Must-Read: I am not sure Matt O'Brien's political science-cultural studies diagnosis of the Trump phenomenon--and the potential division of the Republican Party into Trumpublicans and Rumpublicans--is correct. But it is very well written and well argued. And it is certainly worth considering as a possible guide to understanding.
And it raises possibilities. In O'Brien's visualization of the Cosmic All, the established GOP elites are opposed to equitable growth--inequitable growth is what they are after. It is not so clear in his visualization of the Cosmic All that Trumpublicans are opposed to equitable growth. So perhaps there are enhanced possibilities for bipartisan or non-partisan cooperation opening up now:
Trumpublicans and Rumpublicans: "The GOP was tied together by two ideas: nationalism & conservatism...:
...Elites used the first to achieve the second. That was “What’s the matter with Kansas”. The GOP base would vote against their economic self-interests for cultural reasons. That was great for the GOP elite while it lasted. But then the George W. Bush administration happened. The GOP elite failed in every conceivable way: Iraq, Katrina, the financial crisis. Not to mention that trickle down didn’t trickle down.
Once they lost power, the GOP elites tried to block Obama by playing up nationalism but convinced themselves it was about conservatism. The Tea Party was supposed to be limited spending! First principles! But it was also about birtherism and death panels and other lies. The Tea Party was really the idea that Obama was taking from people who deserved help—working class whites—& giving to the undeserving.
Now the GOP elites are finding out that more of their voters prefer nationalism to conservatism—and it’s ugly. GOP nationalism is about taking care of the white working class—protecting Social Security, Medicare, and vets—and about hating others. That means hating blacks, gays, Hispanics, Muslims—all of them. And the GOP elite has no one to blame but themselves.
The GOP elite has told their voters to hate these people just as long as it was in the service of tax cuts for the rich. But most GOP voters don’t care about tax cuts for the rich. They just care about nationalism. And that’s what Trump is giving them. So the GOP elite is shocked, shocked at how ugly the base is now that that hate isn’t being used to cut taxes for the rich.
That hate is also being directed at the GOP elite now. All kinds of anti-Semites and white nationalists are coming out of the woodwork. The lesson is don’t stoke hate for electoral advantage. Don’t cower before it either. GOP elites have done both.
Bottom line: Conservatism has failed most GOP voters, so they’d rather try nationalism. It was what they liked most anyways. Healthy political parties aren’t so easily—or at all!—hijacked by racist billionaires. Republicans should think about why this is happening.