, in my opinion, has absolutely no business being on a major cable television channel.
It’s only a matter of time before the GOP’s embrace of outright insanity begins to backfire as legitimately crazy people become the “face” of the party and the conservative media — more so than they already are now.
3. Older Republican voters are dying off and the country is becoming more diverse: Republicans know that their largest support comes from older white Americans, a demographic in this country that’s becoming smaller every day. It’s why they’re so desperate to gerrymander districts and try to rig elections with vote-suppressing “voter ID laws.” They know with each passing day, year, and election the voting demographic they rely upon most is getting smaller and smaller. They’ve seemingly succumbed to the belief that their best hope at having any chance to keep power is by literally trying to rig our elections through disenfranchising voters and by attempting to rig Congress through gerrymandering, all while the country gets gaslighted from the executive branch.
While I think this will help them win a few “battles,” I think in the long-run their attempts to undermine the integrity of our elections and our government is going to backfire as they spend years relying up on those tactics instead of simply trying to evolve as a party toward accepting more popular ideas.
4. Trickle-down economics is on its last legs: While it’s terrible what Republicans did by giving the richest among us a massive $1.5 trillion tax break, this is pretty close to the end of the line for the scam known as trickle-down economics. When this fails to spur the economic growth Republicans have promised it will, what’s their move going to be next?
Another massive tax cut?
Over the next few years we’re almost certainly going to see another recession, our deficits are going to exceed $1 trillion, and our national debt is expected to grow by another $7 trillion. Meanwhile, I can guarantee everyone reading this that wages are going to remain mostly stagnant and income inequality is only going to become worse.
So, when all that happens, what “economic ideas” will Republicans have after they just passed the biggest tax overhaul in 30 years — yet nothing they promised would come from those tax cuts actually happened?
As I’ve said for many years, betting on tax cuts as your main driver for your economic platform is a fool’s errand. At some point you’re going to cut taxes to such low levels that you really can’t cut them anymore, then what’s the GOP’s answer going to be when we hit rougher economic times?
5. Rational Republicans are abandoning the party in record numbers: Like roaches when the lights come on, many “rational” (though, again, I use that word lightly) Republicans are fleeing from the sinking ship as quickly as they can. As of now 37 (though this number could grow) Republicans in either the House or the Senate have announced that they’re retiring or won’t seek re-election to public office, compared to only 16 Democrats.
Even in the conservative media, rational Republicans such as Ana Navarro, Rick Wilson, Charlie Sykes, and Nicolle Wallace have been some of the most vocal critics of the party they spent most of their lives supporting and defending.
So the GOP is getting hit from both “sides,” so to speak.
The few rational, non-insane Republicans (though still very scummy in many instances) are running away from a party that’s embracing fringe conspiracies and insane rhetoric, all the while the disgusting people pushing those fringe conspiracies and insane rhetoric are taking their place.
To make matters worse for the GOP, because they spent years ignoring this problem and even embracing it to some level, the “monster” they’ve created is now devouring the party. Now any Republican who stands up to the on-going radicalization, racism, and bigotry that’s taking over the mainstream of the GOP is attacked by the very same people they refused to condemn when progressives like myself spent years pointing out that these horrific people existed and were becoming a bigger influence over the Republican Party.
Don’t forget, not too long ago Paul Ryan was considered the biggest up-and-comer within the GOP, now he’s loathed by many Republicans — especially the devout Trump supporters — nearly as much as they loathe Democrats.
Did he change? No — the party did.
Obviously there’s more I could get into here, but I’ll go ahead and wrap this up.
Don’t get me wrong, we still have a very tough fight ahead of us to save this country from these people. And they’re still going to win quite a few battles over the next few years. However, if we keep fighting, and most importantly showing up in large numbers to vote, sooner rather than later we could seize the control of our government we want to keep the GOP’s ignorance, racism, and bigotry from driving this country any further into the ground.
Latest posts by Allen Clifton (see all)
- GOP Senator Hammers Trump for Making the U.S. Look Weak with Call to Congratulate Putin (Video) - March 21, 2018
- Former RNC Chair Rips GOP for Not Publicly Condemning Trump’s Love of Russia (Video) - March 21, 2018
- CNN’s John King Slams Trump’s Spelling and Grammar: ‘Fails a Third-Grade Test’ (Video) - March 21, 2018