Wednesday, March 2, 2016
WHY WILL THE REPUBLICAN PARTY SELF-DESTRUCT?
Why will Trump get the GOP nomination and probably split up the Republican Party? The GOP can thank itself. It has been the party of demagogues, racists, know-nothings, and selfish corporate interests. Arguably its downfall began with Joe McCarthy, Trump’s soul mate.
As Peter Beinart has pointed out, “McCarthy’s opportunistic demagoguery was indulged by Republican Party leaders, until he turned his sights on the military.” The GOP too coddled Trump initially. McCarthy, like Trump, pandered to the fears of Americans – in his case of the communist menace during the period of the red scare. Of course Trump panders to the fears of Muslims and Mexican rapists. Another GOP panderer was Richard Nixon.
With the aid of Harry Dent and South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond, who had switched to the Republican Party in 1964, Richard Nixon ran his 1968 campaign on states' rights and "law and order." These positions symbolized racist southern resistance to civil rights Southern whites; this tactic was described in 2007 by David Greenberg as "dog-whistle politics.
In 1980, another racist panderer, Ronald Reagan, began his campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi, a town notorious for the murder of three civil rights workers in the 1960s. Standing beside a known segregationist, Reagan stressed his belief in “states’ rights,” code for the obstruction of black advances.
Turning to the question of selfish corporate interests, since the time of Reagan Republicans (read establishment country club GOP) have dedicated themselves to slashing taxes for the wealthy. In 1997, the average annual income of the 400 richest Americans has more than tripled, to $345 million – while their share of the tax burden has plunged by 40 percent.
So, onto the scene comes The Donald. The stage has been set for him by a political party of racist panderers and demagogues and stooges of the rich. (It should also be mentioned here that the establishment GOP, as George Will has pointed out ". . . are afraid of Rush Limbaugh. These and other right-wing demagogic know-nothings (hello Fox News) have set the table for the neo-fascist Trump, in part, by GOP establishment silence.)
Finally, the interests of right-wing Republican Trump populists and mainstream establishment conservatives cannot be reconciled. Uneducated working class whites have wised up to the fact that the GOP establishment is there to meet the demands of the rich and that it has no interest in their well being. Trump is pandering to their anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim hatred and their anti-science ignorance often based on their medieval religious views. The coalition put together by Nixon – Southern working class racists and country club/rich is unraveling because a GOP/Frankenstein created racist know-nothing demagogue will smash it to pieces.