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I love nursery rhymes; subversive as hell, each is a short, pointed, political statement masquerading as a scrap of silly, sing-song verse. And since history tends to repeat, we should not be surprised to find current events that map quite nicely to Mother Goose. For today’s example, consider the crack-up of the GOP in the context of “Humpty Dumpty.”
The GOP has, indeed, “sat on a wall.” And though some might go for the low-hanging fruit and claim that this “wall” is our southern border, I think that that’s too easy. I think of it as it was probably originally intended: The GOP was consistently faced with important decisions and consistently refused, for a variety of reasons — some cowardice, some intrigue — to take a side. And when those decisions had been made for it, the GOP shattered. And now, no one, especially not our self-proclaimed best and brightest, can reassemble it.
Let me make this point clear up front: Donald Trump did not shatter the GOP; the GOP did that themselves. As I have commented in a previous post, the shattering of the GOP is the direct result of twenty-eight years of a preference for globalism over liberty (led by the Bushes), at least thirteen years of Bush/GOPe Play-Nice-With-The-Brass-Knuckle-Marxists policy, and more than seven years of GOPe The-Base-Are-Always-Embarrassing-Reprobates-To-Be-Impugned-And-Ignored policy. Had these policies not been followed, Obama would have been impeached and members of his administration — if not Obama himself — would be in prison. Period. And despite recent protestations to the contrary, the GOP pursued neither of these actions (for the previously cited policy reasons) and now there is no longer any chance of them making it right. Through its cowardice and machinations, the GOP has irreversibly abused and lost our trust all on its own. The Trump campaign was merely the wind that blew the GOP off of its comfortable but precarious wall.
Let me also make this clear, because it is important to some: I am not “for” Trump, though I probably will (as things currently stand) vote for him. This is one of many valid positions with which people are identifying. However, the motivations for identifying with each of these positions differ, and this is where any possible reassembling of the GOP becomes difficult, if not impossible. Each motivation is a piece of shell, and each of these pieces is further divided on position.
The three main motivations, as I see them, are: Establishment, Constitutional, and Disaffected.
The three main positions, as I see them, are: #NeverTrump, Reluctant Trump, and Enthusiastic Trump. Further, the #NeverTrump position has three sub-positions: Abstaining, Voting Third Party, and Voting for Hillary.
Of the varying combinations, I will address a few in detail:
- Reluctant Trump – Constitutional: This is the first of two major positions/motivations to be found among conservatives in general — and here on Ricochet — and it’s the one I hold. I make no claim that this is the more popular of the two positions. A good (but hyperbolic) overview of it can be found in Kurt Schlichter’s recent column.
- #NeverTrump – Constitutional – Abstaining or Voting Third Party: This is the second of the two major positions/motivations. A good overview of it can be found in Jon Gabriel’s recent post. Although I do not (yet) belong to this group, I find no fault with their principled position.
- #NeverTrump – Establishment – Voting Third Party or Voting for Hillary: It is with this group that I personally place the blame for the GOP’s shattering. And the closer someone of this group is with DC, the greater his culpability. If it were up to me to cobble together something new of the remaining shattered pieces of the GOP, I’d leave these pieces out.
- Enthusiastic Trump – Disaffected: These are the legions of Americans who have not, until recently, followed politics closely. All they know is that something is deeply wrong. Just read the comment section of any political article on the Internet and consider how much more frustrated content there is as opposed to even ten years ago. These people see one party that is openly “all in” on destroying this country. They see the other party as pooh-poohing them as reprobates and rubes for thinking so. They are frightened to their bones at what they see occurring, and — being political novices who lack a political rubric to examine our present situation — they don’t necessarily grasp that they are making Ayn Rand’s false choice of taking poison for antidote after being fed poison for food. Some have gone for Trump, some have gone for Sanders, but all have gone enthusiastically because they have nowhere else to go.
Now, whose fault was that?
(Your further examination of these combinations is welcome.)