The state of today’s GOP is much worse than the emperor having no clothes. In that story, there was a certain level of justification by way of self-preservation of one’s status that compelled the masses to pretend they loved what they saw without actually seeing anything. The GOP is clothed. Everyone can see it. Everyone knows that they’re not the clothes of conservatism, pragmatism, or sanity, but most are willfully touting them and at times even trying on the party’s new duds.
Meanwhile, there are four types of right-leaning voters that can be differentiated based upon their reaction to the emperor’s new clothes:
- Establishment/Trump Style Adopters: As the party lurches left on healthcare, the national debt, minimum wage, maternity leave, big government spending, Russia, free trade, and a handful of other issues, those who have been on the Trump Train through the primaries are sharing the wardrobe of their Establishment frienemies in a win-at-all-costs race to the bottom. They’re wearing the party’s new liberal colors and trying to convince the rest of us that it’s all the rage. Sean “Kung Fu” Hannity is the dressmaker for this group.
- Lemonade Makers: While it disappoints me to see so many who opposed Trump in the primaries put aside their instincts for the sake of stopping Hillary, it’s understandable. However, they’ve taken it too far, supporting Trump without dissent for the sake of unity. These are the folks who knew Trump was a mess but have jumped aboard the Trump Train to see where it takes them. In many ways, they’re not much better than the first group. They set aside their conservatism just the same, only later in the game. Rush Limbaugh comes to mind, here.
- Reluctant Voters: Hillary really is that bad. She is so bad that some would rather risk turning America into the next Trump Air or USFL rather than see what damage Hillary could do. The thing that separates them from the previous group is they aren’t willing to wear the liberals clothes they’re being handed by the party. They dissent, and in a nation that was built on dissent, it’s good to know that people fearful enough of Hillary that they’d vote for Trump are still holding onto their conservative values. Since declaring that he’d vote for Trump, Mark Levin has called out every turn to the left that Trump has made.
- NeverTrump: No need to explain who these folks are. They’d rather burn the GOP’s liberal wardrobe and walk around naked than to take the easier path of reluctant acceptance. Glenn Beck may be the last major conservative personality in this camp.
Understanding the grouping is important for understanding the state of the party. Most are painting this as pro-Trump versus NeverTrump, but it’s more complicated than that. Many who are going to vote for Trump are aware that the party’s in trouble, that it’s shifting left, and that Constitutional conservatives are losing the gains they’ve been making within the party for the last seven years. In other words, one does not have to be in the NeverTrump category to be part of the rising collective conservative consciousness swelling against the Republican Party.
Trump is a symptom
Many erroneously believe that Trump is the cause of the party’s leftward shift. In reality, he’s a manifestation of the Establishment id that has only been held back from full-fledged progressive big government policies by the remnant of conservative values and the dissenters in and out of government who would call them out on it. With Trump, they can be more open with their views knowing that he’ll take most of the flack for them.
Trump didn’t make the party more liberal. He enabled it to come to light. For decades, the party has shifted to the left bit by bit, proclaiming their conservatism during campaign seasons but bending to the slightest pressure from Democratic administration and their Congressional minions. Very few truly fight. The majority of the party’s elected officials have gone along with the progressive agenda, protesting in public but rubber stamping liberalism in practice.
Many of us have felt it for a while, but have ignored it because we believed we could count on conservatism to reign in the end within the party. Others have been calling it out for a while. Trump has created an environment where the party can don its preferred apparel with pride.
That tickle in the back of your mind
There’s a silver lining to Trump. By dividing publicly into the groups described above, pundits and politicians have revealed who they are. We can finally see who the stalwart conservatives are and who was either faking all along or feeble-minded enough to follow Trump off the cliff. Those in the last two categories are feeling that tickle in the back of their minds telling them that this might never be the party we hoped it could be.
Whether Trump wins or loses, the doors have been shut on any chances conservatives had at pushing the party to the right. If he wins, it’s his party. If he loses, the Establishment will spin his candidacy as a reason to stick with them. They’ll have a sacrificial goat to cast into the wilderness; Reince Priebus’s future is tied to Trump’s. When the dust settles, they’ll come out of it with complete control over the party, only this time they’ll still be wearing the outrageous outfits of liberalism. It isn’t just Trump that enables them. The Democratic Party is also shifting left. The further they go, the further the GOP can go towards the center.
Conservatism within the party is done. That’s not to say there won’t be conservatives fighting the good fight from within the GOP, but after the election they will have even less power than they have today. The Freedom Caucus will be capped, making gains here and taking losses there, but they’ll never be more than an annoyance for the Establishment-controlled House to sidestep. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee will never have more than a handful of allies within the Senate.
The future of conservatism within the GOP, so bright just a couple of years ago, has been turned to rubble. We will never be able to push against the Establishment harder than they can push back against us. The party cannot be fixed from within. It’s time to break free.
A new party
Over the last two weeks, I’ve spoken with several conservatives who have the ability to help build a new party. So many see the need and realize that there has never been a better time than now to do what hasn’t been done in a century and a half – making a third party that can compete with the big two. The challenge has been getting the first people out to the dance floor.
This is where you come in. We’ve been able to accumulate thousands of “handraisers” who are willing to heavily participate in the formation of the party. We need two things: more handraisers and conservative thought-leaders to help. Getting the word out is imperative for both of these needs to be fulfilled.
Share this article. Share it directly to those who would be interested. Share it directly to those who you consider to be conservative thought-leaders. Post it to their Facebook pages. Tweet it at them. Email it to them. Help us get the attention of the “big names” in conservatism.
I am merely a humble servant. I can organize the efforts behind a cohesive gameplan and we have a solid strategy for making the party work where other third parties have failed, but we need people who are willing to step up. Participating in something like this, especially for public figures, is a risk to one’s reputation. I get it. I also get that this country is on the edge of a precipice and reputations will be the least of anyone’s concerns if we do not act appropriately right here, right now. Today.
The collective conservative consciousness is coming alive and realizing that the GOP is not the solution to the nation’s problems. The only thing holding them at bay is suspension of disbelief. We’ve been conditioned our whole lives into believing that we have two choices – liberal Democrats and less-liberal Republicans. The only way to overcome this conditioning is to believe in the possibility that a new party can rise. Will you help make that happen?