While the current collapse of the Republican party is being laid solely at the feet of Donald Trump, we are failing to recognize the others with blood on their hands. Those that are holding the reigns now and those that may have ignited this implosion years ago.
We know Political parties are in place, for one thing, to win elections. However the mistake we have been making for years with the GOP is to believe that there was still any real principle behind it. Over the last decade or so the GOP has completely transitioned into nothing more than high-class junkies, willing to sell their soul and their beliefs to the highest bidder for one more hit of power.
The origins of the collapse are hard to pinpoint exactly. However, 2007 is a good place to start. Oddly enough 2007 marked the infancy of a movement that could have pushed the GOP to an almost untouchable status. Ron Paul hosted a fundraiser on a shrimp boat. It was called “A Tea Party fundraiser.” On that night the tinder was lit on a movement that would begin to burn across America and change the face of the political landscape.
As it began to pick up momentum, it caught the attention of many in the GOP. Being politicians that never miss the opportunity to jump aboard the next growing movement, Michelle Bachman started the Tea Party Caucus in the House of Representatives. The controlled burn of the Tea Party to clean up the dead underbrush, was now an out of control raging inferno, consuming all opposition no matter the consequences.
As the religious right seized more power via the Tea Party movement, the more power the GOP garnered. What most failed to realize is, many of the new members of the GOP delegation were not Republicans, they were simply zealots, who were backed by alt-right fundamentalists that now controlled the Tea Parties across the country. While some new faces were refreshing and needed, many were simply unqualified puppets who only followed the orders of their puppet masters.
In 2012 the father of the Tea Party ran for president again. The Ron Paul movement was vocal organized and efficient. However, with the help of the hijacked Tea Party, the GOP successfully marginalized it during the primaries. Then when it came time for the convention, the GOP instituted a new rule, effectively barring Ron Paul’s supporters from nominating him on the first ballot at the convention. He had won enough delegates to be nominated according to the rules previous to what was now known as Rule 40 (b). This event was the first significant move of newly elected GOP Chairman Reince Priebus, and will later play a critical part in the nomination of Donald Trump.
With that event, the GOP slammed the door in the face of what is considered the Liberty movement. Many of them left the party dejected and disillusioned, some became part of the Libertarian party, and many just became independents. A small amount hung on with the hopes that GOP leaders like Rand Paul and Justin Amash could somehow gain control and right the ship.
The GOP’s ability to win congressional races, but failure to win Presidential elections should have signaled there was a problem, but it didn’t. The problem the GOP faced was that, while it could effectively motivate pockets of more dedicated voters to assist the party in the midterms and local elections, it’s message was not resonating with enough voters nationwide to reclaim the White House.
The beginning of the 2016 cycle was a complete disaster. With 17 candidates in the running, one of those being Donald Trump, many thought the Party would be in for a long and tightly fought primary season. They failed to realize who was now in control of the GOP. Early it was quite evident that the Republican Party had shed all of its principles to win the Presidency. Donald Trump’s announcement speech would have disqualified him immediately with their voters in previous elections, but this was the new GOP.
Reince Priebus over the course of this year’s election could be compared to a piano player in a whorehouse. While Trump was turning tricks and besmirching the Grand Old Pary on one side of the room, Priebus was banging away on his keys, ignoring the disaster that was unfolding on his watch. And not just ignoring, he was condoning it, threatening those who fought it and supported the one doing it.
The hijacking of the GOP by the Alt-right was so simple because all the real warriors were gone. All that was left were establishment and weak knee party line hacks. Those who wanted to make a name for themselves by latching onto an out of control yet successful movement. Any attempt to stop Trump was impossible because of the introduction of Rule 40 (b) in 2012. The move to screw Ron Paul was now protecting Trump from any real challenge at the convention beyond Ted Cruz, who many in the party found almost as distasteful and dangerous as Trump.
So now what happens?
What will be left of the GOP cannot sustain any success after this election. Those who decided to stand up last minute are only doing so because the ship is sinking. If Trump were up ten points, they wouldn’t have suddenly found a conscience. They won’t have the fortitude or vision to move the party forward. The Alt-right will now abandon them because they will feel cheated, we already see Trump signaling and programming them to think that way. The liberty movement will never come back for obvious reasons, and the moderates are so disgusted by what the party has become they will be gone now. So all that will be left are hacks and old guard that don’t know any better.
The Libertarian party could see an enormous bump from this, but they’re too stupid to take advantage of it. Their purity tests and rampaging zealots will never allow the party to grow into something formidable. I suspect it will become slightly more formidable but not to the extent that it can win nationally or on a consistent level locally. So look for a new conservative party to emerge in the next four years, one that recaptures the original values of the GOP.
I believe Trump’s new angle will be starting a new network media empire. Look who is on board with his campaign. Roger Ailes, Stephen Bannon, and the like. Many of the Fox News lackeys will jump on board and will give them immediate “credibility.” Trump’s play is to become more powerful and make more money; he doesn’t give a shit about being President. By pre-programming his supporters to the idea that the election is being stolen, and that the current media is helping steal it, he has already front loaded his audience.
The Democrats will see a huge growth opportunity, and they can capture much of it, but they will need to make changes. They will have to become much more centrist to maintain the growth. Bernie Sanders could easily found a new alternative party for the left. If the Democrats try to draw more of the GOP orphans, many of the Bernie folks and far left may feel the need for a new home. If he does, he risks his positioning in the Senate. The real power brokers, after all is said and done, may be the registered independents.
The Republican Party’s arrogance will be its final undoing. The short term success by attaching itself to those who didn’t hold its values has poisoned it. Making its leadership drunk on power and giving them a sense of invulnerability. It didn’t listen to its core, and it ignored the heart of the party. When your heart stops beating, you die.
It won’t be quick, or painless. It will probably thrash around in its death throws for a couple of more election cycles before it becomes completely irrelevant. As it slowly but assuredly becomes more and more of an embarrassment to itself and its former members.
Nice work Reince.