Sometimes I have to chuckle at the Conservative Industrial Complex (see George Will, Erich Erickson) when they are shocked and appalled that Donald Trump and his followers have seized control of the Republican Party. This divorce has been a long time in the making and the GOP establishment has failed to see the divide in their own house and address it in a concrete way before it made them irrelevant.
The establishment GOP in Washington looks at these people in the same way that Hillary Clinton does with her now infamous “Basket Full of Deplorables” comment. Remember it was former House GOP Speaker John Boehner, way before Clinton’s hysterical comment who started the name calling of these folks by portraying this movement and its devotees as “false prophets”.
The elites in the Republican Party are going the way of the Dodo bird because they fail to realize the power of these “Deplorables” and “False Prophets”. Richard Nixon famously courted this block by referring to them and their concerns as the “Silent Majority”, Reagan a fellow traveller of these voters spoke to their aspirations and thus they became labeled the “Reagan Coalition”.
But, John Boehner, Eric Cantor, George Will and the power structure of the party think they are obstacles of them becoming popular with the New York Times and Acela Corridor crowd hence the disdain and vitriol towards them.
However, the elites of both parties should beware because these “deplorables” could sway the outcome in 2016. Sean Trende, author of “The Lost Majority”, theorized soon after the 2012 election that Mitt Romney left millions of white disaffected voters on the table because he failed to resonate with them because of his lack of middle class, blue collar appeal.
Let me take it a bit further, in my opinion this theory of missing voters also encompasses the “false prophets” and “deplorables”. Romney was and is an extension of the Washington elite who disdain the very base of its party and the conservative loyalists and independents that lean that way.
In January of this year, Gallup published a survey showing self- identified conservatives as still being the majority in the United States. If you have a political party that in theory represents that block calling it names and not caring about its issues, how does it expect to prevail in elections?
Enter Donald Trump, whose anti-establishment rhetoric resonated in the GOP primaries. During the primaries, these same GOP kingmakers scoffed that religious conservatives would derail a Trump nomination. Wrong. In fact religious conservatives are just as leery of the GOP establishment because of its recent failure to defund Planned Parenthood after shocking videos surfaced that showed it selling body parts of aborted babies.
This failure along with the long line of Supreme Court nominees from Republican presidents who “evolved” into voting for the continuation of abortion on demand and same sex marriage brought together this juggernaut that routed establishment candidates like Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and Chris Christie because they saw them as more of the same.
The same crowds that showed up at the early rallies of the Tea Party movement in 2008 are the same people that pack sports stadiums, convention centers and gymnasiums around the country for Trump.
The more the media (such as Lester Holt at the first debate) and the Republican establishment continue their full frontal attacks on these voters, the more this group will be mobilized on a grass roots level to take over the party and our beloved country.
The “Deplorables” see this as their last chance to take back their country whether it’s those who care about never ending foreign entanglements, staggering government corruption, spiraling deficits or the loss of the Supreme Court to the progressives in which the culture war will be lost forever in this great Republic. A politician once said “it takes a village to raise a child”, maybe it takes a “basket full of deplorables” to save a party and country.