Long before Trump, today’s GOP lost any ability to be constructive on just about anything. If something is good, they reflexively oppose it. People having healthcare? Oppose. People going to college? Oppose. Stopping gun massacres? Oppose. Renewable energy? Oppose.
Their entire policy on immigration is bigotry and hate. Their policy on the budget is to cut taxes for the wealthy. Their policy on elections is to have as few people as possible voting. Also, I’m not quite sure how a political party would be opposed to saving our environment, but here we are.
Then 2016 happened. Republicans have surrendered everything–their duty, their patriotism, and their principles—in order to pledge fealty to a man too stupid to be trusted to manage his own social media account. He remade the party in his ugly image, so now those who haven’t left can largely be divided into just three groups: the rich, the racists, and the rubes. This is who they have to work with now.
Every demographic the GOP had been working on gaining has been forever lost. When the Democratic Party became the party of civil rights in the 1960s, the southern conservatives switched allegiance to the GOP, and haven’t looked back. As recently as 2012, the GOP was determined not to lose the fast growing Latinx community in the same way they lost the African-Americans, so they pandered. Even Sean Hannity argued that the GOP should go for amnesty. All of that outreach ended under Trump, who has smeared and insulted them continuously since day one.
As little as four years ago, it was unheard of to hear of Nazis marching alongside conservatives. Now they do, and Trump openly praises them. The GOP has become the unapologetic party of white supremacy.
The misogyny and the ethnic/religious hatred has defined this new GOP. The new generations aren’t having it. The super-majority of Millennial voters are now registered Democrats. Their participation is growing. All of the milestones in their young lives have been GOP disasters: the war in Iraq, the Patriot Act, and the financial crisis. But they hate, hate, HATE Donald Trump. Millennials and Generation Z are growing up in a very globally connected, diverse world, so xenophobia and overt racism do not align with their values. Moreover, young voters, even Republican ones, are moving far to the left of today’s GOP on social issues.
In other words, there’s a coming GOP apocalypse. In less than a decade, the GOP as you know it will be dead. There will always be two parties, but I predict the two parties will be a split within the Democratic Party: one moderate and one much more progressive. Mark my words, all of AOC’s so-called “radical” ideas, such as having the same universal health coverage as every other nation, or working towards clean energy, will be considered mainstream and moderate.
I’m not the only one seeing this. The current leadership of the GOP knows this as well, which is why they are going all in on dictatorship. That’s why establishment figures like Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham now support Trump’s bizarre conspiracy theories about millions of undocumented immigrants voting as an excuse to make it even more difficult. They all now attack the media for exposing their lies and schemes. GOP legislatures stripped away powers bestowed to their governors when Democrats were elected in Wisconsin, Michigan, and North Carolina. My governor in Florida essentially nullified a Constitutional Amendment to restore voting rights.
They do these things because they have no choice.
All of this hand-wringing on what it’s going to take to get the GOP to turn on Trump is pointless, because there is nothing—absolutely nothing—he can do that they won’t circle the wagons on. It’s about survival. The GOP knows they are running out of time, and are not even hiding their plain contempt for democracy. They know if they lose in 2020, Donald J. Trump will likely be the last GOP president. Their last hope is to do whatever it takes, whether through dirty tricks, court stacking, voter suppression, collusion with foreign governments, or blatant authoritarianism, in order to drag Trump across the finish line so they can figure out how to stay in power just a little longer.