It seems that the stage is now well-set for a rupturing of the Republican Party. The clear front-runner is Donald Trump, an opportunistic capitalist and a nationalist who is whipping up xenophobia and bigotry like never before. And to make matters worse, the clear second-place candidate is Ted Cruz, the most hated man in the Senate, who is so at odds with the party elites that some of them would rather side with Trump.
The party elites who have painstakingly built a coalition around social conservatism and neoliberal/free-market principles over the past few decades now get to decide whether to grimace and support the man who eventually gets the most votes (sure to be Trump), or fight it out to lead the primaries into a contested convention, where they can then steal the nomination and pass it off to a more traditional conservative politician (perhaps Kasich, or maybe Paul Ryan). This strategy is not lost on Trump, who today raised the specter of mass riots if the nomination is stolen from him via GOP establishment back-channeling.
Either way, a rupture within the Republican Party seems, at this point, inevitable–and indeed, already underway. Many stalwart conservatives are joining the “Never Trump” camp, refusing to vote for Trump and some are even intending to vote for Clinton. As part of this effort, party elites are conspiring to run a third-party conservative presidential candidate if Trump ends up seizing the nomination despite their best efforts. And if the GOP does manage to wrangle the nomination away from Trump, chances are high that he’ll be the one to run as a third-party candidate.
Essentially, it seems that a split is finally developing between nationalist and fascist elements of the White working class, and the traditional neoliberal capitalists. Conservative intellectuals are now turning on the White poor, blasting them with rhetoric typically reserved for “inner-city minorities” and the like. And as Matt Taibbi put it in an excellent, amusing essay on the rise of Trump:
What these tweedy Buckleyites at places like the Review don’t get is that most people don’t give a damn about “conservative principles.”
And the juicy drama isn’t just happening in the presidential race–its affecting local politics as well. Check out this hilarious article about a political cage match that broke out over recent election results of Travis County GOP, in Texas. Robert Morrow, a Trump supporter and a suspiciouly enthusiastic homophobe, has been newly elected to the chair over the incumbent (apparently he barely campaigned); the vice-chair, Matt Mackowiak, is furious and refuses to recognize his legitimacy.
“We will explore every single option that exists, whether it be persuading him to resign, trying to force him to resign, constraining his power, removing his ability to spend money or resisting any attempt for him to access data or our social media account,” Mackowiak told the Tribune. “I’m treating this as a coup and as a hostile takeover.”
“Tell them they can go fuck themselves,” Morrow told the Tribune.
Buckle up and grab the popcorn, folks!