There is a tendency on the part of most “political junkies” to lump everyone in a political party or a political subgroup together, as if all tens of millions of people who register that way are largely the same. We suggest they are all of singular mind, as if they have all been cloned from their leadership. That would be okay, as far as it goes, but the reality is, it damages the politics to think that way. The key to political success lies in nuance. When we adopt a “one-size-fits-all” attitude to politics, we tend to create polarization where there really is none.
I am sometimes guilty of this, too, although I try hard not to be. When I call the Republican Party useless and anti-American, I am talking about the results of their policies and the politics of their leadership. I know a great many Republicans. I come across them in my daily life and they are not all as evil as their votes would indicate. Most of the Republicans I know who voted for Trump last year did so because they deluded themselves into believing this is the Donald Trump of 20 years ago, who was not nearly as crazy as the current version. They thought he was a con man, but that he couldn’t possibly be as bad as he sounded. I know of a lot of Republicans who now regret their vote for Trump and are just as sickened by him than most progressives, if not more so.
Consider the Roy Moore debacle. While most Republicans in power have largely been silent on the issue of Moore’s proclivity for teenage girls, a significant number have spoken up. Recently, 70 evangelical pastors in Alabama published a letter excoriating “Christian” voters who are thinking of voting for Moore just to gain a seat. Several Republican members of Congress have also condemned the RNC for its full-throated support for Moore, as well as Trump’s support. However, what seems to have gone under the radar is the significant monetary hit the Republican Party is taking for the support of child molester Roy Moore.
During a recent fundraising dinner for big money donors, a number of huge Republican donors promised to withhold donations until the Party did something to reverse the major hit their reputation has taken since the nomination of Trump, culminating in the nomination of Roy Moore and the discovery of his perverse attraction to teenage girls. (Source) In other words, there are growing signs that even a large number of Republicans are getting tired of where their party is headed.
The worm is turning. The only question is whether or not we have the political intelligence to take advantage of that.
So far, I’m not sure we can. I hope I’m wrong.
Also published on Medium.