Different Republican Responses to Changing Times

I know a number of Republicans who hate Trump. They are refusing to vote Republican because of this. Some are considering the Libertarian candidate or else not voting at all. I suspect some might even vote for Hillary Clinton, God forbid!

One Republican I know well is really struggling with what to do. He has voted Republican for nearly every election in his in adult life and, as far as I know, he always votes. He is an old school mainstream conservative.

I overheard a conversation he had with his brother. Like him, his brother is a lifelong Republican. But his brother has a different bent, such as his having defended social liberal positions. I guess he might be a Rockefeller Republican or something like that, although probably not as far left as a Theodore Roosevelt Bull Moose Republican. Both of them are more conservative on economic issues. They can agree on much, despite key differences.

The brother is even more put off by Trump. It sounds like he is going to register as a Democrat. I know the brother fairly well. He is on the city council in the small town he lives in, and he ran as a Republican. If he does switch to Democrat, that could upset many people who voted for him and that likely would be a big deal in a small town.

Trump isn’t just temporarily turning some away from voting Republican. He may be permanently driving away quite a few. The GOP will likely never be the same again. Goldwater eliminated most of the moderate and liberal Republicans. Now the few remaining will be gone. It will leave nothing but the authoritarian extremists, the hardcore partisans, and I suppose the establishment politicians who have nowhere else to go. I’m not sure what kind of Republican party that will be (or what kind of Democratic party as well, once all those former Republicans join).

I heard the first guy I mentioned above talk to another Republican, a Trump supporter. It was interesting. I could feel the tension of worldviews. The two of them have been acquaintances for decades, but they never were the same kind of Republican. Still, I couldn’t tell if even this supposed Trump supporter actually took Trump’s campaign seriously, as he seemed amused by the whole thing. I guess he is for Trump simply because he is entertaining and because he isn’t a Democrat.

All three of these Republicans are Christians (and all older white males). Yet they are of entirely different varieties. The Republican-turning-Democrat is a socially liberal Christian. The Trump supporter is more of a fundamentalist, unsurprisingly. The Republican who knows both of these other two is more centrist in his Christianity, a moderate conservative, although moreso in the family values camp.

In talking to the Trump supporter, this moderate conservative ended up defending the morally relativistic position that scripture can be interpreted differently in terms of views about such things as homosexuality. It was interesting to hear a conservative Christian make such an argument in opposition to a fundamentalist. Maybe the socially liberal brother has influenced his views.

Strange times. Even old white males and conservative Republicans aren’t immune to change.

5 thoughts on “Different Republican Responses to Changing Times

  1. I suspect that Clinton will do the same to Democrats.

    That might be far more damaging to them because it will be younger voters who are the most alienated.

    • We’ll find out how it all settles out. The long term results would be hard to predict.

      I’ve wondered if the Democrats would become the new conservative party. I’m not sure where that would leave Republicans, maybe as a right-wing populist third party. That is if another party takes up the position of a major party opposing the Democrats, hopefully from on the political left.

      If Republicans survive as a major party, it is hard to imagine how they’ll do it. Trump being so unpopular doesn’t represent much of a path toward future success for the GOP.

    • Yep, good article. I’m seeing more articles like that. It needs to be discussed.

      I’m not sure why it was assumed by so many that the white working class is nothing other than a bunch of reactionary right-wing Republicans. The Democrats did lose the white working class in the South, but not anywhere else in the country.

      I’m not even sure how big the loss was even in the South. There are more Southerners in general who identify as or lean toward Democrat than Republican. If not for voter disfranchisement and suppression, the South would be solid Blue.

      The white working class didn’t abandon the Democratic party. It’s more that the Democratic establishment abandoned the white working class.

  2. Well as it stands, I think that it may be time to abandon the Democratic Establishment in its current form for good.

    Only if another Sanders candidate comes out in force is it worth voting for. Otherwise it is best to go Green and vote independent candidates in.

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