I’m seeing a wide variety of reasons for Trump support ranging from CNN’s favorite to broadcast the “I loved him on The Apprentice” (I thought a Kardashian would be our first celebrity president, or Beyoncé) to “I like what he stands for” or “He fights!” or “He has the right people mad.” (These to me are all similar in theme.)
The one that intrigues me most is the idea that Trump is going to burn down the GOP. I suspect the more likely scenario is that like Giuliani or Cain before him, by the end of the year the GOP base (what’s left of it) will settle on someone more establishment and all this will be a memory. If that happens (once we see the power of a fully activated establishment death star) we’ll pretty much be where we’ve been the last 3 cycles, chugging along with ever more cylinders in our engine dying.
But still, I am curious what happens if Trump manages to successfully render the GOP shattered (or “riven” for you game/word geeks out there.) What comes next? That is what is stage two in the set of:
- Burn down the GOP
Many of us (myself included) get upset by the establishment’s constant failure to be even remotely conservative, but the fact is the establishment is made up of primary voters, and be they perpetually naïve, simply LIV, or even (gasp!) moderate. When the GOP is shattered they won’t go away.
I’ve said before, and still believe that there really is no true conservative base. Yes there are conservatives out there, but a truly “limited government” conservative is few and far between. Most nominal conservatives have some ox they don’t want to see gored. In Iowa (or Southern IL) maybe that’s farm subsidies. In MO, it’s probably a mess of “farming, bloated defense fighter jets and NIH funding.” In Florida, maybe it’s flood insurance, Social Security and Medicare. The list goes on for each state/region.
Uniting all of these factions under a single “conservative” banner is unlikely to happen. (A part of me wonders if this is how we ended up with the feckless GOP we have now, afraid to cut anything at all.)
Now obviously this reality doesn’t make an argument for “Team GOP”. I can’t and won’t make any argument for them at this point. But even setting aside “OMG DEMOCRATS!” which frankly when Team GOP gives us Medicare Part D isn’t even a irrational argument anymore it’s just stupid, I’m not sure anyone is going to like what rises from the ashes of the GOP either.
Our constitutional system leaves us pretty well tethered to a two party system (with insurgent periods.) This leaves us with very few options. I would have like to see the party change from within, but as I said, there is no conservative base, so this seems unlikely to happen. So not an argument for “Team GOP” as much as a plea that someone start a plan for something next. Preferably something not bloody and violent.