Thursday, August 13, 2015

Why the Rise of Trump Means Death for the GOP

As other blog posts on this blog have noted, the rise of Donald Trump in GOP polls is the natural consequence of the positions and mentality the Republican Party have consciously embraced over the last decades: logic, reason and a respect for science and knowledge have been cast out the window while ignorance, religious extremism, homophobia, bigotry and racism have been embraced.  Although the way, moderates have fled the party and the insanity of the Christofascists and white supremacists who were welcomed into the party have become a metastasizing cancer that now appears beyond a cure.  An opinion piece in the Washington Post looks at why the rise of Trump means death to the GOP.  Here are excerpts:
“Republicans have lost the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections. States in which [GOP] presidential candidates used to win, such as New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, Iowa, Ohio, New Hampshire, Virginia, and Florida, are increasingly voting Democratic. 

“Public perception of the party is at record lows. Young voters are increasingly rolling their eyes at what the party represents, and many minorities … think that Republicans do not like them or want them in the country. When someone rolls their eyes at [Republicans], they are not likely to open their ears to [them].

“The Republican Party needs to stop talking to itself. [It has] become expert in how to provide ideological reinforcement to like-minded people, but devastatingly [it has] lost the ability to be persuasive with, or welcoming to, those who do not agree with [Republicans] on every issue.

With minor editing on my part for dramatic effect, those words were lifted directly from the “Growth & Opportunity Project.” You know it as the GOP autopsy of its 2012 presidential loss. 
The message and prescriptions of the 99-page report have been ringing in my ears ever since Donald Trump insulted his way to the top of the polls for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. The bloviating Big Apple billionaire builder is the antithesis of what the vital two-year-old document calls for.

GOP primary voters say they are gravitating to Trump because he “tells it like it is.” After he branded Mexicans crossing the southern border as “rapists,” his poll numbers went up. After he slurred the Vietnam captivity of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), his numbers went up. After saying, “Only Rosie O’Donnell,” in response to a question about his calling women “fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals,” he was met with thunderous applause.

The only person to echo the ethos of the GOP autopsy was Ohio Gov. John Kasich. When asked by Megyn Kelly how he would explain his opposition to same-sex marriage if he had a gay or lesbian child, Kasich gave a pitch-perfect answer.

[T]he GOP was already doing a horrible job of meeting the goals in the autopsy before Trump joined the Gang of 17. But with each ugly utterance, the Republican frontrunner pushes the party further and further away from its worthy goal. To the delight of the GOP base (and more than a few giddy Democrats), Trump has brought bread and circuses to the Republican Party by employing the chaos of reality television to the election of the leader of the free world.  

The hate-fueled self-immolation of the GOP would be a laugh riot were the consequences not so dire. Our democracy depends on a thriving two-party system where competing parties and the voices within each vigorously debate ideas and then reach the reasonable compromises needed to govern an enterprise as important as the United States. Since 2010, the Republican Party has succumbed to its basest voices for short-term political gain. Compromise became a dirty word. Lies were peddled as truth and never corrected by those who knew better.  

Autopsies are done on dead things. Trump’s rise is further proof that plans for a more inclusive and welcoming GOP for 2016 are DOA.   

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