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State of American History, Civics, and Politics

The State of the Republican Party

Defining historical images for our era (NBC News)

One of the critical developments in the Republican debate was the admission by the longtime Democrat, Clinton supporter, and Cuomo bro was that he was not a Republican either … nor does he need to become one to get the nomination of the Republican Party.

One can understand why for tactical reasons, the front-runner chose not to participate in the Republican debate. There he would be simply one of nine. Instead he should be the center of attention. Therefore he chose to record an interview with former Fox opinion host Tucker Carlson and present it simultaneously on another media outlet in direct completion with the Republican debate. It is that extra in-your-face step that signifies that it is all about him and not the Republican Party. He does not need it anymore. He is not really a Republican anyway.


Who can forget way back in 2016, the rhythmic chant of “Lock her up! Lock her up! Lock her up!” about someone who had not even been indicted for anything … despite many, many, many hours of trying to so? Flash forward to 2023. Compare to the response by the candidates and the audience about supporting an indicted and convicted candidate. Now the mantra was hands raised (or almost raised), that of, of course, and impeached, indicted and convicted candidate would have their support.

What does this transformation mean for the Republic Party? Now it has been unleashed to defund the special counsel, remove the Fulton County district attorney, weaponize the Department of Justice to seek retribution after victory in 2024. In the meantime it will use all the power of the legislative bodies in the state and House on behalf of the longtime Democrat, Clinton supporter, and Cuomo bro.


According to The New York Times, the Republican Party can be divided into six groups. One is the Moderate Establishment consisting of 14% of a party (that represents about 25% of the voting population). This group is home to the anti-Trumpers, Republicans who would not vote for Trump.

Think back to Georgia in 2020. Over 30,000 people voted for Republican candidates but left the presidential line blank So if one is looking for 11,780 votes, all one has to do is reach out to Republicans who will never vote for Trump. They would not necessarily vote for Joe Biden either. They are more likely to stay home or not vote for a presidential candidate if the nominee is an impeached, indicted, convicted, criminal dedicated on retribution (shades of Putin!) for 2020 and the subsequent criminal cases. It is unlikely that anything that happened in the debate or the recording is likely to cause them to reverse course and become MAGA.

To some degree, this group also represents the independent voters, especially the famous female suburban voter that the Republican Party has lost in recent elections. Again, what if anything that was said on Wednesday is likely to cause them to vote Republican. The Ohio voters rejected amending the Constitution which would have made it harder to end the abortion restrictions in the upcoming November election. That vote suggests that reddish states may go Democratic on this issue. Here is where abortion bans issue could be pivotal in 2024.

The second group identified in the analysis is traditional conservatives (26%) meaning pre-Trump Republicans. This group got their Supreme Court judges who now are wreaking havoc at the grassroots level over abortion. They got their tax cut to help rich people get richer. They support Ukraine and not Putin, immigration reform and not demonization, and morning in America over carnage. So while they were not MAGAs in the past, they are even less likely to be so in the future.

Again this is a group which might leave the presidential line blank in 2024 or stay at home. Here is where Bidenomics and a positive message about America’s future by the Democrats could produce positive results. After all, these people survived four years with Joe Biden and all the House Republicans have to show for their relentless war is Hunter Biden. Plus Trump could be knee deep in trials and convictions due to the testimony of actual Republicans by then. This group is even less likely to support Trump than in the past.

The third group powers the Party. The rightwing represents 26% of the Republicans. It consists of Fox, Newsmax, rightwing radio, the Freedom Caucus. With winner-take-all primaries, this group guarantees a Trump victory. They are loyal to him. They believe all his lies. They cough up money for all his scams. The election was stolen. The trials are just a witch hunt. They are happy to tithe so the billionaire does not have to spend his own money on elitist lawyers.

But there are limits. There are limits as to how much money they will actually fork over. And as is abundantly clear, there is a limit as to how many will man the barricades on behalf of their Lord and Savior, the Chosen One, Blessed Be his name. They have seen what happened and is happening to the January 6 insurrectionists. They did not turn out at all at any of the four arrests in response to the calls for them to do exactly that in cataclysmic terms. They will, however, still  vote for Trump.

There is no way to get through to this group. They believe in apocalypse now. It is a religious belief. In the Scopes Trial, they prefer William Jennings Bryan. The challenge for the country will be what will these people do if Joe Biden wins again despite being practically dead? Even though they have worked themselves into such a lather, the call for rigged elections in 2024 will ring hollow given all voter suppression laws which have been enacted since 2020.

Still, this group is the base that nominates the candidate and which produces the lone wolfs, mentally ill or not, who make the threatening phone calls and occasionally do act violently.

The fourth group, the Blue Collar Populists (12%) is the one that paid the price for the hollowing out of the American manufacturing base. These were the overlooked flyover people the coastal elites disdained even as their communities disintegrated. On paper, this group could come back from the dark side provided the solid blue collar communities returned. If  those industrial jobs with their strong sense of community, of belonging, of benefits, and security could be brought back the votes could follow, but that will take time. Here one would really need to hammer home the message that it is still morning in America and not carnage with our best days behind us. That would probably require a more dynamic and forceful leadership than the Democrats can provide.

The fifth group is the libertarian group (14%). Mainly what they want is to be left alone. They are not prime candidates to enlist in the MAGA insurrectionist army unless they feel threatened. As long as right wing media can cast any action by the Democrats as socialist, they are unreachable. Here is where it is important to provide them a choice instead of making something compulsory like masks. Ask them what compulsory program they would like to see ended, at least for them. Start with social security.

The sixth and final group is the newcomers (8%). One characteristic is their youth. They may have loans and feel overwhelmed by their prospects of living the American Dream. They are anti-woke.

How reflective of the Republican Party was the Fox audience for the debate? Of these six groups, which ones are the most likely to attend such an event? Gone are the days of three national networks dominating the news. Instead we have slice and dice audiences reaching a smaller and smaller percentage of the voting population. But it is one where one segment of the Republican Party makes the choice for the whole party while Team Normal remains trapped in Trumpland unable to return to the real world.

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