Stoop Hang


Has Trump Changed the GOP?

I admit that I detest Trump and have for over 40 years. I can say pretty much the same for the post-Reagan GOP, even though I did vote for George Pataki and for all three of Michael Bloomberg’s mayoral terms  I’ll try to minimize the snark because what follows aren’t just matters of opinion but documented fact.

After Trump, the GOP doesn’t really have anywhere to go. They’ve willingly, even eagerly, defined themselves as the Party of Trump. By doing so they abandoned what they had left of their soul and their party’s convictions for the simple reason that Trump also has no soul nor political convictions. He’s a salesman who’s only interested in closing the sale on the magnificence of Donald J. Trump. He makes no apologies about that. That is and always has been Trump. He’s proud of that. It’s all about the “art of the deal”, not the consequences of the deal.

In the words of Republican political commentator, S.E. Cupp, on the evening of January 6, 2021:

“Here we are. This is what happened, and because it did I think it’s time to say, the Republican Party is dead. It’s a rotting corpse. It died in a suicide pact made four years ago with Donald Trump. It’s been slowly dying over the last four years and today it lost its pulse.”

I’ll only take issue with Cupp over when the GOP (in the words of Frank Zappa) started smelling funny. It’s when Reagan invited evangelists, anti-tax crazies, white nationalists and racist Boll Weevil Democrats into the core of the party and then gave them the reins. From its rotting corpse grew the new Trumplican Party.

Because of Trump the GOP can’t call themselves Budget Hawks anymore. Trump’s 2019, $4.75 trillion federal budget broke all deficit spending records by a huge margin. It’s $650 billion more than his 2018 budget. To give that number perspective, that increase alone is $2,013 for every man, woman and child living in the US!

Because of Trump they can’t call themselves the Party of Fiscal Conservatism when they increased the national debt by $7.8 trillion with record Defense spending and totally unnecessary, unproductive and entirely political tax cuts which only served to feed the Investor Class and the Dow. And not a single Republican raised an objection even though that’s $24,000 for every American, which has to be paid back with interest.

Because of Trump they can’t call themselves Free Traders anymore when they supported arbitrary tariffs and the abandoning of established trade agreements with longtime allies for fickle and pretentious reasons.

Because of Trump they can’t call themselves the Party of Law & Order… not when their leading candidate for 2024 is a proven  failure and lifelong scofflaw with four indictments, 91 felony charges, two impeachments, a dozen open civil cases and judgements running into the scores of millions of dollars. Even as they’re also running interference for George Santos, Ken Paxton and Rudy Giuliani.

Because of Trump they can’t call themselves Protectors of States Rights after attempting to blackmail states and cities into spending billions to enforce federal immigration laws which they’re not required to do. And suing states with tough EPA and DOT laws to comply with less stringent federal standards. And threatening to pass a national abortion ban over an issue that’s always been regulated at the state level. And trying to take away states’ constitutional right to regulate intrastate commerce with regard to the quality of health insurance that can be sold within their borders. The last one was the only coherent policy point in the Republicans’ so-called Obamacare Replacement.

Because of Trump they can’t call themselves Champions of Global Freedom and Anti-Communism when their own party’s leader sucks up to the world’s two most vile, authoritarian communist strongmen, Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un. And where Trump trusts the word of Putin over that of all of our intelligence services, the US military and simple common sense. And where his own party wants to cut all defense spending to Ukraine and hand the country over to Putin and his illegal invasion.

Because of Trump they can’t pat themselves on the back as the Party of National Security when their party’s own leader stole hundreds of classified documents, scattered them among his various properties including bathrooms and public storage lockers and has been blabbing the nation’s top secrets to randos since the day he got into office.

Because of Trump Republicans can’t call themselves Protectors of the Global Peace when Trump attempted to cut NATO off at the knees, discarded the treaty we had with Iran (and the only way we had to verify that their nuclear programs had ended), tacitly took Putin’s side in its aggression against Ukraine and won’t take a stand against Putin deploying hypersonic missiles in flagrant violation of Ronald Reagan’s signature achievement: the INF treaty. And not say a word about Putin building an air base in the Caribbean for Russia’s supersonic Tu-160 “Blackjack” bombers which have only one logical mission in our hemisphere. And respond with silence to Putin’s building of a base for Russia’s nuclear navy in the Med at Tartus, Syria which every president since Truman has fought hard to prevent.

Because of Trump they can’t call themselves the Traditional Family Values Party when the head of their party is a twice-divorced, 3x philanderer and recently-adjudicated sexual predator with 23 women accusing him of sexual assault/harassment, who paid off porn stars and Playboy centerfolds not to talk about his horndoggery, and where he promoted a scumbag prosecutor to a post inside his cabinet after he treated an unapologetic serial pedophile like Geoffrey Epstein as a jaywalker in court.

Because of Trump they can’t even pretend to embrace the Spirit of Americanism which was our original Greatness. America was the Great Melting Pot. It prided itself in being a welcoming home for desperate people fleeing oppressive governments and desiring better lives. We know MAGAts have seen that giant statue in NY Harbor because they plaster its image along with other nationalistic totems on their Trumpie swag. But just as they ignore the original Greatness of the country with their MAGA hypocrisy, they also ignore the inscription at the Statue of Liberty’s base, Emma Lazurus’ The New Colossus:

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

So what’s left for the GOP? What can they call themselves now? The Party of Guns? The Anti-Abortion Party? The Gullibles? The Party of Putin?

I don’t think the GOP is going away, not as long as there are still millions of low-information voters who respond so faithfully to the dog whistles and down-on-all-fours messaging of right wing propagandists and its billionaire oligarchs. I also don’t see the party changing either, except for the worse.


Scroll to Top