Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Donald Trump and the Two Republican Parties ... by gimleteye

On Tuesday, November 3, 1964 the Republican candidate for president, Barry Goldwater, lost the presidential election to Lyndon B. Johnson by nearly twenty points. It was the most lopsided victory since James Monroe's re-election in 1820.

After Goldwater's defeat, Republican strategists set a course that would eventually return the presidency to the party and to Ronald Reagan in 1981. Their formula distilled to a simple phrase, "compassionate conservatism."

Compassionate conservatism was a bridge to voters who believed in a moral majority and up-by-the-bootstraps personal responsibility instead of government regulation. Faith was the glue that held the bridge together. Faith and political money from business.

Donald Trump's victory in Indiana yesterday capped the wholly improbable collapse of that Republican bridge. Donald Trump, in a unique way, outed compassionate conservatism.

Despite the best efforts of handlers to moderate his political instincts -- Trump emerged as a de novo creation of disaffected GOP voters who are not compassionate or conservative. What they are, mainly, is angry.

In the not-so-distant past, the business community in America -- exemplified by organizations like the US Chamber of Commerce, its state and local affiliates -- were politically agnostic. That changed dramatically in the 1980's and early 1990's when, as a result of globalization, Chamber members began to experience both the opportunities and perils of mature markets upset by technological revolution and borderless commerce.

In the 1960's, following Goldwater's devastating loss, a business elite coalesced against what they believed to be the fundamental threat: angry baby-boomers who opposed the war in Vietnam, choosing liberation and smoking pot instead of working to make America great again.

Democrats were perceived as favoring ossified restrictions -- the unions -- at the expense of shareholders and business owners. Despite Bill Clinton's strategy of "triangulation", business sought safe harbor with the GOP.

Something changed in 2015: the angriest primary voters were Republican.

Donald Trump's victory -- an insurgency against the GOP status quo -- has broken into pieces what Democrats could never have achieved. Trump's appeal to Republican primary voters? He cannot be controlled by a GOP status quo that has failed to deliver a better, safer and more economically secure America.

The Republicans who voted for Trump aren't worried about morality or marijuana, they are worried about the crystal meth lab down the street. They aren't worried about lefty Democrats, they are worried about oligarchs who moved jobs and capital overseas. Faith and morality -- contrary to Ted Cruz's exhortations -- don't mean so much. Call it the Dennis Hastert effect.

After twenty plus years of success by GOP message makers, this year core Republican voters said enough: give us a billionaire who doesn't need to take money from the corporate elite. Give us a celebrity who puts his stamp on everything from skyscrapers to bottled water. Give us, GOP, change we can believe in: Donald Trump.

The angst of the GOP is real. Not a single, pre-approved candidate to be president, beginning with Jeb Bush, could sell the angry GOP voter. Without values voters, including the moral majority and Chamber of Commerce wrapped in compassion, the GOP center does not hold, or, will only hold in districts, in state legislative or Congressional races where its money advantage is overwhelming.

Chances are that in the general presidential election, GOP money will leave Donald Trump alone. For top funders, the goal will be to retain the US Senate and their dominance of executive and legislative branches in the states. They will help Donald Trump in one key way: continue to fund mistrust of Hilary Clinton. When Hilary wins, she will be a centrist they can deal with, just like they dealt with Lyndon Johnson.


Anonymous said...

"when Hillary wins..."-- it will be because she is the true republican in the race

Geniusofdespair said...

This blog got me thinking (bad idea)on how will the Republican Party rebrand itself. I am so glad the religion crap is gone from my party.

I do think we need more than one wall. Don't we need to wall off Mexican neighborhoods in the United States? Like the Jewish Ghetto's that were in Italy, we could close the gates at night. During the day we open the gates so Mexican people can go to work as domestics and gardeners. Or maybe the wall should be around rich neighborhoods, protecting them. Opps we have plenty of them in Florida already.

Gimme a break people who are wall lovers and fond of stereotyping people, that is not the Republican way. Or is it? The new breed: Angry white guy on the dole mad at other people on the dole that don't look like me. I lost my train of thought, there it is: I have to have breakfast. Too much thinking for one day. Good post Gimleteye.

Anonymous said...

Viva Trumpollah

Anonymous said...

Everyone who has a sense of history and the nature of power, must at all cost ensure that Trump is not elected. He has no checks and balances, does not owe anyone anything. History shows that how you get to the presidency also reveals how you will govern. He went for the jugular on Cruz. Just the idea that his dad may have somehow been connected to the assination of President Kennedy, is enough to kill any political career. There is a good possibility he won't be elected to the US Senate again, or any elected office in this country. Hillary is our only hope, otherwise, we are looking at a 'bull in the china shop'. And with the power of the presidency, anyone who gets in his way will be destroyed. Fear will be the order of the day under his rule.

Anonymous said...

You are correct about how he uses the power that he has. His big appeal to all these people is JOBS. They are willing to compromise on things they don't like, if they can get a JOB and take care of their family. Hillary has got to put her JOBS plan on the table, so people understand they don't have to compromise our democracy and values we hold dear to get a JOB.

Anonymous said...

Based on his pattern to defeat people who are in his way, first he gives them a negative label. When Congress says no, he will go after the leadership. Majority Leader McConnell may become Mad McConnell, Evil McConnell, Foolish McConnell, Stupid McConnell, or Nasty McConnell and the like. Speaker Ryan may be referred to as Rotten Ryan, Wicked Ryan, Horrible Ryan, Useless Ryan, and the like.

Then he will use his Presidential powers to go after their families to destroy them one way or another, and finally he will try to end their careers. And beware of getting on his list of enemies. What can you do after you have given him the 'keys to the car'? Nothing for four years. He can run amuck with tons of pending litigation. So, No to Trump.