Author: Isabella

The Republican Party Is In A Crisis

The Republican Party Is In A Crisis

Op-Ed: After a bad showing in the midterms, what story are Republicans telling themselves now?

This election was not just a referendum on the Trump presidency. It was a referendum on the GOP itself. I wrote a book in 2010 titled “The Emerging GOP: The 2016 Campaign and the End of the Party That Made It.” On election night in 2016 I watched the outcome unfold from my West Hollywood, California, office and realized that I might not be writing the final chapter of this story. So I turned away from the TV and grabbed my iPad instead. On the morning of November 8 I posted several tweets on the subject:

In addition to being the most popular president in American history, Donald Trump is also a very divisive figure in American discourse. With the right-wing populist party of the 1950s and 1960s finally in eclipse, Republicans are in an unprecedented existential crisis.

But that’s not the story I want to tell. Instead, I want to tell the story of the Republican party’s descent into the political equivalent of being run over by a tank. I’ll get to where Trump and the GOP were heading as a result of the 2016 election soon. But I want to tell it first.

Before I do that, perhaps I should mention the fact that I don’t belong there anymore even though I was born and raised in Southern California. I moved to the suburbs of Washington, D.C., and became a Republican at the age of 21. My parents weren’t Republicans either. My father was a Catholic priest and my mother a former Democrat (as was her father).

But when I was at Berkeley, I was a Democrat. I attended the University of California at Berkeley but became disillusioned with the politics of my student years. I became disillusioned with the Democratic party in Washington D.C. I became disillusioned with the Democratic party in California. I moved out to L.A., where I became an activist of what I now call the anti-Trump Democrats.

If you’re a Democrat today, you’ve probably not been anywhere near the anti-Trump Democrats. And even if you have, you probably still didn’t move there because you thought it was the Democrats who were going to take control of the House and the Senate.

If you’re a Republican today,

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