Resolved: The Party Split Has Nothing to Do With Trump

 

The Republican Party was split long before Trump came along. I recall talking with one Joe Hoffman about when the Republican Civil War would begin. I think I said 2006 if W was not reelected, and 2010 if he was. If that’s not exactly what I said, it’s mi-i-ighty close.

The Republican Party is still split. Trump may or may not be gone.

There were people here on Ricochet (no longer present) in the run-up to Trump’s (magnificent, stupendous, yuuge) election who practically screamed about how the world’s economy was guaranteed to collapse if Trump should be elected, that the wars would bring about unspeakable horror anew, that all of our allies would oppose and might possibly invade us to ensure law and order, and all sort of unhinged apocalyptic nonsense. We were all stupid or evil, with (for a time) regular denunciations of the Trump right as various forms of midcentury German and Italian political systems. Notice that now those people are strongly aligned with the left, with admittedly globalist causes, and at best subscribing only to twee niche, ghostly nametag conservatism.

There’s a reason for that. The divide is older than Trump, and in fact has nothing to do with him.

I’m not running from my Trumpism. I’ll stand on that ground anytime. At the same time, I hold that the (I guess we still have this term) “NeverTrump” sorts are so focused on Trump the man because that means they don’t have to engage on the actual split. [EDIT: To them, I am] not a limited government conservative who remembers the serial betrayals of 2008 spending levels, sequestration, the supercommittee, Obamacare, never-ending Gang of Eightism, about-face on nominee loyalty pledges, and all the more recent stuff. Nope. I can simply be dismissed as a Trumpkin. Pathologizing the opposition is easily half of what modern politics is about. It’s as old as any form of dehumanization prior to slaughter. Thankfully, all we spill here is ink — but the human reflex is nothing new. The other is unclean. My side does it too: “TDS.” [EDIT: And I certainly (famously!) used epithets about collaborationist French and Norwegians to drive my point home back in the day.]

(You won’t hurt my feelings calling me a Trumpkin. Certainly nobody has recently. I haven’t even seen the word here recently except in my own usage. I rather like the word, and I use it here simply as shorthand for a whole complex of dismissive name-calling.)

“Trump” is big-party GOP’s preferred pronoun for “issues.”


This is not a carp about Ricochet. To address that directly, the site no longer features contributors or editors who engage in “that sort of thing,” or another sort of more contentious problem — some other time, perhaps, for that one. Complain if you like, but the place is much better for a number of reasons. As Mark Camp points out, perhaps it was my absence that really helped. Seriously, you can tell that the place is simply better run than it was. I bring up the former crowd simply to point out it seems to have gravitated to a far less conservative crowd after assailing the conservatism of those who were fed up with the GOP for its lack of conservatism. Please don’t bring up old names of the departed. We all know the syndrome.

Any person (ahem!) who wishes may certainly run this post into the ground with anti-Trump comments and so forth. Those would be quite on-topic here, so no hurt feeling flags on comments in this thread, okay?

To recap: Resolved: The party was split long before Trump and will remain split if it survives, well past Trump. The split has very little to do with Trump.

I’m FOR the proposition. I’ll put two comments in for voting. Then let the food fight begin. Again, no flags unless somebody is just cruising for it — regardless of side.

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  1. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    LIKE here to vote FOR the proposition:

    Resolved: The party was split long before Trump, and will remain split if it survives, well past Trump.  The split has very little to do with Trump.

    • #1
  2. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    LIKE here to vote AGAINST the proposition:

    Resolved: The party was split long before Trump, and will remain split if it survives, well past Trump.  The split has very little to do with Trump.

    • #2
  3. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Note: I cannot LIKE my own comment, so please mentally add 1 to the tally for the first comment.

    [EDIT: Gary has graciously voted on both sides, to account for my otherwise missing FOR vote in addition to his own AGAINST.  Thank you sir.]

    • #3
  4. Buckpasser Member
    Buckpasser
    @Buckpasser

    The split is why we got Trump.  The only people who don’t recognize this are democrats and Never Trumpers.  But I repeat myself.

    • #4
  5. Victor Tango Kilo Member
    Victor Tango Kilo
    @VtheK

    A lot of this split is the result of two decades of the Republican Party marketing itself as a conservative party, using conservative rhetoric in election years (“Fiscal Responsibility.” “Smaller Government” “Secure the Border” “Support Small Businesses.”) and then governing with the exact opposite policies. 

    The Republican Establishment (Bush-Republicans) knew they were lying, that they were using “Conservatism” as a marketing gimmick.  Eventually, the Conservative base caught on. Instead of the Establishment’s faux-conservative candidates Jeb or Rubio, they had the nerve, the very nerve, to nominate an outsider, ‘Trump.’ To a base that had been lied to so often, and so readily, the only way to actually get the policies they wanted was to elect an outsider. The Party Leadership was furious that the base was not toeing the line. Worse, Trump won and began doing most of the things they claimed to support but didn’t really; most especially, cutting back on mass immigration. 

    The split is essentially between a base that really wants limited Government, secure borders, fiscal restraint, and all that and an Establishment Leadership that doesn’t really want any of that. 

    • #5
  6. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Buckpasser (View Comment):

    The split is why we got Trump. The only people who don’t recognize this are democrats and Never Trumpers. But I repeat myself.

    Exactly.  They want to argue about Trump the man.  For us, it was never about Trump the man.  I recall the comments about ‘Trump followers” and “Your Leader says”.  I never followed him anywhere, and he’s not my leader.  Millions of my friends and I elected him twice to do a job, and the second time, the establishment Republicrats decided they liked their cozy system more than they would serve the Constitution.

    I suppose there would be no point in putting up a post “Resolved: Trump won”, as that has kinda been discussed um a lot ever since.

    • #6
  7. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Victor Tango Kilo (View Comment):

    A lot of this split is the result of two decades of the Republican Party marketing itself as a conservative party, using conservative rhetoric in election years (“Fiscal Responsibility.” “Smaller Government” “Secure the Border” “Support Small Businesses.”) and then governing with the exact opposite policies.

    The Republican Establishment (Bush-Republicans) knew they were lying, that they were using “Conservatism” as a marketing gimmick. Eventually, the Conservative base caught on. Instead of the Establishment’s faux-conservative candidates Jeb or Rubio, they had the nerve, the very nerve, to nominate an outsider, ‘Trump.’ To a base that had been lied to so often, and so readily, the only way to actually get the policies they wanted was to elect an outsider. The Party Leadership was furious that the base was not toeing the line. Worse, Trump won and began doing most of the things they claimed to support but didn’t really; most especially, cutting back on mass immigration.

    The split is essentially between a base that really wants limited Government, secure borders, fiscal restraint, and all that and an Establishment Leadership that doesn’t really want any of that.

    I regret that I have but one like to give.

    • #7
  8. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Many think I am a Trump fan and a Trumpster.  Truth is I do not like Trump.  Never have.  I did not join the Trump’s team.  Trump indicated he was on my team.  So I will support him as long as he is on my side. 

    For the record I was a Democrat until they indicated they were no longer on my side.  I have no problem with doing the same with the Republicans… 

    • #8
  9. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):
    Many think I am a Trump fan and a Trumpster.  Truth is I do not like Trump.  Never have.

    I remember disagreeing with you back in the day.  I will defend your honor, sir!  No Trumpkin you.

    • #9
  10. Ed G. Member
    Ed G.
    @EdG

    BDB (View Comment):

    Buckpasser (View Comment):

    The split is why we got Trump. The only people who don’t recognize this are democrats and Never Trumpers. But I repeat myself.

    Exactly. They want to argue about Trump the man. For us, it was never about Trump the man. I recall the comments about ‘Trump followers” and “Your Leader says”. I never followed him anywhere, and he’s not my leader. ….

    Agreed. At first those kinds of comments angered me; I also had to take a break back in 2015. Then eventually I realized it was all just projection and propaganda. What angered me then was how much of this projection and propaganda was coming from “my side”. I knew there was a break, but I admit that I didn’t have any idea how deep it ran and how fake so many had been.

    I will say, though, that I came to like President Trump in a way I didn’t when he started his campaign and when I first started as a Walker/Jindal man occasionally wading in to comments to defend Trump. Defense became support. Support became appreciation. And that’s it! No cult, no blind obedience, no disregard of norms or principles.

    • #10
  11. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    BDB: wasily

    That’s a new one on me.  :-)

    Also “hew.”

    • #11
  12. JoelB Member
    JoelB
    @JoelB

    Goldwater/Rockefeller is as far back as I can remember. Goldwater was painted as a crazy, much as Trump was. It probably goes even further back. It’s just beyond my personal experience. You are correct, BDB.

    • #12
  13. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    The Trump iconography bothers me a bit.  Trump in shining armor, Trump riding a T-Rex, Trump crossing the Delaware, Trump as Rambo, Trump wearing a yellow vest.  But this is because, What other option have we got?  Trump attempted more than any other president since Washington and Lincoln and maybe Jackson and Kennedy.

    • #13
  14. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Flicker (View Comment):

    The Trump iconography bothers me a bit. Trump in shining armor, Trump riding a T-Rex, Trump crossing the Delaware, Trump as Rambo, Trump wearing a yellow vest. But this is because, What other option have we got? Trump attempted more than any other president since Washington and Lincoln and maybe Jackson and Kennedy.

    It always seemed to me that stuff was just to “trigger” the other side.

    • #14
  15. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    kedavis (View Comment):

    BDB: wasily

    That’s a new one on me. :-)

    Also “hew.”

    Thank hew!

    • #15
  16. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    kedavis (View Comment):

    BDB: wasily

    That’s a new one on me. :-)

    Also “hew.”

    I tried reading it like it belonged. It took me way longer than is intelligent to figure out it was “easily”.

    • #16
  17. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Flicker (View Comment):

    The Trump iconography bothers me a bit. Trump in shining armor, Trump riding a T-Rex, Trump crossing the Delaware, Trump as Rambo, Trump wearing a yellow vest. But this is because, What other option have we got? Trump attempted more than any other president since Washington and Lincoln and maybe Jackson and Kennedy.

    Don’t mind my cleaning mat.

    • #17
  18. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    The Trump iconography bothers me a bit. Trump in shining armor, Trump riding a T-Rex, Trump crossing the Delaware, Trump as Rambo, Trump wearing a yellow vest. But this is because, What other option have we got? Trump attempted more than any other president since Washington and Lincoln and maybe Jackson and Kennedy.

    It always seemed to me that stuff was just to “trigger” the other side.

    That was my opinion, as well. It’s in good fun. I think the triggering was a bonus.

    • #18
  19. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    As to the question, I agree that the split is longstanding.  But it has not threatened to have electoral effects until recently.  Bush was elected twice and Romney came darn close.  Then Trump in ‘16 despite the caterwauling.  Next time it could well be different because a large segment of the party won’t “settle” for a Bush or Romney, and will stay home.  That’s a split that really matters.

    • #19
  20. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    The Trump iconography bothers me a bit. Trump in shining armor, Trump riding a T-Rex, Trump crossing the Delaware, Trump as Rambo, Trump wearing a yellow vest. But this is because, What other option have we got? Trump attempted more than any other president since Washington and Lincoln and maybe Jackson and Kennedy.

    It always seemed to me that stuff was just to “trigger” the other side.

    It’s kind of everywhere — we’re just better at it.  Trump is for people who know that things will never be the way they were.  But they’ll be *something*.  Also, plenty of meme-lords are still up on Ronaldus Magnus:

    In my administration, I’ll appoint this artist Stuffposter-General.

    • #20
  21. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    Angelo M. Codevilla: Does America Have a Ruling Class?

    • #21
  22. Ed G. Member
    Ed G.
    @EdG

    Flicker (View Comment):

    The Trump iconography bothers me a bit. Trump in shining armor, Trump riding a T-Rex, Trump crossing the Delaware, Trump as Rambo, Trump wearing a yellow vest. But this is because, What other option have we got? Trump attempted more than any other president since Washington and Lincoln and maybe Jackson and Kennedy.

    There was a time not long ago when it would have bothered me too. I really would prefer the utopia where all persuasion is evidence and logic based with no need for appeals to emotion or identity, where our gatekeepers keep out smears, gaslighting, incivility, etc. Utopia is no place, though, and besides I don’t really view it as serious iconography, it’s just memes which is how the world works at the moment; although it’s not satire or ironic either. I’m not sure there’s been a good word invented for it yet. Perhaps “serious but not literal”. Finally, it’s just fun. There’s simply no way I could ever seriously idolize someone who’s been subject to (friendly) memes like this and a hundred other ways:

     

    • #22
  23. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    As to the question, I agree that the split is longstanding. But it has not threatened to have electoral effects until recently. Bush was elected twice and Romney came darn close. Then Trump in ‘16 despite the caterwauling. Next time it could well be different because a large segment of the party won’t “settle” for a Bush or Romney, and will stay home. That’s a split that really matters.

    The way I see it, it just did have huge electoral effects.  The Ryancrats warred against the administration, torpedoing the first two years, and losing the House.  Republicans helped throw this election to Democrats.  Schmuck Senators voted to impeach rather than uphold the Constitution.

    It takes a lot to pull off a coup.  Top cover from “opposition” would go a long way.  I think that’s what happened.  We saw it all over the media, and I won’t presume that this perfidy stopped at the media’s edge.

    So I think you’re correct.  More correct than you thought.

    • #23
  24. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Stina (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    BDB: wasily

    That’s a new one on me. :-)

    Also “hew.”

    I tried reading it like it belonged. It took me way longer than is intelligent to figure out it was “easily”.

    Well, there was a chance he was referring to something wascally, but not much of one.  :-)

    • #24
  25. Gary Robbins Reagan
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    It appears that I am rather lonely in my viewpoint that it is Trump himself and not his policies.  But here is a great way you can call me on my position.  Just nominate anyone but Trump, and watch me support him.  It really is about Donald John Trump, the person, and not his policies.  

    I have issues with some of Trump’s positions.  I have many more issues with Biden’s polices.  But the dividing line is Donald John Trump himself, for a variety of reasons, but need not be repeated here.

    • #25
  26. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    The revelatory thing was that for years we were instructed that we had to vote for the milquetoast candidates because it was a binary choice, and the only other choice was the lefty Democrats. So we faithfully pulled the lever for the Republican, even if they were a little squishy. Because we knew that it was a binary choice.

    But when Trump was the candidate, those squishly people who insisted it was a binary choice and we conservatives had nowhere else to go but the GOP . . . well, suddenly they started endorsing the Democrats.

    Which is to say, the rank and file Republican voters were required to vote for the Republican candidates the establishment gave us, but the establishment felt no duty to support the Republican candidate that the rank and file chose. They turned on their own party’s candidate. Such back-stabbery must be answered.

    • #26
  27. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    It appears that I am rather lonely in my viewpoint that it is Trump himself and not his policies. But here is a great way you can call me on my position. Just nominate anyone but Trump, and watch me support him. It really is about Donald John Trump, the person, and not his policies.

    I have issues with some of Trump’s positions. I have many more issues with Biden’s polices. But the dividing line is Donald John Trump himself, for a variety of reasons, but need not be repeated here.

    You have been consistent in this throughout, ignoring the primacy of policy over personality in governing a country.  We live daily under policies; personality can be ignored.

    • #27
  28. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    It appears that I am rather lonely in my viewpoint that it is Trump himself and not his policies. But here is a great way you can call me on my position. Just nominate anyone but Trump, and watch me support him. It really is about Donald John Trump, the person, and not his policies.

    I have issues with some of Trump’s positions. I have many more issues with Biden’s polices. But the dividing line is Donald John Trump himself, for a variety of reasons, but need not be repeated here.

    Fact check:  False.

    You have also said that you would not support or vote for anyone you found to be “Trumpy,” not just Trump himself.

    • #28
  29. DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) Coolidge
    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!)
    @DonG

    The fault line began in 2002, when Bush43 said that anyone opposed to his war of choice was not a patriot.   It continues today with the evil spawn of Cheney.

    • #29
  30. Ed G. Member
    Ed G.
    @EdG

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    It appears that I am rather lonely in my viewpoint that it is Trump himself and not his policies. But here is a great way you can call me on my position. Just nominate anyone but Trump, and watch me support him. It really is about Donald John Trump, the person, and not his policies.

    I have issues with some of Trump’s positions. I have many more issues with Biden’s polices. But the dividing line is Donald John Trump himself, for a variety of reasons, but need not be repeated here.

    You have been consistent in this throughout, ignoring the primacy of policy over personality in governing a country. We live daily under policies; personality can be ignored.

    He also ignores the fact that Joe Biden (or Hillary) have much larger personality and moral deficiencies on top of the policy deficiencies. No matter how you look at it it simply doesn’t make sense. Extrapolate from there as you will.

    • #30