So much has been written about the takeover of the Republican Party by Donald Trump that it often seems that nothing can be added to the commentary. What astounds me is not that Trump has "taken over" the party but that so few recognized that Trumpism was the Republican Party for decades, and he has not taken it over but given voice to its private thoughts and voting record. Politics is a puzzle and the pieces do connect and present a coherent picture.
Romney's Republicanism had no room for the disenfranchised, supported tax breaks for the rich, treated women as children who had best be told what is good or bad for them - abortion being the primary bad - raising a child alone without support or day care from the government the good - failing to spend public money to retrain those who lost their jobs to cheaper salaries in Asia, failing to spend money on roads, bridges, and while screaming for oil pipe lines refused to pay for water pipelines - so that we end with the horror of polluted drinking water that has damaged the children in Flint, Michigan. Racism? Who has long been against voting rights laws, school integration, rising minimum wages? Torture? A GOP euphemism for a strong military. Homophobia? Okay as long as it is confined to discriminating hiring practices and private remarks and avoids beating up gay men and women in the streets. They don't want to add to the high cost of street cleaning. Immigration? Welcome Andrew and Sven to the USA. No way for you Jose.
Oh, how they shed tears over the murder of the babies in Sandy Hook yet refused to permit saner gun laws to pass in congress. Trump is merely the naked, and embarrassing expression of what the party has stood for in recent times - it is like your small child saying some naughty, racist, or obscene remark that he/she could only have heard at home and now expressed it in polite company. The birth-ism that came with the election of Obama, the refusal to let him name a Supreme Court Justice - this is but another expression of GOP racist politics as usual - nothing new here. The only thing new that Trump brings to GOP politics is a European trophy wife - and the desire to speak his dirty little mind - filled with views that he shares with so many of the "respectable" members of his party. If the Republican party breaks in half due to Trump's candidacy it won't be over principles but due to public embarrassment. If we are seeing pink elephants lately it is not because we have had too much to drink but because the GOP symbol is blushing with shame for being seen for what it has been for generations.