The GOP: Tracing the roots of Trumpism
“The chickens come home to roost. Hoisted on your own petard. You reap what you sow.” The clichés abound, said David Corn in MotherJones.com, but they all come down to the same thing: The Republican Party elite created the monster that is Donald Trump, and is now watching helplessly as the bombastic New York City billionaire tears the Grand Old Party apart.
For years, Republican leaders “exploited the climate of hate in which Trump’s candidacy has taken root.” They portrayed President Obama as an “anti-colonialist Kenyan” and “secret Muslim” who deliberately tried to ruin the country. They “adopted a political strategy of never-ending obstructionism,” and winked at the racism and birtherism of the Tea Party base. Now the base is wildly cheering Trump’s call for a ban on Muslim immigrants and the deportation of 12 million Hispanics, said Fareed Zakaria in The Washington Post. So why do Republican leaders seem so appalled? Mitt Romney last week condemned Trump as a phony and a fraud and begged Republicans not to vote for him. Rewind to 2012, when presidential candidate Romney gleefully accepted Trump’s endorsement, even though Trump had spent months leading the birther movement. While pandering for votes, Romney, Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, and other prominent Republicans have dog whistled on immigrants, Muslims, and blacks; Trump merely chose to say “plainly what they were hinting at for years”—and in doing so, “hit the jackpot.”
Trump’s movement is deeper than some racist rhetoric, said Bruce Haynes inRealClearPolitics.com
The Left deserves plenty of blame for Trumpism, said Noah Rothman inCommentaryMagazine.
There’s no doubt many voters feel betrayed by Washington, said Conor Friedersdorf inTheAtlantic.com
If Trump’s rise has exposed anything, said Jonathan Chait in New York magazine, it’s that Republican voters feel little loyalty to conservative ideology. Right-wing intellectuals like to think belief in small government, low taxes, and other conservative economic principles is the glue that holds the GOP’s various factions together. But the rise of Trump, who has prioritized “right-wing social resentments while tolerating ambiguity on economics,” suggests that most Republican voters “aren’t maniacally obsessed with shrinking government after all.” Movement conservatives find this revelation deeply embarrassing; they can’t believe that the party of Lincoln and Reagan has been taken over by a demagogue who offers nothing but “boasting, absurd promises,” and cultural rage. Now the survival of the conservative movement is at stake, said Renee Graham in The Boston Globe. “Republicans have made their bed. They can only hope that Trump, the creature they created, doesn’t smother them in it.”