That Sinking Ship: How Trump's Demise Spells Doom for the Fringes on Left and Right
With Republicans beginning to abandon Donald Trump's sinking ship in large numbers and Speaker Paul Ryan begging his supporters to return a Republican Congress as a check on President Hillary Clinton, it is becoming clear that the fringe takeover of the Republican party, which was completed with Trump's nomination, has gone horribly wrong.
For decades, the Republican party has been counting on an energized but bigoted political base to elevate their candidates to office. For decades, Republicans have scapegoated women, people of color, gays, religious minorities, and more. But it was the last decade during with the Republican party lost control of the Frankenstein they consciously created. With the election of the first African American president rose the so-called "Tea Party" movement, which for some reason looked as pale a shade of white as Alaskan snow, who suddenly found religion in chocking off any and all government spending likely to help "those" people.
The Republican party apparatus, for the longest time, enjoyed the support of this racist "movement" and watched it gain power within the Republican party. They saw nothing to contain in this rise of hate, as it helped their candidates sweep Congress and state offices. They saw no need to beat back this hate movement's growing power within the GOP as the Tea Partiers sought purer and purer forms of extremism.
And then Donald Trump happened. With Trump's ascend, the right wing's ideological purists and extremists completed their takeover of what was once known to be Abe Lincoln's party.
But the fringes don't exist on the Right alone, as we have pointed out over and over again on TPV. The Democratic party - and our voters - did not permit the fringes to take over our party, however.
That is not to say there is a shortage of the fringe on the Left. Look around social media and you will catch plenty of Leftists vowing never to vote for Hillary Clinton, even if that means an effective vote for Donald Trump. Plenty of people who voluntarily participated in the Democratic primary are now refusing to abide by its results and pledging to vote for Green Party candidate Jill Stein. To be sure, the fringe is largely consisted of these ideologues, a small minority even among Bernie Sanders voters.
But the fringes on the Right, with their success in nominating Donald Trump, have done one unintended favor to America. They have made the Left's fringe irrelevant. Donald Trump has screwed up so badly that he has made it next to impossible for anyone to play Ralph Nader in 2016.
The Right has, of course, also screwed itself. If - when, after the hardest of work we can put in to beat him - Donald Trump loses the election in November as badly as he is looking to, the Republican party will have two paths left: complete dismantling and disarray, or actively disengaging from their Right fringe.
And that's the beauty of this election. The Left and Right fringes have brought us to a point where their own overreach is starting to make them irrelevant. After a massive loss by Donald Trump, the Republicans will be forced to return to the path of at least some compromise or face utter destruction. And after a big win by Hillary Clinton, the Democratic party will have no reason to fear the arsonist power of the fringe Left, and President Hillary Clinton will be free to make the governing decisions she needs to protect the progress of the last eight years and expand on them.
This is something that should be celebrated by anyone who believes in progress, anyone who believes in the expansion of the social safety net and broadening of civic rights. Because regardless of how much the position of ideological stridency may seem pure and the path of political compromise ugly, compromise is the only way progress is ever made.
Now, go out and work your heart out to make this happen. Wear off your walking shoes. Keep calling voters until your voice gives in. Use the technological tools at your disposal to make a positive impact. Because this is not a fight we can afford to lose.
Like what you read? Chip in, keep us going.