(Thread) The Future of the GOP: Part I
The GOP is on a collision course with time.
Its base of voters is aging and shrinking. The GOP has become a white grievance party fueled by fear-mongering right-wing media.
Meanwhile, the democratic coalition is expanding.
1/ These stats are from the census bureau (Screenshot #1)census.gov/library/storie…
These stats are from Pew (Screenshot #2)
In 2018, young people had the largest increase in voter turnout.
The GOP sees this and knows that its medium and long-term prospects are poor.
2/ These stats are from Steven Levitsky’s lecture: youtube.com/watch?v=10RQd7…
The GOP understands as soon as they lose power, inevitable legislative changes will make minority rule harder.
Hence, the desperation that leads to lawbreaking as they seek to solidify minority power.
3/ Trump is all about consolidating minority power by creating a white billionaire plutocracy / oligarchy.
That’s why the GOP leadership loves Trump. Not because they're all blackmailed. It's because they want to be part of that oligarchy.
4/ Given the size and diversity of this country—and views of the younger generation—a GOP oligarchy would not be sustainable.nytimes.com/interactive/20…
How long do you think America’s young people will tolerate an NRA-loving, climate-destroying, KKK-loving plutocracy?
5/The conventional wisdom is that the GOP needs to be defeated soundly at the polls for it to regroup and change course.
Yale political scientist @Jacob_S_Hacker and Berkeley political scientist Paul Pierson say this:
6/ @jwgoph said that one goal of the @lincolnproject is to expand voting rights so that a conservative party will have to compete for votes based on policy.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/…
7/ @stuartpstevens, in his book, agrees. After showing how the current GOP is built on decades of lies, he says⤵️
Professors Ziblatt and Levitsky, in How Democracies Die, argue that America needs what we might call a traditional conservative party.
8/ Ziblatt and Levitsky point to post WWII Germany as an example of how it can happen. Out of the ashes of the Nazi Party arose a true conservative party.
So let’s say the GOP takes a beating in 2020 and 2022, and decides to reform?
(Recall that the GOP lost by 8% in 2018).
9/ One problem: In a two-party system, where guys like these go?
(While the drafters of the Constitution envisioned no parties, our system doesn’t lend itself to multiple parties. (More in Part II)
10/ These guys are called “border ruffians” in the caption. They were pro-slavery dudes from Missouri who went to Kansas in the 1850s to attack the free-state settlements.
Let’s just call them white supremacists.
11/ Do those border ruffians look familiar? They should. They’ve been with us since the founding of the nation.
They possess what political psychologists like Theodor W. Adorno call the “anti-democratic personality” or “authoritarian personality.”
12/ They’re driven by what Hofstader calls the “paranoid style in American politics.”
It will take at least a generation of educational and other reforms to shrink their number.
13/ Moreover, research from political psychologists like @karen_stenner demonstrates that there will always be those who resist democracy. They dislike complexity, which includes diversity. They have an authoritarian disposition.karenstenner.com
14/ Another problem: What Hacker and Pierson call the conservative dilemma: How can conservatives align with monied interests and attract the support of ordinary voters?
15/ The result is that conservatives will feel a constant temptation to align with the far right to achieve electoral majorities.
Other problems complicate our current political realignment.
This is getting long, so I’ll continue later with Part II.
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