There is a belief pushed by the mainstream media that there was a GOP before serial sex abuser Donald Trump (SSAT) took over the party and a very different GOP after SSAT. In this view, before SSAT, the GOP had a mix of so-called moderates and extremists but the extremists were a minority and the party establishment consisted of moderates who could keep them in check and fob them off with small favors. But that is simply not true.
To find that old GOP, one has to go way back, as far back as the Eisenhower days and even then we had the anti-Communist hysteria led by Joe McCarthy loonies who had considerable influence. But it was with Richard Nixon that the GOP started its rapid slide to the far right and in its racist attacks on the poor and minorities, disguised as the war on crime. Over time, that mask of moderate dominance began to peel away steadily with people like Ronald Reagan, Newt Gingrich, and the Tea Party becoming ascendant and the demonizing of government going into full swing. Sarah Palin’s ascendancy to becoming the vice-presidential nominee and her appeals to the ugliest sentiments of the electorate revealed the true face of the party. SSAT is the person who has finally and openly gloried in what the party has become. He is the word become flesh, to use a biblical metaphor.