The Republican Party has taken a direct hit amidships during this election season and the only question now is whether the vessel can - or should - be saved.
Dramatic changes in our political landscape are certain, beginning on November 9, whether Donald Trump wins or loses. These changes will, however, affect only the Republican Party. The Democrat Party will remain unchanged, lumbering along in its big government, high tax, pro-abortion, pro-gay ways for the simple reason that Democrats are true believers. They really believe in all those things.
It’s always hard to know if the leaders of the Republican Party actually believe in anything other than their own re-election. They politely nod their head when the GOP platform is introduced and then immediately proceed to ignore it for the next four years. If the GOP establishment actually believed what Republicans are supposed to believe, they would all be members of the House Freedom Caucus, and you wouldn’t need the House Freedom Caucus or the Tea Party or any other such thing.
Democrats want to change America. The GOP establishment just wants to stay in power. The Democrats believe in their party platform, the GOP establishment does not. It’s that simple.
The problem for the GOP establishment is that they know their base actually believes in the platform so they have to sort of pretend they do too. The conservative base is fed up to here with the feckless band of men who fancy themselves their leaders. And Donald Trump is the result.
The GOP is hopelessly fractured over Trump. The GOP leadership wouldn’t endorse Trump, then they did, then they un-endorsed him, then they reversed their un-endorsements. You could get vertigo watching these guys bob and weave.
If Trump wins, it will be very bad for the GOP establishment. They will have been decisively repudiated by their own candidate and by the base. They will have nothing but their fat cat friends, and there aren’t enough of them to win a council seat in a small village.
If Trump loses, it will be worse. The base will desert the party in droves and it will cease to exist as a functional force. Someone once said if you think you are leading but nobody is following, you’re not leading, you’re just taking a walk. It will be a lonely path for the Mitch McConnells and the Paul Ryans of the world.
Political parties do not last forever. The Whigs ran a candidate for president in 1852 but soon disappeared beneath the waves after breaking apart over the issue of slavery. A brand new Republican Party with an unambiguous vision (stop the spread of slavery, preserve natural marriage) took its place and put a man in the White House just eight years later.
Iceland’s parliament - the oldest in the world, having been established around 930 AD - is about to be taken over, believe it or not, by something called the Pirate Party. The Pirate Party - a ragtag mix of anarchists, hackers, and rebels - did not even exist four years ago and now it’s on the cusp of running an entire country.
The point here is the discontent of the GOP base with its leadership is at stratospheric, unprecedented levels. It is almost a certainty that if the GOP establishment does not repent of its failure to be Republicans and resign, turning over leadership of the party to the Ted Cruzes, the Mike Lees, the Jim Jordans, the Trey Gowdys and the Jason Chaffetzes, the Republican Party will cease to exist. And there is no chance, zero, zilch, nada, that the GOP establishment will repent, of anything, ever.
Thus genuine conservatives of faith and principle will have no home, no place to go. Jesus taught us a lesson that Abraham Lincoln learned well - a house divided against itself cannot stand. The GOP establishment is about to illustrate that timeless truth by turning itself into a flaming pile of political debris.
Nature abhors a vacuum, and something is always drawn into that vacuum to replace whatever used to be there. Something will replace the existing Republican Party since it is simply impossible for it to continue in its current form. This election season has made that abundantly clear.
There is always the hope that out of the rubble a new political force, maybe even a new political party, will emerge that truly embraces the concepts articulated in the Republican Party platform. It’s an outstanding platform which embodies the best in conservative principle. And it has the added benefit of being in pristine condition since nobody in Republican leadership has bothered to use it. It’s still in the shrink wrap. It’s time for somebody, somewhere, to pull it out and put it to work. Before it’s too late.