There’s a terrifying story over on the Washington Post site. In Early GOP primaries shaping up as rightward march with Trump, Bill Barrow writes about how the Republican Party is moving further and further to the right — in some cases, astonishingly so, with overt Nazis and Fascists seeking office under the GOP’s increasingly tattered banner.
Why? Barrow discusses several of the reasons, but mostly it seems that there are two major factors at work. First, Trump’s victory has emboldened candidates on the fringe. Second, as the GOP has become increasingly the party of Trump, moderate and conservative Republicans are fleeing to the Democratic party in huge numbers. In effect, the Republican party is boiling down to a hard core of right-wing revolutionaries.
This may not bode well for the GOP in the upcoming mid-term elections, nor in 2020. Admittedly, a highly activated, nearly fanatic Republican party is more energetic than a broad-based Big Tent party, and more likely to get its people to the polls. But, Barrow quotes some concerned Republican strategists who fear that a shift to the very hard right will alienate so much of the nation that sweeping Democratic victories are assured.
Let us hope so. But, let’s also keep in mind the fact that the GOP has considerable resources at its disposal, and increasingly those resources are in the hands of ever more conservative and ever more militant supporters. With Trump at the helm, and moderate conservatives in flight, the GOP is now subject to a kind of bizarre Darwinian de-evolution, where the more right-wing you are, the more likely you are to gain party office.
Which means that, it will eventually cease to be conservative at all, and become instead more akin to a genuinely totalitarian organization.