Is the Republican Party Dead?

Is the Republican Party Dead?

Is the Republican Party Dead?

OK, don’t jump on me all at once with flamethrowers. I’m not somehow implying that I’ve left the Republican Party, become a Democrat, or that I’m starting a new political party called the Party of Hernandez. Let me explain my question.

I was catching up with an old friend of mine who had moved to Texas about five years ago. He had run for Congress as a conservative Republican when he lived here, but he lost to an establishment GOP candidate, who got his ass handed to him by the Democrat.

Photo credit: NOQ Report

My friend was and remains a gold standard for conservatism. He’s an engineer with a supremely analytical mind. He’s pro-life. He’s a devoted Christian. He is a free-market capitalist and a Second Amendment absolutist. And yet, when I asked him whether he’d gotten involved in his local GOP politics, his reply was, “I haven’t been involved in politics since the GOP jumped the shark.”

That got me thinking.

I remember debating with someone on social media during the 2016 election, and the woman told me, “This is today’s GOP. Get on the Trump train, or fuck off.” Yes, she was a very mature, kind individual, willing to debate issues like an adult. *rolls eyes hard, needs baby oil and salad tongs to retrieve them*

But is this the face of the GOP? Is the Republican party evolving in a direction of which you approve? Do you still believe the Republican Party is the party of free markets and limited government? How about fiscal conservatism? Do you support the nation-building direction in which former Republican presidents have taken us? Do you approve of high-ranking GOP officials taking on their opponents by name-calling and rudeness, or do you view polite discourse as we’ve come to know it today to be little more than political correctness?

Photo credit: popsugar.com

Those are some of the questions I posed to a group of conservatives in a private social media group, and they graciously allowed me to post their replies without attribution. Most of them did vote for Donald Trump in 2016 – some proudly, and some holding their nose in disgust just to ensure Hillary Clinton never made it to the White House. Some of them voted for Egg McMuffin Evan McMullen, and yet others left the Presidential vote blank.

This is by far not a scientific poll, and I really just wanted to get a sense of what conservatives believe about the GOP now that Donald Trump has been President for a little more than 18 months and to display a small sample of comments.

There are those who believe that the GOP lost its way a long time ago, and it’s about time the Establishment was booted in the ass. Polite discourse has become worthless political correctness in their eyes, and it’s about time someone said it like it is.

The GOP hasn’t changed. It’s just gotten more membership from people tired of the PC police.

Others continue to display a certain amount of disbelief and disgust.

Trump is gone in 6 years max, and Trump isn’t popular amongst young Republicans. Impossible for this to be the future of the party.

The turn in the party is the reaction of the party not doing a damn thing for decades. I don’t mind the new approach to attack rather then to be defensive the whole time.

The “GOP” is an empty vessel. You don’t scrap the party – you pour more of what you want into it. We need more Liberty and Constitution candidates (and the activists who work to get them into office). The “establishment” has been lazy over recent decades. Instead of teaching people the values, they sold out and lurched leftward to hold power. Populism is a symptom of 30 years of frustration with milquetoast Republicans who never had the courage to bring the Country back to our founding values.

This is from someone who ran for statewide office as a Republican and got zero support from the State GOP because the party officials believed that running a Republican in a deep blue district wasn’t worth the resources.

I am staying out of it this cycle. So disgusted by the vitriol on our side that I don’t think i can shoulder the GOP brand without so many disclaimers that i start to look pathetic. “I am a Republican but…” is a shitty premise. Do we wait for the party to remember its roots? do we start a new one? do we absorb the frothing idol-worshippers? do we wait for them to slink back into their caves? this all aside from the mechanics of trying to run for office as a Republican in enemy territory and getting nothing more than ‘attagirl’, good luck with that’ from the party – which is a whole other set of catastrophic system failure that’s magnifying every cycle.

Yet others believe the GOP is not lost, and the party is only what we make it, and they don’t believe that the populist wave means that the party has “jumped the shark.”

The party is up for grabs. The powers that be are losing their grip, and there’s a battle between the populists and the conservatives. As troubling bad it is to see populism embraces by so many republicans… It’s quite possible the GOP goes down the wrong path, but for now the battle is not lost for us and there is no reason or excuse to quit.

This individual also believes that the party is merely a delivery vehicle, but that we will lose it if we don’t engage and actively promote conservative principles.

The GOP is a tool. That’s it. A method to promote conservative principles. Nothing more, nothing less.

conservative activists have let it go left. Take the ship back.

Join your local committee, bring twenty of your closest friends.

The reason everything has gone left is because there are not enough activists on our side playing no prisoners.

Photo credit: Washington Examiner

To be sure, I didn’t specifically ask about Trump, but rather about the direction of the GOP. And my friend wasn’t specifically referring to Trump when he said the GOP “jumped the shark,” although I suspect this is what he meant. But that said, it’s nearly impossible to separate the party from its leadership, so even though my initial question never mentioned Trump, many who were kind enough to respond, automatically assumed I was talking about him rather than the party writ large.

To put it simply, Trump is a reactionary figure. He is a creation of the Left, from over a decade of constant cries of racism and bigotry against people who were never involved in such beliefs. He came along and din’t sit down when someone said he was a racist, he just kept going. That was attractive to a lot of people who were sick of being caricatured as something they’re not.

It ended up working in 2016, as there were enough people sick of the identity politics who chose to cast a ballot for him in the right states. His win was a huge upset, but we cannot expect that type of victory again. This was a very odd election, and the Trumpian approach to politics is not a sustainable one in the long-term, especially the demonizing of people who have any disagreement with him and the like.

We need to bring back the coalition builders, the ones who stick to their principles of liberty-minded governance, but are willing to work with those who may be their opponents in some or many areas. Making an enemy of everyone gets you nowhere after a while.

His economic policy is tapping into the frustration that many Americans have had since the Recession, with a lot of job loss. But the solution for him is to start central planning through trade restrictions. So many Trump people don’t recognize how much control that entails, in spite of their claim to be lovers of a free market. I don’t know a way to break through the tariff cultism on that one…

All in all, though, there is a blatant idolatry among millions of Americans with this President. Any disagreement with him on a subject is often met with backlash one may expect from the Left on certain social issues. That cultism needs to end, because it won’t convince people to become more liberty-minded, probably the opposite. We have to work with what we have, but know that change needs to start now, and move away from Trumpism for the long term.

I do agree with the individual who believes that the school system is failing our kids and essentially breeding a society of morons incapable of analyzing information, but rather reacting to it emotionally. As a matter of fact, as I spoke to my friend the other night, we both agreed that when schools stopped teaching critical thinking, our society has become susceptible to biased news and even foreign attempts to influence our society and our confidence in our system of government and our nation.

It’s not a one party change it’s a national change . As far as I’m concerned this is what you get when you marginalize the study of history and philosophy and basic economics in school. Combined with the average person spending 8 hours a day in front of the tv .

As for my fellow Victory Girls, Darleen says and others agree…

IMHO it depends on what you mean by GOP? Rank and file Republicans or the GOPe? I would say the reason Trump was elected can be traced back to when the TEA party came about. TEA Party was made up of middle class who finally had enough of being told to shutup and take it, especially from “moderates” on both sides of the aisle. I actually marched in several TEA Party demonstrations and the frustation and disappointment (and then anger). We then worked our buns off to elect people to Congress on the promises of the GOPe who turned right around and brushed us off.

I know I wasn’t the only one, too, that was incensed that GWBush never ever pushed back on the hate-filled slanders & libels tossed his way. Ditto McCain (who later turned on Palin who endured stuff that was jaw-dropping) and even Romney, one of the most personally decent candidates EVER was literally Hitler – and he never even tried to fight back. Remember Biden’s “they will literally put you all back in chains” …

Trump may be crude, obnoxious, and to publicly say stuff worthy of headdesking a thousand times … BUT HE FIGHTS BACK.

If the GOPe abandons him or keeps trying to cut his legs out from under him … if the toxic NeverTrumpers like Max Boot don’t cool their jets, then the GOP will be finished because all the TEA Party – Constitutional conservatives and the religious will stay home and try and figure out how to do a 3rd party.

For Kate, a few things are a no-go.

I consider myself an evangelical Christian Republican, one of the dreaded social conservatives who though I don’t vote single issue, if the GOP ever removes Life from the platform, I walk.

I started out in college as a D because my parents were D’s and quickly realized they (democrats) didn’t believe like me: free markets, strong defense.

I think conservatism is still very strong. I think we question if it is truly welcomed in the GOP. Ted Cruz Ted Cruz Ted Cruz!

Folks, I didn’t create this post to start a fight about Trump, so if you’re here screeching that this post – and Victory Girls by association – are anti-Trump, and that means you’re done with us, I would suggest you’re part of the problem.

I ask you to consider the views of your fellow conservatives, even if you don’t agree with them, and tell us your views in the comment section.

Thank you.

Written by

Marta Hernandez is an immigrant, writer, editor, science fiction fan (especially military sci-fi), and a lover of freedom, her children, her husband and her pets. She loves to shoot, and range time is sacred, as is her hiking obsession, especially if we’re talking the European Alps. She is an avid caffeine and TWD addict, and wants to own otters, sloths, wallabies, koalas, and wombats when she grows up.

11 Comments
  • Tracy Coyle says:

    I left the GOP after the 2005 Bankruptcy Reform when it was clear the party was not considering people but corporations. Yes, it has been that way for a long time but I finally hit my point of exit. I helped start a Conservative Party in 2008 in response the McCain nomination. His pick of Palin ALMOST got me to vote for him – I didn’t vote for President that year arguing that we could survive 4 (or 8) years of Obama. The local party (California) is so disfunctional that the state is all but a socialist haven run by Democrats. I grew up in Chicago. GOP??? what was that? The party is a shell, has been for a long time. It survives by pasting stickers on the shell making people thing it supports those ideals (whatever they may be). McCain was a symptom. It isn’t dead, but it a husk and nothing more.

  • John says:

    The political correctness and basic spineless-ness that I’ve seen from the Republicans since Dubya’s first term are what has driven me away. They give lip service to the older held ideals of smaller government and fiscal responsibility, then piss down our backs as they say it’s just rain. If the Libertarians could field someone capable of passing a freaking drug screen they’d have a new member.

  • Dave says:

    I voted for anyone-not-Hillary, so that left The Donald.

    People hate President Trump for two main reasons: 1) He’s not the anointed one (Hillary), and 2) he doesn’t “act” presidential. Because of the former you have 50% of the population who will never support him and because of the latter you have a large percentage who don’t like him because it makes them – the elites & elite wannabes – feel uncouth. From 2008-2016 we had a president who “acted” presidential but was a complete disgrace to the office and attempted to gut the constitution. Today, we have the opposite.

    “We need to bring back the coalition builders” — No. Just, No. For the last 70 years the progs /leftist /social-communists /democrats have had a “take no prisoners” stance and “ends justify the means” religious mantra. It’s time conservatives /GOP did the same; give no quarter and, because it won’t be given, expect the same. Borrowing from Alinsky: play by the left’s own rules.

    Finally, as was pointed out, President Trump fights back. This is a game changer! Conservatives have been looking for this trait for a long time.

    By not rolling over, President Trump has fully exposed (to name just a few) the media bias, FISA Court shenanigans, and the corrupt cabal of Obama’s White House (collective intelligence communities and Judiciary).

    Final thoughts… Jesus is my Lord and Savior; Trump is not. However, I am hoping Trump will lance some long festering political sores.

  • Nina Bookout says:

    I grew up with politically active parents. I was privileged to listen to discussions between them and candidates for local/state/national office. I learned about taxes, agriculture, water rights, trade, foreign policy, national security, defense, education, and private property rights. I learned all of this while growing up on a working ranch in WY.

    One size does not fit all. One single solution does not fit all.

    However, as I was taught, the overall goal of keeping this Republic the Constitutional Republic it should be is and always should be the goal.

    That said, in the 1990’s when I was REALLY politically active, I was told that if I didn’t adopt said candidate because THIS ISSUE WAS THE ONLY ISSUE, then I was persona non grata. Problem is, if you only look at said tree, then when forest is burning down one is left with a spindly tree and nothing else.

    Here’s the deal.

    Civics and history need to be brought back to our schools
    One horse issues blind us all to reality that life is multi-faceted
    We DO need to fight back. Reagan did it well with humor and being blunt. We NEED to fight back
    The Establishment needs to get head out of ass and face reality
    The GOP establishment in DC needs to LISTEN to their constituency!

    I am a Republican and I am an AMERICAN. The Republican Party on the national level needs to pull head out of ass and realize that if they want to survive don’t do what they did to the Republican voters. Ignore us at your peril.

  • outofthedarkness says:

    I held my nose and voted for Trump. I suspect he’ll get a second term. I don’t like him, but I respect that he’s actually worked to keep his campaign promises. If the rest of the GOP were half as diligent, they’d be doing very well. I think the base, including me, is tired of being lied to about the campaign promises. We’re tired of business as usual and being sold down the river while the GOP keeps moving leftward.

  • Just Sayin says:

    Gotta Crack A Few Eggs, Darlings…..
    GOP Needs This Reckoning.
    Suck It Up.

  • Eric says:

    ” BUT HE FIGHTS BACK.”

    That pretty much sums it up for me. Trump is the first guy since Reagan to go on the offensive, whereas your typical GOP “Nice Guy” runs for the tall grass the minute the usual left wing slurs start to fly (racist, bigot, homophobe, etc.) First, he took on the GOP Establishment, who had spent the past dozen years refusing to acknowledge the WMD’s that never showed up in Iraq. And he demolished old hacks like George Will and Bill Kristol, intellectual snobs who sneered at Trump (and his supporters, the Deplorables) as “Not quite our type, dear”, not fit to join their snooty little country club.

    But what really did it for me was he was the only one who could defeat the Hillary. I’m convinced the Dems chose her over Burnie Sanders on the basis that she was the only one mean enough to win. In fact, my view back then, which I expressed on Dana’s blog, was that Hillary was a poisonous snake and the other GOP candidates were a bunch of bunny rabbits. And we know who wins a contest between a snake and a rabbit. But Trump was the rancher with a shotgun who knew how to deal with poisonous snakes.

  • slickwilly says:

    Conservatives are tired of our elected representatives being RINOs. Their promises sound good during elections. Their actions identify them as the ‘loyal opposition’ (even when in the majority), who really does not oppose the Progressives, just want to keep the kabuki theater going so the peons stay quiet and they, themselves, get rich.

    Conservatives were defeated because we had principles, decorum, and follow the rules. Liberals, and their progeny, socialist progressives, ignore the rules except with they favor a fleeting position for political gain. We self police offenders; they circle the wagons and suffer little or no consequences. My entire life this has been true. It gave us Trump.

    Now, the New Right does not have the principles of older conservatives. They play by the tactics of the left (just as does Trump) because those tactics are successful in our country. Realpolitik rules the day, not right and wrong. And it is working, I am sad to say. Power is sought for the sake of power, and for the sake of defending against identity politics.

    The left does not know how to defend from themselves, and their own tactics used against them frighten them beyond measure. This is why they want to brand their enemies as nazis. This is why there is a double standard.

    Raw power.

    We have been ignored and castigated (merely for existing) for decades. Human nature will demand we fight back. Trump was the first shot. It will not be the last.

    If the GOP wants to survive, they better grow a set and listen to their voters.

  • Bruce Shulter says:

    1840 the Whigs ceased to exist, the Republicans arose. 2018 the Republicans just may cease to exist, what will the new name be?

  • scott says:

    Well said all, but here’s the thing, this comment ” But the solution for him is to start central planning through trade restrictions. So many Trump people don’t recognize how much control that entails, in spite of their claim to be lovers of a free market. I don’t know a way to break through the tariff cultism on that one…”
    I think misses the whole point of Trump the deal maker. He doesn’t WANT protectionist tariffs, but he understands that threatening them, (along with an actual willingness to impose them if needed ) gets others to the negotiation table, which gets us favorable / fair trade policies. People on the right that have the reaction above are giving in to the hysteria of the left, believing that Trump will “doom us all”… Like him or not, he’s a fighter, and knows how to get results, so how about, just for a little bit, everyone on the right CHILL THE HELL OUT about tariffs and all the other stuff that the left is screeching about, and let the man work…

  • Tom says:

    Funny that immigration is not mentioned once in this article. It was what really separated Trump from the rest during the primaries for a lot of voters concerned with stagnant wages and crime.

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