It’s going to proceed to be the primary GOP precedence, no matter how lengthy Trump holds sway over the social gathering.
Politico is main as we speak with a narrative on the Republican Social gathering’s fast descent into a corporation with no actual insurance policies or concepts. It’s a pattern that even many conservatives have been noting with alarm for years, one which predated Trump’s ascent to the 2016 nomination however accelerated as Trump’s cult of persona started to dominate the GOP. It’s now reaching its zenith within the GOP’s punitive obsession with new voter suppression legal guidelines to repair a “voter fraud” drawback that doesn’t exist besides in conservative conspiracy theories.
The proximate explanation for the shift to this “coverage wasteland” is meant to be Trump’s typically heterodox, extra typically carelessly oblivious method to governance, mixed with a combative, oppositional method to politics. The Republican Social gathering didn’t even trouble to craft a platform at its 2020 conference, functionally subjugating the group’s mental cortex to Trump’s impulsive amygdala. The GOP base remains to be reeling from and infrequently refuses to just accept Trump’s defeat, resulting in each the January sixth rebel try on the Capitol in addition to a rash of new Jim Crow voting legal guidelines.
However the Republican Social gathering’s abdication of coverage as its raison d’etre will not be actually about Trump. Trump is fairly a symptom of the issue, not the illness. Two developments converged to convey the Republican Social gathering to its present state.
First, the free market, anti-government home coverage platform mixed with the aggressively hawkish overseas coverage agenda that had been the GOP’s ideological core since Reagan has been a disastrous failure going again many years, and has no solutions for the crises that beset trendy America. Laissez-faire, anti-union financial coverage has decimated the center class, widening the gulf between the few on the high and the various on the backside. The wage stagnation disaster was papered over for a time rising actual property and different asset costs, however these solely served to learn the generations that purchased in on the bottom ground.
A long time of free-market coverage designed to spice up belongings whereas lowering wages has hollowed out the economic system whereas creating an acute disaster for Individuals underneath 40, who’re so determined and disenchanted with the depressing prospects conservative coverage has left them that they strongly want socialism over capitalism. Fashionable conservative coverage has no solutions in any respect for rising healthcare, training and housing prices. And local weather change presents simply as nice a risk to Republican market orthodoxy because it does to the ecosystem itself: the market merely can not organically react to local weather change in time to keep away from disastrous tipping factors from emissions. Proactive regulation is a needed situation for stopping local weather change, which is why Republicans can not create coverage options round it. They need to faux it doesn’t exist or doesn’t matter.
In the meantime, in fact, Bush-era neoconservative navy forays into the Center East had been such catastrophic disasters that Trump’s GOP now repudiates them. Nor are trendy challenges like China, North Korea or Russia amenable both to paleoconservative isolationism or Cheney-style swashbuckling. The GOP merely has no solutions for any of our present coverage challenges, overseas or home. It might want an ideological overhaul to place related concepts on the desk.
However second and extra importantly, the Republican Social gathering has more and more grow to be the social gathering of white Christian Id. A lot as conservatives like to rail towards supposed “id politics” on the left, it’s the Republican Social gathering that’s (regardless of Trump’s minor features amongst non-whites in 2020) virtually uniformly devoted to white and evangelical Christian id. It is usually principally male as effectively.
Being a celebration devoted to white supremacy, Bible-thumping prejudice and misogyny doesn’t simply make it a morally and socially hazardous poisonous dump web site for the worst impulses in American tradition. It doesn’t simply put the social gathering on a collision course with demographic doom as America turns into invariably much less white and fewer evangelical over time. It additionally makes for a barren coverage cabinet.
U.S. coverage, from its voting programs to its zoning legal guidelines, from its jail programs to its tax legal guidelines, is already set as much as reify circumstances of structural racism and misogyny. Lots of the minor makes an attempt to handle these structural inequalities, from the Voting Rights Act to affirmative motion to Nice Society welfare insurance policies, had been repealed within the Reagan-Clinton period backlash. Any makes an attempt to additional profit whites on the expense of non-whites, Christians on the expense on non-Christians, and cis males on the expense of different identities, would virtually definitely be unconstitutional. They’d additionally repulse nearly all of voters.
Furthermore, the identical forces that free market conservatives unleashed on Individuals with notably dangerous impacts on non-whites comparable to harsh jail sentences, woeful drug legal guidelines and slashing protections for blue-collar staff, at the moment are having devastating impacts on white communities as effectively. The identical progressive insurance policies that the left has championed for years now are additionally one of the best tickets for serving to the struggling white working class. It’s turning into tougher for the social gathering of patriarchy to champion crude Social Darwinist meritocracy when girls far outnumber males going to school. However many years of propaganda towards these insurance policies have left the GOP listless and unable to transform its coverage agenda, past the occasional lurching motion on medication or jail reform.
For this reason the one actual coverage improvements on the Proper over the past decade have been on immigration–the one area the place conservatives might theoretically Make America White Once more. Of all the workers on the White Home, Stephen Miller was most likely the closest to having an actual coverage agenda. However, in fact, that agenda was notably monstrous, merciless and unpopular–a betrayal of the open id of America and an affront to widespread decency. Trump’s immigration agenda was such a horror present that it was virtually sidelined for all the 2020 election marketing campaign.
So all conservatives have left is a spent, ineffective and discredited coverage platform incapable of addressing trendy issues, and a White Christian Id base that can’t legitimately, morally or Constitutionally set up coverage to perpetuate its energy.
All they’ve left is opposition, voter suppression and judges. Don’t do something about crises–but additionally don’t let anybody else do something about them, both. Don’t say the racism too loud (although that’s altering quick), but additionally make sure that nobody else will get to vote or have any energy. Don’t move any legal guidelines, however simply let some extremist Federalist Society judges cease anybody else from passing any legal guidelines, both.
This dynamic will not be going to vary anytime quickly, no matter how lengthy Trump holds sway over the social gathering.