This is truly the time of strange bedfellows, my friends. I, as a Reagan conservative realist, find myself aligned with the true conservative Tea Party remnant alongside the good folks at National Review and Red State in the #NoneOfTheAbove camp. It still makes me roll my eyes when they blame the rise of Trumpmania on the "GOP establishment" when the truth is that The Donald's horrifying ascension can actually be traced to Obamania in 2008 at least, and perhaps as far back as 1992, when Bill Clinton first brought what eventually came to be known as "reality television" to the national stage. That's when the idea of the presidency as entertainment and the POTUS as pop culture celebrity rather than leader of the free world and servant of the people I've long described Ronald Reagan as the actor who became first governor and then president, while Clinton was a president who became an actor. Trump is simply the latest manifestation of that, and proof that that desperately foolish voter mentality now controls the Republican Party as well. But, as they say, politics is downstream from culture - which is what makes - or, rather, made, since we've pretty much lost them - the "culture wars" so critically important.
But if my bedfellows are a little unusual for my accustomed tastes, they're still, metaphorically speaking, anatomically-compatible, of the opposite gender, and the same species as me. But looky who is climbing into bed with Trumplicans and #NeverHillary types now:
In November, Donald Trump would be the choice of 44% of West Virginia Democrat primary voters who supported Bernie Sanders Tuesday, CBS News early exit polling found.
But support for Trump in the general election is largely driven by independents who were allowed to vote in West Virginia’s Democrat primary. More than half would back Trump against either Hillary Clinton or Sanders.
Thirty-six percent of the Democrat primary voters are independents, compared to just 18% in 2008.
Remember how Trump claimed that he would completely eliminate the national debt in eight years without touching entitlement programs while cutting taxes - he'd cut (wait for it....wait for it) "waste, fraud, and abuse" instead....?
Well, now it looks like nearly half of Bernie Sanders voters (in West Virginia, at least, and it damn sure isn't limited to the Mountain State) think that Donald Trump is much more closely aligned with the openly and avowedly revolutionary communist who seeks to double today's national debt in a decade and raise taxes to literally impossible levels than the "DINO" option whom #NeverHillary folks are trying to depict as making Satan look like Jesus Christ.
I don't know 'bout y'all, but I'm approaching the point where I can't keep track of all these depictions and framings and portrayals and paintings without a real-time program. I suppose that's what happens when (1) politicians can't bring themselves to level with voters as to who and what they are and what they believe and simply say, "I'm asking for your vote", and (2) voters don't stay in reality and do the heavy-lifting homework of vetting candidates based on their track record of policy and personal character and embark on a vehement journey of self-deception before the candidate they've convinced themselves is Jesus Christ has the chance to swindle them. That's why Bernie Sanders has attracted such a passionate following on the Left: He's that rarer than hen's lips phenomenon known as an honest socialist. The Right, by contrast, had no such equivalent because the honest conservatives (Walker and Cruz - I can't count Perry, Jindal, or Rubio because they've now knuckled under to Trump) were ignored and buried, respectively, which goes to illustrate just how tiny a minority constitutional conservatives truly are.
Remember when I said that the Sanders-Trump crossover phenomenon damn sure isn't limited to West Virginia? Recall the white identity politics aspect of Trumpism that The Donald never publicly acknowledges but never publicly disavows, either? Credit where credit is due: Neil Stevens saw it coming months back:
I got a great deal of pushback when I first mooted the theory. It fit the pattern: the policies, the rhetoric, and the turnout figures all pointed to outsiders coming into the [Republican P]arty. Further, the climate in the Democrat party has shifted. Black Lives Matter broke through the usual ‘race’ quarantining the Democrats do, thanks to the Voting Rights Act’s Majority-Minority districting.
National Democrats usually only talk about issues relevant to black voters in black churches. That’s why they go there and why the press never covers it. If the Trump Democrats had heard this stuff years ago, they’d have revolted. But Black Lives Matter protesters forced Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders to affirm support for them publicly, outside of the safe confines of a black church with no cameras rolling. So, the last remnants of the Robert C. Byrd/Ku Klux Klan wing of the Democrats bolted.
They’re Trump voters now. They are the Trump Democrats. If allowed to take over the GOP they’d ruin that party for conservatives. These are folks who could be relied upon to vote for people like Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, but now they’re going to vote for Donald Trump. [emphasis added]
In essence, Barack Obama's "honest racism" may now be fracturing his "coalition" and binary-ing white blue-collar liberals and Big Labor types over to the GOP under the Trump banner. Emphasis on may, of course, because the centrifugal pull of partisan tribalism works both ways. Many of these "Trump Democrats" - to whom Hillary Clinton specifically marketed herself as a contrast to Obama eight years ago - will undoubtedly "come home" and hold their noses and hang the chad for Herself. Indeed, I would expect to see that be her general election pivot to keep white Dems in the fold.
The Empress, in other words, is still going to win. The question is what the GOP is turning into. It's like the center of political/ideological gravity in America has moved so far to the Left that elements of the traditional leftwing coalition (Big Labor, white "nationalists" - i.e. the "Archie Bunker" voters) are being almost displaced into Republican ranks, and in turn are displacing constitutionalists, conservatives, and libertarians from from national politics altogether.
The Republican Party, in short, and as I warned from the beginning, is being dragged to the Left by Donald Trump, infiltrated by traditional "progressives," just like I said.
See, I told you so.
Not that Trumplicans or #NeverHillary-ers are paying any attention. Hell, why should they start now?