You would have thought the GOP would have learned their lesson after back-to-back landslide defeats to Barack Obama in the general elections of 2008, and 2012. Even then, the Republican Party dealt with the same issues they have now.
Their draconian position on immigration lost them the Latino vote 71% to 27%, per Pew Research.
Their antiquated stance on abortion played at least a contributing factor into why they lost the women’s vote — 56% to 44% — according to this Gallup Poll.
Their view on same-sex marriage, and of LGBT rights, lost them the vote of “voters who identified as gay” by a whopping 76% to 22% spread, per The New York Times.
You would have thought the GOP would have learned their lesson. But this is not a story of them learning their lesson. This is a story about how the party — which is now Donald Trump’s Party — has doubled down on basically everything that lost them the last two elections.
Here we have a guy who launched a presidential campaign on the idea that America should build a giant wall to keep Mexicans from crossing the boarder. Oh, and that Mexico will pay for said wall. This is in spite of evidence, again from Pew, that over 140,000 immigrants left the United States between 2009-2014. Net immigration is currently negative, because once America’s economy went back in the tank, Mexicans said “thank you very much” and went home. Which is only logical.
Second, noted dickhead Donald Trump said in March that there should be some “punishment” for women who receive an illegal abortion. (He would later backtrack from that statement.) The irony is just too rich not to mention: The GOP, the party that wants to government to stay out everyone’s business, wants the government to tell women what to do with their bodies.
Then there are LGBT rights. Right now there’s a big hullabaloo about restrooms and transgender people, and the myth that trans people are suddenly going to start assaulting children.
Bill Maher calls these “Zombie Lies,” ideas that aren’t true but are seemingly impossible to kill.
This is how far the Republican Party has come over the last decade. Somewhere along the line, they realized that they were already the losers of America’s culture war, and that the only way to remedy that was to move even further to the right, in an attempt to reestablish the middle.
So what is the solution?
To start, they need to grow the fuck up. They need to accept that it’s 2016, that the country is getting more brown, more tolerant of gay and transgender people, and more pro-women. Basically they need to rip to shreds everything they are currently doing.
Right now they pander to the white, Evangelical crowd, which makes up a striking 25% of the country’s electorate. However, that number isn’t getting any larger. That essentially leaves 3/4 of the United States up for grabs, in all these categories that the Democrats are heavily favored in.
But if they decide to take a nap on immigration, or gay marriage, or abortion, then is it really a conservative party anymore?
In a last-ditch effort to unify the party behind Donald Trump, Republican politicians are getting in line to endorse the alleged billionaire. But should he lose the general election, there is a real chance the GOP fractures into two (or more) lesser parties.
The Democratic Party is in a similar position with Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders: It’s split. On the one hand there are progressives, on the other the classic Democrat, which is more centrist.
In high school, some of the different forms of government were shown on a line that would have appeared something like this:
Communism | Socialism | Democracy | Libertarianism | Fascism
The point being that Republicans and Democrats are just two separate, but not all that different, forms of the same center. Even Bernie Sanders, who claims to be a Democratic-Socialist — who is as far left as it gets in the United States — would be considered center-right in some Western European countries. That’s how misinformed Americans are on what socialism really is.
Many things we all like, such as Social Security and Medicaid, are socialist programs. America is already a quasi-socialist country.
So if it is what it is, then it looks more like the U.S. is on its way to joining most other modern societies in having more than just two presidential candidates.
As represented on the ism line above, it would shake down something like this:
Far left — Progressives
Middle-left — Democrats
Middle-right — Republicans
Far right — Donald Trump’s Party
That’s four viable options. The problem for the Republicans and Democrats, is that the momentum is leaking to the both sides of the pole. The Bernie Sanders movement is only going to grow stronger and louder. Which will be at least part of the reason why the right will further entrench itself — whether it’s about Muslims, or illegal immigrants, or homo/transsexuals — in an attempt to savor the good old days.
When the country was more white, more god-fearing, and not so goddamn politically correct all of the time.
Anyway, if and when the Republicans lose this upcoming election, they will need to reassess what the party actually wants to believe in. If they don’t, there may not be a party left for them.