At the risk of sounding once again like a broken record, the current state of the Republican Party is the result of the short term cynicism of the so-called GOP establishment that invited crazies into the party base with an eye to short term election successes with no thought as to the long term effects on the GOP. As the crazies - especially the Christofascists - flooded into the party, sane people fled in horror (I did and so did members of my extended family) leaving the inmates in charge of the asylum. With the rise of Donald Trump, we are seeming the fulfillment of such short term thinking. The Frankenstein monster has matured and will be difficult, if not impossible to kill. A piece in Mother Jones looks at the sickness of the GOP base. Here are excerpts:
Only a few weeks ago, pundits and political observers roundly proclaimed that Donald Trump, the reality-show tycoon who's mounted a takeover of the GOP, would flame out, fade, implode, or whatever. Jeb Bush's campaign aides were telling journalists that they had no concerns about Trump threatening a third Bush regime. "Trump is, frankly, other people's problem," said Michael Murphy, the chief strategist for Bush's super-PAC.
It's becoming clearer, though, that Trump, still dominating the polls and the headlines as the Republican front-runner, could well pose an existential threat to the Grand Old Party (or at least, its establishment, including the Bush campaign). But the fundamental problem for the Rs is not Trump; it's Republican voters.
Trump is a brash and arrogant celebrity who is well skilled in pushing buttons, belittling foes, uttering outrageous remarks, causing a ruckus, and drawing attention to one thing: himself. . . . But none of this would matter if there was no demand for his bombastic, anger-fueled, anti-immigrant populism—that is, if Republican voters did not crave a leader who equates undocumented immigrants with rapists and who claims that everyone else in political life is a nincompoop selling out the US of A to the Chinese, the Mexicans, and just about every other government.
Trump is tapping into a current that runs throughout the various strains of the GOP. It's a current of frustration, despair, anger, and yearning—a yearning for a time when the United States will not be confronted by difficult economic and national security challenges, and when you will not have to press 1 for English and 2 for Spanish.
[A]t least half of the GOP is unhinged and living in its own fact-free and perhaps Fox-fed reality. To top it off, many Republican voters have expected the GOPers in control of Congress to kill Obamacare, shut down the government and slash the budget, prevent Obama from issuing executive orders, and impeach the pretender who inhabits the White House.
The anti-immigrant, anti-Obama, anti-establishment sentiment that Trump is tapping runs deep within the Republican electorate. Many Republicans clearly see the president as a foreign-born secret Muslim with a clandestine plan to weaken, if not ruin, the United States—remember the death panels—and they have a dark, nearly apocalyptic view of Obama’s America.
Voters this dissatisfied and this detached from reality will be looking for someone who can vent for them. Trump does that. He also promises quick and simple action to address their concerns: a wall (not a fence), great trade deals at a snap of the finger, the end of ISIS, you name it.
Republicans eagerly courted the tea partiers and other dissatisfied voters. They rode that tiger into the congressional majority in the low-turnout elections of 2010 and 2014. They whipped up the frenzy.
The point is, the GOP is overflowing with voters who long for a candidate who echoes their rage and resentment. Whatever happens with Trump in the months ahead, this bloc of voters won't go away. Neither will their fury. This is the true dilemma for the Republican Party and its pooh-bahs. Trump, the deal-making businessman, is merely responding to market forces. He's just the supplier. Trump is the drug, and the voters need to score. The demand is what counts.