Teri Kanefield @Teri_Kanefield Author, lawyer (UC Berkeley) My threads are here: terikanefield-blog.com/ NBC News Opinion contributor Impeachment notes: impeachment-trump.com/ Jul. 08, 2019 2 min read

(Thread) Traditional Conservatives and the Trump-Fox-GOP

A recent Vanity Fair article catalogues the GOP insiders who have enabled Trump, and offers their reasons/ rationale: Paul Ryan is an opportunist, McConnell is a cynic, Priebus is a stooge, etc.

1/ Another simpler way to say the same thing: These GOP leaders sold out to Trump because without America’s far right wing (white nationalists), the GOP wouldn't have been unable to put together national majorities.

2/ See this history of the GOP⤵️. After the 1960s, when the Democrats shifted its Confederate-era position and backed civil rights, traditional conservatives found themselves without a majority. To regain a majority, they adopted the Southern Strategy.

3/ In ⤵️ Paxton wrote that “the fascist route to power has always passed through cooperation with conservative elites, at least in the cases so far known. . .” p. 98

In the 1930, for example, “after Fascists and Nazis made themselves too important to ignore . . .

4/ “. . . the conservatives had to decide what to do with them.”

The conservatives had to “decide whether to try to co-opt fascism or force it back to the margins.” (p. 99)
Spoiler: Like the GOP, they tried to co-opt fascism.

5/ 20th century German and Italian conservatives decided to cooperate with the far right wing nationalists because the right wing nationalists "offered a new recipe for governing with popular support but without any sharing of power with the Left . . .” p. 104.

6/ From Profs. Ziblatt & Levitsky 👇 the GOP made the same mistake as the 20th century German conservatives: When Trump exhibited autocratic tendencies, they thought they'd remain in control and harness his popular appeal for their own benefit.

This is always a miscalculation.

7/ Important fact: Not all GOP "elites" enable Trump. An influential group of Never Trump conservatives include @MaxBoot, @BillKristol, @JRubinBlogger, @JustinAmash and others.

Remember also: psychologists distinguish conservatives from authoritarians👇

My mistake. I wrote too fast.
I also recall seeing a more recent similar article. They came together in my mind.

The points remain true, and more relevant as we move into the 2020 presidential election.

8/ Traditional conservatives with courage reject the Trump-GOP—and now they find themselves without a party.

Prof. Ziblatt and Levitsky in ⤵️ argue that for American democracy to recover and grow stronger, America needs a center-right party. (p. 224)

9/ Ziplatt and Levitsky acknowledge that refounding an American center-right party is a “tall order,” but they point out there are historical precedents, even under more challenging circumstances.

10/ For example, before 1940, Germany, never had a successful conservative party.

After 1945, Germany’s center-right party (the CDU) refounded itself and separated itself from extremists and authoritarians.

11/ For reasons explained by @JonHaidt here, a traditional conservative party provides a good balance for a more liberal party.
Center-right / traditional conservatives thus have a challenge: They must either recapture the GOP or found a new party.

12/ They must also way to pull together a coalition without the the far right wing nationalists.

Once they figure out how to do that, they'll help speed up America's recovery.

[I love twitter. If I make a mistake, I find out within 90 seconds 😍]


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