What Will Be Left Of The Republican Party When Trump Loses?
Despite winning the second debate in a landslide (every poll), it is hard to do well when Paul Ryan and others give zero support!
Disloyal R’s are far more difficult than Crooked Hillary. They come at you from all sides. They don’t know how to win—I will teach them!
Series of Donald Trump tweets—10/11/16
The end game for Citizen Donald J. Trump has begun in earnest, and it is ugly, spiteful and completely nuts, but do not be fooled; it is not without method.
As covered nearly two months ago here (LAST GASP FOR CITIZEN TRUMP), the hiring of Breitbart CEO Stephen Bannon meant that soon there would be blood. And after a short dip in the polls for Hillary Clinton in September, followed swiftly by inarguably the worst debate performance ever, its gory aftermath, and now the subsequent complete and total implosion of his supposed campaign, the time has come.
Trump has, in his words, “taken off the shackles”, going nuclear on every corner of the American body politic, from its standing institutions, its constitutional structure, the national press, of course the Democratic Party, the Clintons, and now even fellow Republicans, specifically Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.
After the historic mass exodus of prominent Republicans fighting for their down-ballot lives on October 7 (the day of the “grab her pussy” video release) Trump, egged on by Bannon, whose entire alt-right operation has had a hard-on to destroy the current GOP establishment since 2010, has unleashed the exit strategy—blame, pillory and deflect. There will be no losing; only victimization from the elites who have stolen his prize.
Of course, this is all well and good for the Breitbart brand, the Drudge Report, Rush Limbaugh’s drug dealers, and Jerry Falwell Jr.’s hooker habit, but where do Republicans go once the insurgency of the Citizen Trump movement shifts from a cult of personality to the core of its ideology?
It needs to be pointed out that for all its blessed wackiness (thank you, Donald, from the bottom of this mostly bored political junky’s heart for stumbling in and entertaining the hell out of all of us), this is indeed a movement. It is real and it is relatively strong, about 33 to 40 percent, and maybe a little more had the candidate not been a stark, raving, crazy man, who is likely a sexual predator.
Still, there is a groundswell for what Trump represents. And as pointed out in this space since September of 2015, the candidate was only part of the story; a story the press rightfully leapt on as ratings gold and Trump exploited in his most media savvy machinations, but one that was merely a sidelight. The other, more lasting story is the fact that the system is fucked and rigged and skewered away from the ordinary citizen and run by lifers who could not give half a shit about what your needs are. People with money and influence make things move, while you get all riled up every four years and cast your little vote and bitch and moan. But it is a charade. The real shifts in the body politic come from time and culture exploited by those who make a living doing this shit.
And while Trump has further exploited issues that aren’t really monumental—illegal immigration, law and order, and some weird things about Muslims—there are real, pressing issues with trade deals and the death of manufacturing, ignoring the failures of 9/11, the Iraq War, and even the Benghazi affair, which the alt-right blew by failing to ask the key question, distracted as they were by trying to bring President Obama in 2012 and then Clinton down before the 2016 election season: Why was there a secret CIA operation being conducted in a U.S. Embassy situated in a war zone and was that mission to arm potential enemies of the United States?
The other aspect of the Trump fallout will be how the party deals with the obligatory accusing of its establishment—the aforementioned Ryan, RNC chairman Reince Priebus, and the host of gratuitous and hypocritical hacks that only jumped ship once the candidate began sinking in the polls—for the defeat. That’s coming. Believe it.
Well, if the somewhat lukewarm to outright revolt from establishment/elite Republicans and their media outlets after the Access Hollywood tape that put the Trump campaign on life support is any indication, it will be away from a base-oriented struggle to a more of a centrist/electable national party. This means a revision of the post-mortem conducted by the RNC after its 2012 defeat; a renewed outreach to minorities, a serious contemplation to engage in a comprehensive immigration plan, a rejection of science-deniers and a more flexible embrace of environmental issues, most notably the existence of climate change and how decades of pollution has altered it, and a kibosh on religious cultural nonsense like an attack on Planned Parenthood and marriage equality.
But what of the 35 to 40 percent who wants closed borders, no international free trade, extreme vetting, zero environmental regulations, the eradication of Planned Parenthood, and a modern police state? Who “deals” with them?
Speaker Paul Ryan’s feckless teeter-totter “support” of the party’s ticket is a grand example of the difficulty in walking this tightrope. It ended up the following Monday teetering out of the Trump business, thus abandoning a third of his party, which has given Bannon the hammer he needs in Trump to make it personal and thus blood sport. Trump has already added to these diatribes dressed up as stump speeches that there is a “sinister deal between the Democrats and Ryan” to demolish the movement. The collateral damage of which will be on VP Mike Pence, the heretofore “values candidate”, whom I assume has designs on remaining a viable cog in the party machine once this doomed run is over. Where does he end up in all this?
No matter the size and scope of Trump’s defeat in a few weeks, the party will have to “deal” with his constituency, which is real and unflinching and now really, really pissed that it has been set adrift by the keepers of the GOP keys; and if the Breitbart conspiracy model is any hint, it is going to believe it was duped and ripped off and ready to make mincemeat out of anything that reflects a non-Trump world view.
Do yourself no favors and “like” this idiot at www.facebook.com/jc.author
James Campion is the Managing Editor of The Reality Check News & Information Desk and the author of “Deep Tank Jersey”, “Fear No Art”, “Trailing Jesus”, “Midnight For Cinderella” and “Y”. and his new book, “Shout It Out Loud—The Story of KISS’s Destroyer and the Making of an American Icon”.