United States Republicans have made their bed with their nominee Donald Trump, and as the old cliché goes, now they have to lie in it. Unfortunately for the GOP, Trump now seems intent on setting the sheets on fire.
Have no doubt — Trump’s recent antics, such as calling for the jailing of his political rival and his vulgar and despicable language about women, to name but a very few, have all but cost him this election. With less than a month to go, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton is predicted to win comfortably with 342 electoral votes. It will not be a landslide victory, but the US presidential election is still shaping up to be a repudiation of the modern Republican Party.
The GOP has no one to blame but itself. This is no longer the party of Abraham Lincoln or Theodore Roosevelt. It is now the party of Richard Nixon and George W. Bush, boiled down to its component parts of nationalism, xenophobia, misogyny and religious zealotry. This new sub-party of the GOP was created in the 1950s and 1960s and has been increasingly attracting so-called “Alt Right” elements ever since. There is still a little of the original GOP left — that rational part of the party that espouses pro-business and state’s rights rhetoric. But Trump seems determined to destroy even that.
The impending loss seems to be too much for Trump, who rather than graciously accept the will of the electorate, is instead doubling down on negative, hateful language meant to inflame anti-establishment elements. It seems very clear that Trump and his supporters are already fomenting their political revenge, especially against those from the GOP who did not stand with him.
But many Republicans are also in open rebellion, with many of the party’s leadership renouncing Trump’s nomination just to save their own seats in Congress. While it is difficult to forecast, a Democrat-controlled Congress could be one of the few positives to come about from Trump’s hate-filled campaign.
How the Republicans handle the impending loss will be telling. Many foresee the party splitting, with traditional pro-business conservatives separating from the Alt Right, who themselves seem emboldened and validated by Trump’s campaign. That will be the true political legacy of the 2016 Republican Party: The re-establishment of a vicious, pro-white outfit, unhappy that they live in a country that would rather vote for women or minorities. It is a legacy likely to trouble the political landscape and the American populace for years to come.