- Politics and Social Issues
What Happened to Conservatism?
What the fuck happened to conservatism?
Sure, it hasn't been successful the past two elections, but how did we get to the point of just blowing the whole thing up?
Well, dear readers, it starts most recently with the Tea Party movement in 2010. Obama had won the Presidency two years prior and the midterms were coming up. For those uninitiated, the midterms always favor Republicans since older people are far more likely to vote in the off year elections than the reliable Democratic demographics.
Another failed moderate and more failed promises from their elected officials. So, the voters responded in one of the only ways they have: voting. In 2010, there was a huge wave of electoral angst that unseated many moderate Republicans, in favor of hardliners who had no prior governmental experience. This was the first step the people took to overthrow their moderate overlords, as they saw it.
What ensued was chaos. Now every time a Republican had the choice between moving toward the center, or tacking to the right, they chose the right. Otherwise, they'd very likely get a primary challenge in the next election, against someone who was deemed more "conservative" than they were. Compromise was out. The politics of bipartisanship was out. This was a test for how our democracy would continue.
Fast forward 6 years and it's only gotten worse. Donald J. Trump is now the nominee of the Republican party. It's the ultimate showing of the regular man unseating the powers that be in the Republican party. But by doing this, they have nominated someone so unfit for the presidency, and so dangerous, it could very well have ramifications for the Republican party for generations.
Long gone are the days where the two parties didn't hate each other in Washington. Sure, they disagreed, but in times of hardship and strife, they would band together and put country before party. This is no longer the case.
George W. Bush, John McCain, and Mitt Romney are the previous 3 Republican nominees. George W. was the only one to be successful. And after each election, the vocal minority would cry "if only our nominee was MORE conservative, we would have won!" This has finally come to fruition. All these men had the experience needed to be President. We could all disagree with them on policy, but they were at least rational, intelligent men.
The Republican Party has two choices following the election. Assuming Trump loses, they can either right the wrongs that led to him being nominated. Or, two, continue their spiral towards irrelevance. Increasingly, they have become the party of racists, homophobes, and sexists. Surely, most in the party are not that, but it says something when their verbiage attracts such people. There's a reason David Duke, former leader of the KKK, supports Trump.
There is a general feeling among the middle class, white male voters that their way of life is disappearing. Trump speaks perfectly to this. But, it's also dangerous. It's what leads to mobs and violence. He's stoking fear and paranoia.
But, there are two paths. I surely hope the Republicans choose to codify what their party stands for and how they plan to stay relevant despite their increasingly difficult chances electorally each Presidential election.
Should the nominee in 2020 be more conservative or more moderate?
Please tell me your thoughts in the comments. Let's keep it civilized, though. All comments that don't add to the discussion in a thoughtful way will not be approved by me.
Thank you for your cooperation!