Lets take a little field trip. Take yourself back to the beginning of 2009. A new president has been elected, the country has shown its ready for a change, and not only that but it wants unity under a liberal leaning president and party. After eight years of debunked disastrous economic, domestic, and foreign policy under George Bush, Republicans decided that they would need to go through a re-branding. Rather than reflect on their mistakes, adapt and grow to more accurately reflect a changing America, they just doubled down!
The Republican party re-branded and explicitly become the party for angry white America...the Tea Party! A place for "disaffected" Republicans and those angry that a black man had become president. It was really nothing other than the Republican base with a different name, but sponsored by Fox News and the Koch Brothers. Remember on April 15, 2009 (the first year of the Obama presidency) Fox News and Sean Hannity were hosting Fox News sponsored Tea Party rallies. Even Megyn Kelly (apparent new liberal darling because of Trump?) has admitted that her network guided these "meetings" and "rallies" to make it appear that it was grassroots.
These Tea Party rallies and meetings were nothing more than angry white Republicans that were still in shock that Mitt Romney had lost. They were still in disbelief that their savior George Bush had been such a disaster. The "movement" was just the Republican base given a clever new disguise of "Look! New voters engaged in the system and frustrated with taxes and states rights!" Hmmmm, where in American History have we heard the states rights argument before? And here I thought the confederacy lost the Civil War...
So really, there was no Tea Party. It wasn't some new grassroots movement. It was just the Republican base and the media ate it up, because it gave the media a free pass for enabling the previous eight years of war criminals and lies. Suddenly, eight years of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, and Powell didn't exist and instead the GOP got a free pass to unleash their hatred on the communist, Muslim, Kenyan usurper Barack Hussein Obama. George Bush could quietly go back to Texas to paint cats and shower self-portraits. And Republicans wouldn't have to admit not only that their party was broken, but their voters were responsible for the mess.
Why is this relevant? It's happening again! As the Republican party continues to collapse around Donald Trump, the excuses are beginning. We've heard throughout the election "Trump isn't a Republican" or "He's more Democratic than Republican" or "He's just a fraud! He's not conservative." Consider Joe Scarborough's reaction, even though he was thoroughly caught red handed schlubbing it up with Trump by Harry Shearer. They're trying to re-brand already, three months before they lose the election! They have to re-brand because they can't admit they're a broken party.
Already it's happening, and this time its called "Trump-ism". It's happening here, here, here, here, and here. Conservative outlets like Fox News and National Review are starting to call it Trump-ism and are avoiding using the "R" word when describing Trump. They think if they say Trump-ism enough, people will forget that he's a Republican. They're convinced we'll forget that he won the Republican primary for president by appealing to the most basis animal instincts of pride and fear. And it's not much better than the fundamentalist religious nut that came in second place, Ted Cruz. (Cruz-ism?)
The current Republican party needs to go away. Anyone who still calls themselves a Republican and refuses to un-endorse Trump is essentially just as bad as him. Any voters who still vote Republican either love Trump or refuse to admit that they as voters are dead to their own party. They refuse to admit that there is a sane party that is doing its best to represent the people, despite its flaws (and corporate connection, ugh). They refuse to admit that there's a place for them, the Democratic party, a party that is inclusive and open to everybody, especially those conservatives that have become disaffected by their party and politicians.
Don't let people get away with the lie. This isn't "Trump-ism". This is modern Republican-ism at its best. This is what modern conservatism has evolved into. Trump is peak of their modern party, he is the monster that Frankenstein created, and the GOP has nobody to blame but themselves. Don't let anybody get away with the lie that Trump isn't a Republican. The GOP doesn't get the chance to "rebrand" again. Either admit how fucked up they've been, or run away into the dustbin of history and let the sane people run this country.
Here's a prediction, when Hillary wins in November (and big), the media will try their hardest to try and spin how she "Doesn't really have a mandate" and "Well, she really only beat Trump" and "He wasn't a real Republican, they don't have to change." We'll see calls for the Republican party to become more conservative, more pure, and they won't change a bit. Meanwhile, Democrats, liberals, and progressives will continue to be called every name under the book and blocked at every corner.
Meanwhile, as liberals and progressives, lets not forget that after this election, Trump isn't going away. He'll still be around, spewing his nonsense like he did with Obama's birth certificate. He won't be going away and the people supporting him won't be going anywhere either. The least we can do is make sure they have to have a big, red, R on their fronts. They don't get to call themselves "Trump-ers". They're Republicans, period.
Huge hat tip to The Professional Left Podcast. If you haven't heard of them or listened to their podcast, Driftglass and Bluegal are two of my politics "professors" and I never miss a class of theirs every week.