I’ve been predicting the impending implosion of the Republican party for quite some time now. When they embraced the tea party in 2008, they gave legitimacy and a voice to people who really had no business making their way into mainstream politics. I caught on fairly quickly that this whole scenario could eventually destroy the GOP. Either the moderates are going to have to embrace the “crazies” or they’re going to face a primary challenge from someone who will.
The truth is, we’re already starting to see signs of the Republican party’s self-inflicted destruction.
1. They haven’t had a decent group of presidential candidates in… forever: Ignoring George W. Bush, look at the horrible quality of the GOP candidates over the last few years. In 2008, they selected John McCain – who got crushed by Bush in 2000. Then, in 2012 they picked Mitt Romney – who couldn’t even beat McCain in 2008. Back to back nominees who were the losers to the nominee before them. Now they have Donald Trump.
I’m predicting that if Republicans don’t win the presidency this year, all hell is going to break loose within the GOP. I believe we’re going to see a “war” between the moderates claiming Republicans have to start being more inclusive to other demographics of voters, while the tea party conservatives and Trump supporters are going to claim that the GOP keeps losing because the party didn’t fully embrace the far-right’s special brand of crazy.
2. The issues on which they’re supposedly running are either ridiculous or nowhere to be found: Has anyone but me noticed that Republicans never run on their policies anymore? All I ever hear out of Republicans is how everyone else’s ideas are bad – but I never really hear any of their own. Sure, some mention things like flat-taxes or unrealistic walls between Mexico and the United States, but most build entire campaigns on “look how bad the other guy is… just please don’t ask me what we run on, because you’ll realize how terrible Republican policies are.”
The attacks on Trump by many Republicans are proof that these people know their ideas are awful. They pretend to be offended by what Trump says, when all he’s really doing is bluntly saying what Republicans have typically only subtly hinted at for years. The truth is, the Republican party doesn’t like Trump because he’s one of the few candidates saying exactly what the GOP stands for – and that’s the last thing Republicans want.
3. Even Fox News doesn’t know what the hell to do anymore: I watch a sad amount of Fox News and I’ve never seen it as discombobulated as I have lately. The Republican party is becoming so bizarre and ridiculous that America’s most watched conservative entertainment network can’t even figure it out. Usually I’d watch the network throughout the day and see essentially the same rhetoric parroted on every single show. Now it’s as if they don’t know how to cover the sideshow that is Donald Trump’s campaign.
They can’t even really bash Trump like they would like to because if they do, his supporters will bombard their network and news people with hate mail and threats. But it’s clear Fox News knows Trump is awful. Well, everyone except Sean Hannity.
From presidential candidates calling Mexican immigrants rapists; the Supreme Court tyrannical for doing its job; or saying elected official should be able to ignore the Constitution – it seems the GOP is becoming even too ridiculous for Fox News to keep up with.
4. Americans are becoming less religious: Despite what many right-wing religious fanatics think, this country is becoming less religious – not more. Not to say that people are abandoning faith in droves, they’re just becoming far more progressive in the way they practice their faith. I’m seeing more and more people who claim a faith, but not any particular organized religion.
Meanwhile, the GOP continues to shift further and further to the right on religious issues. We’re at a point now to where presidential candidates are calling the Supreme Court tyrannical because the court dared to rule based on the Constitution, not the Bible. This is not rhetoric that’s going to “grow the base” in the coming years. If anything, it’s going to pit moderate Republicans who know they need be less preachy vs. those who essentially want the President of the United States to be the Pastor of the United States.
The one thing you can’t do is reason with religious fanatics.
5. The GOP is in a no-win situation: When they decided to embrace the tea party, Republicans put themselves in a no-win situation. No matter what they try to do, it’s going to backfire. If the moderate candidates try to steer the party toward more progressive ideologies, those individuals will face primary challengers and could be replaced by “true conservatives.” But if they don’t embrace change, as the nation becomes more open-minded and progressive, they’re going to continue to alienate voters and never stand a chance at winning the White House again.
There’s really nothing they can do but sit back, let the party rip itself apart and hope to rebuild it once it happens. At this point, moderate Republicans have more in common with Democrats than they do tea party conservatives.
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