After the 2010 election, I mentioned to someone that I was probably done with voting, at least in national elections. The reason was that voting had ceased to mean much to me, other than as a ritual. I know men who continue to go to mass for the same reason, even though they are no longer believers. In 2012 I got in line to vote, but standing there for a while, I realized I was wasting my time, so I skipped and went home. On the issues that mattered to me, Romney and Obama were the same guy.
It was an oddly liberating thing. I had voted in every election in which I was eligible up until that point. I considered it my patriotic duty, even though the options were rarely worth the effort. In most cases, I did the old Buckley thing and voted for the most rightward viable candidate on the ballot. That generally meant the Republican. As a result, I found myself rooting for the GOP, simply because they were not as awful as the Democrats. I never appreciated how much that sucked until I skipped voting in 2012. That was a good day.
The thing is, we’re all men of our age, which means our opinions and inclinations are, to a great degree, formed by the prevailing opinions of our age. Just as Progressives control our moral framework, the two parties control our political framework. All of us are forced to pick sides, red or blue, and hoot for or against one of them. Consequently, conservatives have invested in the GOP, despite the fact the Republicans never do what they say they will do, even when they have large working majorities, like in the Bush years.
This inability or unwillingness of voters to walk away from this paradigm is how we ended up with Trump. It is, to a lesser extent, what kept a laughable squirrel like Bernie Sanders in the Democrat primary. Within the very narrow construct of the post-Cold War political framework, Sanders and Trump were the only way to send the message. That’s promising, but it also means that people, particularly people on our side, are unwilling to walk away from the game, at least just yet. They still have hope.
Strangely, this may be setting up the Republicans for collapse. They are no doubt looking at those special elections and thinking that Trump’s antics are not hurting them. You just know that is how they are reading those results. Then there is the health care debacle, which they think they can blame on Trump. The GOP is acting like they have the voters boxed in so they can disrupt and oppose Trump’s agenda. So much so that Senator Caitlyn Graham is out promising to sink the Trump immigration proposal.
This is rather incredible, given where the voters are on immigration. Graham is not just opposing this bill. He wants to flood the country with foreigners. There’s no constituency for open borders. In fact, 60% of voters would shut down all immigration, not just the illegal immigration. That remaining 40% is probably distributed between those who favor greater enforcement and those who support limits, but not a shut off. You just don’t see numbers like that on any issue, yet this is not registering with the Republicans.
In fairness to the GOP, their model has worked for a long time. Going back to 1994, they have controlled Congress for all but four years. They blame that short interlude on the Iraq war and Bush. Otherwise, their game of lying to the voters on the campaign trail and then voting like Democrats in Washington has worked, but this may be different. Trump is the warning shot to the party and Washington. Those millions of GOP voters who have stuck it out, trying to make the system work for them, may just throw in the towel.
Of course, what has worked in the past will be used again. “Who are you going to vote for if not the Republicans?” We’re all men of our age and that means we have been trained to respond to that question one way. Old habits are hard to break, but they eventually do get broken. How likely is it that a soured electorate stays home in 2018 and lets the Republicans take a beating? It’s hard to know and there is the fact that Democrat voters are not exactly thrilled with their options either. Still, it is one possible outcome.
The point of all this is that what’s happening now is not an isolated event. Trump is part of a larger trend and a sign of a weakening in the political arrangements. The old gag about bankruptcy comes to mind. Slowly then all of a sudden. The Democrats are well on their way to being the anti-white party. They will be the home of homosexuals, blacks, foreigners and the mentally disturbed. That does not mean the GOP will be all the rest or even exist. There will be a party for the rest, a white party, but maybe not the GOP.
It is too early to think about new parties or even co-opting existing parties, but it is not too soon to think about what comes next. If you are alt-right, does it matter if the Democrats win Congress next year? Probably not. In fact, it may help. If the GOP is no longer viewed as a plausible middle-ground between the alt-right and the Left, then people are forced to choose. If principled surrender is no longer a credible option for white voters, then maybe they begin to look at aggressive and assertive alternatives.