It’s a three-legged stool that lost two legs.
at categorizing the Trump base don’t always leave us with any useful
information. I prefer to keep things
simple. We make a generic rule and
assume that there are probably thousands of different aberrations. We need not account for every nuance.
that end, over the summer I proposed this simple
formulation regarding the Trump base.
Voters who hated Hillary and voters who were driven to Trump by the insanity of
Voters who like Trump personally and support anything he does, this is the cult
of personality category.
Voters who liked Trump’s policies and see him only as the means to an end.
you remember, in August, the president was facing increasing scrutiny regarding
corruption and it was necessary to assess to what extent his base would remain
1 was likely to be turned off by corruption.
2 will always support the president.
3 would likely remain, but they have the potential to be more fickle than Group
that scenario, I determined that Trump would likely lose two portions of his
base if he became ineffective (especially with regard to immigration) due to
corruption, collusion, or whatever baggage he had at the time.
scenario (the national emergency and passage of a horrendous
funding bill) allows us to look again at this tripartite base.
1 tends to be the erudite republicans with lofty goals regarding the character
and direction of the party. If they aren’t overtly holding their nose to the
smell of Trump, the certainly contemplate joining the NeverTrumpers. As I mentioned above, the insanity of the
left holds them back. For this group,
the concern here is the degradation of separation of powers and the bad
precedent set by declaring a national emergency like this (that argument is
They desire intellectual consistency, and rightfully so. They do not want to
see the Republican Party turn into one that defers to the monarchical whims of
the executive. Many have swung around to opposing the funding bill because it
contains idiotic and wasteful spending while simultaneously curtailing
legitimate functions of the executive in securing the border. Many would agree
that a wall or fence must be built, though they are less preoccupied by it than
2 needs no explanation.
3 requires progress on policy, especially the main campaign promise. These are the individuals who are aware that
the national government has lied to the American people repeatedly regarding
their seriousness in addressing border security and immigration. These are the people who called congress to
shut down amnesties during the Bush Administration. These are people who refused to vote for
Rubio for his Gang of Eight treachery.
These are people who have no personal attachment to the man Trump, who
is boorish in his own right. I’ve
posited that this group would vote for a baked potato if it could reasonably guarantee
a wall. Without a wall, with amnesty,
and with other horrendous immigration policies, Trump loses this group. Why should they be lied to again? They will
simply stay home, having no interest in preserving the party or looking for a
viable alternative. However, some may
flock to Cruz or Cotton. They are more
likely to overlook corruption and even the occasional foray into
constitutionally suspect territory if it proves politically advantageous.
Trump signs this funding bill, he has to, as I described in August, “realize the reason why he enjoyed seemingly
vast support from various types of Republicans and independents. He cannot take
for granted the first and third groups by assuming that everyone is in category
two. To do so would be to invite problems in the future, specifically in 2020.”
guess the main problem is that Trump’s base is not really a base at all. It is an amalgamation of individuals who are
after vastly different goals. On
something generic like judicial appointments and tax cuts, you might get
everyone to agree, but Jeb! would have given us the same things. Trump set himself apart by being able to
capture the support, though some of it reluctant, of individuals with different
motivating factors. The left doesn’t enjoy
the same intellectual diversity that the right does, and that is to Trump’s
detriment. Nancy Pelosi cracks a whip
and everyone falls in line. The right is
willing to take a stand over principle, well at least they used to.
stands likely to lose many supporters because they are NOT all in Group 2. And that seems like the only group that Trump
is willing to entertain.
political science, there are election years that illustrate a significant
realignment of the national character and direction. V.O Key, Jr. refers to these events as “critical
elections” when contrasted with “maintaining elections,” where the nation does
not change in a substantive way.
If we assume that 2016 was a critical election, we don’t know what it realigned. Some in Groups 1 and 3 felt that 2016 was a last shot. We now see a left-wing party that embraces infanticide and fetal homicide. We have seen some truly bizarre polices that we never would have dreamed of under Obama or Bush. What happens when a critical election cannot maintain the course it set out? We don’t know what happens next.
Trump administration may have immediate success in its endeavors and ensuing
policy results may benefit the nation, ensuring a landslide in 2020 (unlikely).
party could challenge Trump, refine itself, and go in the direction of someone
like Ted Cruz.
“base” could be done, leaving Trump to his failures and an energized democratic
base, ensuring his defeat in 2020 and a demoralized populace living under
Weld could challenge Trump, win, and turn America into a Libertarian Paradise…
all speculation at this point.