Heather Digby Parton writes that whatever happens tomorrow, the GOP is staring into the abyss because the Donald Trump campaign has stripped away the bark of respectability that the Republican intellectual class and ruling elites had erected around its policies and revealed the rancid reality underneath.
It’s been a tough time for Republican officials and elite conservative pundits, and that’s understandable. They’ve just discovered that their voters have a different interpretation of conservatism than they thought they did. The elites define Reagan’s famous “three-legged stool” of conservatism as “economic conservatism,” “social conservatism” and “defense conservatism,” which they would further describe as a belief in small government, family values and patriotism, all dressed up in fancy philosophical paeans to freedom and the founders and the constitution.
Trump has shown that the base of the party also believes in those three pillars, but they have stripped away the intellectual veneer that made them socially acceptable and laid bare that the three legs actually represent racism, sexism and nationalism. Economic conservatism is simply a way to stop the federal government from spending money on “the wrong people.” Social conservatism is simply a way to keep women in their place. And defense conservatism is a chauvinistic belief that America is for Americans and foreigners had better watch their step.
After the election, the party will try to put the veneer back on and they will be aided by the media, ever anxious to get back to the spurious ‘both sides are the same’ narrative that they love to propagate, and that only serves to legitimize and mainstream truly obnoxious views.