The Tea Party movement was truly a grass-roots movement that attracted people of every ethnicity and political leaning to appeal to their rulers in Washington for a redress of grievances. By “every political leaning” I mean that the Tea Party was probably a majority of those who had voted Republican in the past but also included a good number of Democrats, libertarians and even some who had never voted before. Tea Party rallies included black, hispanic and just about every other ethnic group you can think of.
The Tea Partiers were ripe for the picking by either political party that would have embraced them, although the Democrats would have needed to change their positions on too many issues to have attracted them. The Republican leadership could have easily made common cause with the Tea Party. They would not have needed to change any of their announced positions. All they would have needed to do was actually start believing their own rhetoric and keeping the promises they were making to voters.
We know this for certain because it was largely the Tea Partiers and those who sympathized with them and their cause who handed the GOP huge legislative victories in 2010 and 2014. These bonanzas could have propelled Republicans to exactly where they always said they wanted to be, a party that had “reached out”, in their words, to minorities and women and added huge numbers of them to their voter base. All they needed to do was accept the Tea Partiers into their good graces.
But that’s not what they did. Instead, the made the Big Mistake. They treated the Tea Party movement as if it were a terrorist organization when it was a just peaceful movement of patriotic Americans seeking nothing more than a voice in national politics. The GOP could have given them that voice and given itself the sort of expanded voter base it had always hoped for. If the GOP had acted wisely, and if Jeb Bush had been a real conservative like he said he was, there’s a good chance he would be the Republican nominee now. Or perhaps if people just didn’t want another Bush, count me as one of those, the GOP nominee would likely be either Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio. In addition, the polls would already be predicting a huge victory for the GOP in November.
The GOP blew all that by breaking its promises to voters in 2010 and 2014 to shrink government and the admiinstrative state and to stop Obama’s radical agenda. Their whiny excuses that they lacked the voting power in Congress were pathetic. From 2010 and after the GOP had the power of the purse, one the strongest powers in American government. Obama needed Congress to give him money to do the things he wanted to do. The GOP led House of Representatives willing handed it over. They demanded nothing in return and they got nothing. Thus, by the beginning of 2015 Republican voters who had given them two spectacular victories were whopping mad at the GOP.
This created a void and in stepped Donald Trump to fill it. They now find themselves having to make the choice between Trump and losing to Hillary Clinton. Some of the GOP establishment leaders still would rather have Hillary than Trump as president. They are few, thankfully. The rest seem to be accepting their fate that they have no good choices. It’s now Trump or Hillary, in other words their only option is a choice between one they condisder to be bad, and one they know is much worse.
It’s too vapid and clichéd to say they will reap what they have sewn, although that is true. The GOP establishment is not the main reaper here. No matter whether Trump or Hillary become president they will not suffer greatly. They will keep their jobs and their cushy insider Washington beltway perks. It is we in the hinterlands who will reap what they have sewn.
Most of us, myself included, do not consider the choice to be one of bad and worse. We do or should consider it a choice between the possibly good and the impossibly awful. Trump has said he will fil the Scalia seat on the Supreme Court with a justice of the same temperment and judicial philosophy. If America is destroyed by its government it will be the Supreme Court that will facilitate the destruction. Trump is thereofre possibly good for us, Hillary is worse yes, but more than that. She is a great destroyer of everything she touches. She offers a choice that can only be described as wretched. She will make it so by her Supreme Court appointments