GOP’s Deal With the Devil

Many years ago the GOP decided that it was necessary to expand the tent in order to win. The method that they chose has been known under several different guises, probably the most recognized was the “southern strategy”. Essentially the GOP rebranded itself as the party of social conservatives, anti-abortion, anti-science, pro-religion, anti-government. This tactic proved to be quite successful: Nixon, Reagan, Bush 1 and Bush 2 plus dominance in state houses as well as the US Congress.

Unfortunately, the schitzophrenia at the base of this strategy has finally worked its way into the open! The economic underpinnings of this arrangement have finally shown themselves to be untenable. The social conservatives have never really shared the economic outlook of the GOP establishment but up to now had either been willing to overlook those differences for the sake of their social agenda or had not even considered these economic anomalies within their party. However, over the years their economic situation has deteriorated so much that it can no longer be ignored. Therefore when someone like Trump comes along who is willing to give voice to their feelings of betrayal while at the same time mouthing the social conservative gospel, they are more than willing to jump on his bandwagon.

Does all this mean that issues like economic inequality, increased taxes for the rich, greater regulation of the financial industry, etc will suddenly gain greater resonance with social conservatives? Much too soon to tell but it will certainly be interesting to watch!

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