We have been fortunate to have a front row seat to one of the greatest political dramas of our time. Witnessing the slow disintegration of the Republican party at the hands of a changing conservative electorate. Unraveling the very threads of the party are factions of conservative evangelicals, anti-government radicals
and the disenfranchised blue-collar middle-class.
Conservative voters who, less than a generation ago, were once informed and led by men of character who aspired to intelligence. Conservatives who once understood sound banking practices, the dangers of unfettered capitalism and Wall Street speculation. Men who embraced the pragmatic ideals of equitable taxation, labor unions, living wages, national health care and reasonable gun measures. These men however, have been replaced with modern conservatives who stand in stark contrast to traditional Republican values. They represent a party inundated with crackpot ideologues espousing contradictory beliefs and half-baked theories of anti-government tyranny. An assembly so irretrievably bound to radical impulses and manufactured issues they routinely practice political arson in the form of government shutdowns. This directionless meld of rigid dogma, willingly supports a sideshow of social dropouts with overly-simplistic world views, conspiracy theories and contradictory ideologies who routinely belittle intelligence and hate their own government. The misguided admiration for Donald Trump, a reality-television bully who was born on third-base and acts like he hit a homerun is indicative of a conservative constituency that has managed to convince themselves, that wealth and racial antipathy are calling cards to the White House. They are gambling on a billionaire who lives in a guiled penthouse to empathize with the economic challenges facing the middleclass. The Donalds supporters remain assured that his lack of political-correctness, advocating for building walls and deporting eleven-million individuals is the best medicine for the disenfranchisement many of them feel. Their anger is validated when he defines Mexicans as anchor babies, thieves, rapists and the source of disease. Their fears are pacified with theories of Muslim databases and ID cards. Regrettably, they remain completely unaware these notions are designed to capitalize on their own latent racism, sexism, and collective prejudices. The U.S. has always had crackpot ideologues on the fringes of political society. However, Trump is not an outlier, he is the Republican front runner who reflects the increasing radicalization of the Republican party. The GOP and its supporters have moved so far to the right that even Republican poster child Ronald Reagan would be considered too progressive for the party. Trump is a belligerent, crass, loudmouth who lacks any foreign-policy worldview. He is simply another conservative peddling overly simplistic notions under the false illusion of knowledge. In another words he’s exactly the kind of person the Republican base consist of. And for the last several months he has been showing Republicans who they really are-and even they don’t like what they are seeing. The real question isn’t whether Republicans can win the presidency. The real question is whether or not radical factions will destroy the remaining threads of the party or will they simply burn it to the ground in the process. If this suggest anything, it’s that the Republican party can no longer be trusted to lead the free world.