In light of the current Milo contretemps I decided to finally get around to a sequel to this post. There I pointed out what Trump gives progressives (short answer – a reason to live and escape from responsibility).
The answer of what he gives conservatives is, roughly, the hope of relevance. I don’t think Trump is a classic conservative of the type that has taken over the GOP. While he appeals to many culturally conservative voters the Republican establishment pretty clearly hates, hates, HATES him. The existence of the Never Trump movement shows that. On the other hand, he did what no other Republican in their sad, little field could do – excit a segment of the voting public.
Now that they lost and Trump is in office their main goal is to marginalize him so that Pence can take over and stale, useless, tired non-entities like Ted Cruz can (in their fevered plottings) become the future of the party (note for posterity, if your future depends on Ted Cruz…. you have none). Oddly the Democrats probably would welcome this since Pence is the devil they know (while Trump is still a loose cannon).
This is why the scandal broke now to purge pro-Trump non-traditionalists from the party and the movement.
What they don’t realize is that without Trump’s ideas they won’t have the voters. It’s similar to the Democrats and Clinton. Rather than read the writing on the wall and start to incorporate the ideas of the only Democratic candidate to genuinely excit large numbers of voters (Bernie Sanders) they’re deciding that what they need is more Clinton.
The political realignment is still being worked out and it’s still too early to tell who will be on what side. The Democrats could do a lot to neutralize Trump by taking some of his more popular ideas (especially limiting immigration and taking the concerns of the disinherited working class seriously) and wrap them up in progressive rhetoric.
The current political cycle is coming to an end and it remains to be seen who (besides Trump) can catch the wave and get in front of what’s coming next.
Sadly, for the now the PTB in both parties are doubling down on policies and goals of the past.