Are GOP Voters Committing Mass Suicide at His Rallies? Why?
After the 2012 election, the Republican National Committee commissioned its heralded “autopsy,” which concluded that the GOP must expand its appeal to young and nonwhite voters. Instead, Trump pursued the polar-opposite strategy: maximizing support among older and non-college-educated white people by presenting those growing constituencies as a threat. A Trump defeat might well prompt Republicans to exhume the autopsy. But if more of the GOP’s white-collar voters abandon the party next week, as seems virtually certain, there may not be much of an electoral foundation for such a reconsideration.
The reason: If racial and cultural moderates abandon the GOP, the voters left in the party will tilt even further toward Trump’s message of racial and cultural resentment. “The Republican Party is going to continue to shrink and become more monolithic and less relevant and more regionalized,” Madrid, the Lincoln Project co-founder, told me. “They believe they are the last stand for America and [that] America is the white Christian nation. They believe they are what America is. And that kind of identity gets stronger as it loses—it becomes more self-righteous as it loses.”
The alternative is the 1850s scenario. On that path, the Republican coalition remains centered on culturally conservative white Americans who grow more embittered and radical as evidence mounts that they cannot stop the emerging majority from instituting its agenda. If this many non-college-educated and Christian white voters are receptive to a Trump-style racial-identity message when they constitute a little over 40 percent of the population, there’s little reason to believe fewer of them will respond to it when they fall to 38 or 36 percent as the decade proceeds. Already, research by the Vanderbilt University political scientist Larry Bartels has found that a stunningly high percentage of Republican voters express sympathy for an array of antidemocratic sentiments, such as the half who agreed that the “traditional American way of life is disappearing so fast that we may have to use force to save it.”
There’s something deep happening in rural White America. All the things they most fear are happening, mostly of their own doing. The corridors of power are now open to black/brown people, women, gays, intellectuals.
The GOP has desperately fought this off for 40 years, since Reagan made his devil’s bargain between the evil rich and the batshit-crazy evangelicals. But the lies and diversions have run headlong into pandemic reality, and the hollow core of nihilism & greed that has REALLY animated the GOP since the “Greed Decade” has been exposed.
Will Trump’s supporters carry through on their declarations of “civil war” and take to the streets to murder anyone they deem insufficiently enthusiastic about Ruler-For-Life Trump?
My take: nah. Lots of big talk. But like the “Million Bikers Rally For Freedom” or whatever ginned-up demonstration these dimwits come up with, the promise far exceeds the delivery.
More likely, as America moves on and leaves them behind, they’ll continue drinking & drugging themselves to death.