Meet the family
For Democrats who are obsessed with the personage of Donald Trump, check out the rest of the family. The Republican party is united not so much by a vision but what it fears and opposes. Social changes, demographics and the breathtaking speed of which they have come about have made the GOP defensive in approach. To its opposition to Barack Obama to its uneasy relationship with Donald Trump — Republicans have entrenched themselves against change.
Trump has brilliantly figured this out and plays on Republican sensibilities with an expert touch. Although he is a big spender, a promoter of low interest rates and no changes to Medicare or Social Security, he manages to keep the loyalty of Tea Partiers. His compromises on the budget even when he had majorities in both houses of Congress would have been agreed to by Democrats of another era. His immigration policies, based as they are on fantasies, have largely gone nowhere even Obamacare remains untouched. Democrats have done better with Trump than they would have with say a Scott Walker or Jeb Bush.
Certainly the Tea Party with its obsession with dismantling the Great Society and even the New Deal is basically been disappointed by Trump. Again, his ability to divine expressed belief as opposed to true intent is amazing. He knows the “base” never cared about conservative ideology, they were more concerned about turning around the flow of history. Culture concerns not arcane economic theory drove most Trump voters. Add to it liberal political correctness and Trump forged an impressive coalition.
Not that Trump voters were seeing ghosts. Much of the progressive march on everything from the environment to gay rights were not made possible by bullets but by court decisions. This has been the case since the 1940s.
Local authority and state’s rights have been undermined by liberal and conservative judicial rulings. Trump did not invent the discontent, he exploited the situation. Good or bad, these voters were tired of being called “deplorables” and being ignored by both parties.
Certainly Trump voters did not support Trump because he wanted to launch overseas crusades. They believed that their enemies were inside not outside the gates.
For progressives, people should simply accept their desires and leave it at that. Many religious traditionalists naturally reacted with fury against gay marriages.
For these voters, it was Roe v. Wade all over again. Regardless of you opinion it is not hard to see how the hard-shell evangelicals reacted as they have. They never accepted it and they will never accept it.
This is a unifying principle with many Republicans. They may not like Trump’s mouth, his tweets, his casual use of profanity or private conduct, but when he cusses out his enemies, he is lambasting their foes. You cannot ignore a certain group of voters without incurring their wrath.
Another person’s progressive idea might seem exotic to others. The inability to read Trump’s ability to touch his base resentments will continue to misread the Republican party.