Teri Kanefield @Teri_Kanefield Author, lawyer (U.C. Berkeley). Books and articles, most recently cnn.com/. George Papadopoulos called me deluded. My threads are here: terikanefield-blog.com/ Aug. 17, 2019 5 min read

(Thread) The future of the GOP

Harvard Professor Steven Levitsky and conservative columnist @JRubinBlogger agree on how to get out of this mess:

The GOP needs to be crushed in 2020 so that a center-right party can arise from the ashes.

America needs a center right party.

1/ We know how we got into this mess.

Over the past few decades, the GOP transitioned from a conservative to an authoritarian / reactionary party.

For more on how that happened, see ⤵️

Trump is the result of that transition.

2/ When Trump happened, true conservatives woke up to the reality of what happened to their party—and they began defecting.

@Maxboot, @justinamash, @JRubinBlogger and others had what you might call a rude awakening⤵️

True conservatives now find themselves without a party.

3/ Harvard Prof. Steven Levitsky, an expert in how democracies die, says it's unlikely that the GOP will stop its destructive anti-democratic behavior on its own.

The only real solution, he says, is for the GOP to suffer a series of electoral defeats.
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LATq3kavcus&t=314s 

4/ It isn’t enough to squeak out a win for the Democrats in 2020.

2020 has to be a drubbing for the GOP.

Conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin agrees. She says, "Trump and his enablers up and down the ticket must be defeated. . ." ⤵️

5/ Professors Ziblatt and Levitsky, in How Democracies Die, explain that:

The GOP’s “twenty-five year march to the right was made possible by the hollowing of its organization center,” which “left the party vulnerable to takeover by extremists.”

6/ Ziblatt and Levitsky give the solution: The GOP (or a different center-right party) must be “reformed, if not refounded outright.”

They acknowledge that this is a “tall order,” but they give historical precedents: It can and has been done.

8/ The Federalist lost power when Hamilton died, and they opposed to the war of 1812, which pegged them as unpatriotic.
 https://www.history.com/topics/early-us/federalist-party 

By 1828, the Federalist Party was dead.

The Democratic-Republicans basically stood alone until the rise of the Whigs (1835-1854)

9/ Then the Whigs split over slavery and crumbled. In 1854 the GOP was born.

If the GOP gets crushed in 2020, then

💠The GOP becomes a fringe extremist party, and a new center-right party is born* OR
💠The conservatives retake the GOP.

(*Yes, the Democrats can split)

10/ The problem for conservatives will be figuring out how to achieve electoral majorities without courting the KKK and other extremists, and without kowtowing to FOX and other right wing media outlets.

For the past few decades, they counted on the fringe to get a majority.

11/ Levitsky says a reformed center-right party will have to figure out how to compete for urban and non-white voters.
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LATq3kavcus&t=314s 

Obviously you can’t appeal to non-white voters AND the KKK.

You have to pick.

12/ It will take a few years for a new center-right party (or a reformed GOP) to find its legs and voice, but it can be done.

In ⤵️Levitsky and Ziblatt offer historical precedents for the rebirth of a brand new center-right party, including the CDU in post WWII West Germany.

13/ The CDU, founded by conservatives, “separated itself from extremists and authoritarians.”

So what’s next for the GOP?

The future of the GOP isn’t looking good right now.

The Cook Political Report moved Collins Senate race to a tossup.
 https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/cook-political-report-moves-susan-collins-senate-race-to-toss-up/ar-AAFU0EX 

14/ 538 rates the Fox poll A+.
The numbers don’t look good for the Trump-GOP.
 https://beta.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/08/16/troubling-signs-trump-this-new-fox-news-poll/ 

Remember 2016 when Trump was in love with polls? There was a reason. He knows how to read them.

As we move toward Nov. 2020 and Trump faces the prospect of a big loss. . .

15/ . . . he’ll get desperate.
He’ll up the ante on the racism, xenophobia, and hate.


The GOP knows that their electorate is aging and shrinking.

The right wing element of the GOP will view a potential loss in 2020 as a catastrophic existential threat.

16/ And they’re right. The aging white male patriarchy loving GOP members are a shrinking minority.

There will be more defections.
 https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/19/politics/kansas-legislature-republican-democrat/index.html 

A major loss in 2020 will throw the GOP into crisis.

17/ I think people understand that squeaking out a win won't end this nightmare.

That’s why I don’t think anyone will get complacent when the polls show the GOP heading for defeat.

During the years it takes a new center-right party to find its legs, the Dems will in elections.

18/ The abuses put in place by GOP extremists can be undone in the usual course of passing legislation and replacing judges.

But first 2020 needs to be a landslide.

If you feel discouraged about the amount of work that needs to be done, think about Susan B. Anthony. . .

19/ . . . and what she was up against.
See:

I practice what I preach. I spent time this week as a volunteer updating a DNC election guide legal manual.

What are you doing? See my list:  https://terikanefield-blog.com/things-to-do/ 
(spreading doubt and gloom doesn’t count)

This is an interesting point⤵️

Certainly as American conservatism came to be defined in the mid-20th century (a reaction to FDR, with the unifying goal of rolling back the New Deal) the conservatives could never achieve an electoral majority . . .

. . . which was why they needed to invite the white supremacists and other fringe extremist into their party, and then kowtow for their votes.

But conservatism as someone like @JonHaidt defines the mindset could achieve a majority.

Start reading here:

All my threads are also blog posts. You can read this one here:  https://terikanefield-blog.com/the-future-of-the-gop/ 

We've had important defections in Texas recently. I should have linked to those instead.


You can follow @Teri_Kanefield.



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