I believe a swath of GOP will find itself with a viewpoint that finds no expression in either of the major political parties when this election is all over.
This is how I felt myself vis a vis both parties for most of my adult life, even though I was undoubtedly closer to Republicans. But while it’s fashionable to say one is economically conservative and socially liberal, I’m socially conservative and economically nationalist, with a strong admixture of sympathy and willingness to engage in public policy to prop up the dignity and wages of the working class. I distinguish the working poor from the parasite class, whether that is the group that does not want to work or the group that wants to get rich by speculation and usury. In this sense, as I say in my bio, I’m heavily influenced by the traditions of Catholic Social Thought, and the ways these ideas were expressed in early 20th Century Europe by various organizations that sprang up in the wake of the Rerum Novarum encyclical.
A dozen or more things I have long cared about where there is a significant number of people in favor, such as restrictions on trade or immigration, had little expression in national politics until now. The official GOP ideology put out out by Conservatism Inc. may soon find itself like one of those morbund Latin American militaries, with dozens of colonels, but few foot soldiers and fighting ability. In other words, it will be an irrelevant anarchorism unless it learns the right things from Trump, who is not merely some sui generis phenomenon because of his personality.
A set of political views must be attached to a coalition, and that coalition must be able to cobble together the assent of the majority, more or less, to obtain political power. A serious realignment is underway regardless of what the GOP’s “intellectuals” do this election. Some sort of revamping of the GOP message and the coalition it aims to put together will be required in order to reflect the changing concerns and demographics of the American people, as well as to express their long suppressed desires for security and stability.
Paul Ryan is a good example of the old guard GOP, as young and energetic as he is. And on everything from immigration to foreign policy, he represents not merely a minority view but one that cannot be attached to a sustainable political coalition going forward. Since 1988, the GOP gladly took the votes of working class white voters, who mistakenly believed their interests were aligned with those of large corporations or who mistakenly believed the GOP would ever advance their pet causes like abortion or gay marriage. The GOP failed miserably in this regard, even though some undoubtedly tried, and now that the voters have been freed from this ideological straight jacket and seen what a nationalist politics looks like in the person of Donald Trump, they like what they see and are not going back to the reservation.