Why the GOP Meltdown is a Good Thing
Throughout this entire election cycle, it seems that everyday there was an increase in drama or a new crazy event. As most election seasons are packed with 24/7 political coverage and political predictions, this one is on a whole other level. We can almost all agree that the reason, is definitely Donald Trump. Trump’s larger than life personality, his dicey past, and his stunts in reality TV guaranteed an election that would have everyone glued to the screen. More than any time in politics, everyone is now talking about the upcoming election.
As Trump likes to say, all publicity is good publicity, and the wild turn of events this election definitely have people part of the political process once again. Republicans came out in record numbers to vote for Trump in the primary, and for the first time, many people learned about the delegate system and their role in nominating a candidate. Networks received a major boost in ratings, and more people tuned into what is normally considered boring debates. People are also talking about trade deals, a topic that definitely is not popular in common dinner conversations. People are talking about big money in politics, they’re talking about immigration, they’re talking about Syrian refugees and ISIS. Bottom line, this election has people thinking about what they want in a leader, what they want in politics, and what they want for America.
And for the GOP, while this meltdown seems like it is horrible for the party, it is actually a good thing. And by the way, it is also happening on the Democratic side although not covered as closely. While the media is adding fuel to the fire, what has been revealed are the huge cracks within the GOP-cracks that are not able to mend, but can be reformed.
What we see in this cycle is the totally destruction of the party as we know it. We have Trump standing alone. Although he says outrageous, politically incorrect comments, he has an incredibly loyal following who will vote for him and him alone this November. He has a following that is tired of the GOP, tired of party leaders, and tired of the way the country is headed. They don’t care what he does, as long as he does something different than the usual politicians in DC. Then, you have the GOP establishment. This group, who spends their time talking policy with people like the Koch Brothers, have common sense reforms that are accepted by big businesses and credible figures in society. Just this week, Representative and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan spoke to the Koch Brothers and group of powerful investors about trade. To Trump supporters’, this symbolizes everything wrong with the party.
But for those against Trump, his statements cannot be backed by facts, and his reactions prove he is unfit to lead this country. They say that his comments about Khizr Khan are uncalled for, and if he had any sense he would have just refused to comment on the topic. They say his exclusion politics do not represent what America represents, and his promise to build a wall will never happen. For this group, the list of things Trump has said about minority groups totally disqualifies him from being president. And as for policies, he shifts back and forth too much to know what he will even do once in the Oval Office.
What we can learn from this, however, is that a combination of these two factions is what the Republican Party needs. And, they are not mutually exclusive. People like that Trump is a strong leader. They like that he is unafraid to speak what is on his mind, and that he seems real. They like that he is unafraid to tackle issues, such as immigration, because he does not need big lobbyists to foot his bills. They see someone who has a proven track record-even if others claim it’s a facade. They see his private plane and his buildings in Manhattan, and see that he put his money where his mouth is.
So, what the other side can learn from this is that people want authenticity back in politics. Even if mistakes are made, they would rather the person take responsibility for them then try and cover them up. They also want people to stop playing the political game, and to represent and fight for the people’s interests. They want corruption and big money out of politics. And, they want promises to be backed by action. Most importantly, they want a better economy and to feel safe at home. There is an insurgence of nationalism this cycle, and they want to again feel proud to be an American.
In contrast, what can Trump learn from the #nevertrump movement? You need to realize the power of your words, and the impact they have on other people. As a leader, you need to make sure all parts of society feel like their voice can be heard- especially, in a democracy. The GOP has had a hard time spreading their message to the minority groups because of this. There is room for everyone at the table in America. While Trump promises he will do this, his exclusion politics has many people feeling like they do not belong. The Republican Party is about individualism, and allowing each person the chance to capitalize on their dreams through a strong economy. In general, this means limiting the power of the government, and expanding personal freedom. While this of course is more complicated than two sentences, the opportunity has to be for all.
If the Never Trump movement and the Donald Trump supporters could combine, the Republican Party could be reborn from all of this chaos. It requires a commitment to come together, instead of a commitment to point fingers and fight internally. This is a huge opportunity for the GOP, and from the chaos of this election, we could emerge more united than ever before. What divides us can unite us. The division is a chance to come together, and finally fix the factions within the Republican Party.