Tis my fondest wish.
Toward the end of his new book, “R.I.P. G.O.P.,” the renowned Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg makes a thrilling prediction, delivered with the certainty of prophecy. “The year 2020 will produce a second blue wave on at least the scale of the first in 2018 and finally will crash and shatter the Republican Party that was consumed by the ill-begotten battle to stop the New America from governing,” he writes.
It sounds almost messianic: the Republican Party, that foul agglomeration of bigotry and avarice that has turned American politics into a dystopian farce, not just defeated but destroyed. The inexorable force of demography bringing us a new, enlightened political dispensation. Greenberg foresees “the death of the Republican Party as we’ve known it,” and a Democratic Party “liberated from the nation’s suffocating polarization to use government to advance the public good.” I’d like to believe it, and maybe you would too. But should we?
It’s definitely possible for one of the two major American political parties to be not only defeated in the most decisive manner, but absolutely flattened and decimated so there can be no near-term comeback. This kind of happened to the GOP after the elections 1932 and 1936. In that case, though, the party did not disappear but rather adjusted to life in the near-perpetual minority for the next sixty years. That would probably be a good enough solution to our present problems for me, but I want more.
I want the GOP to go the way of the Whigs and be replaced by something more akin to mainstream European parties of the right. Neither the small nor the large cataclysm is assured at this point though. And the more imperiled the conservatives grip on power becomes, the dirtier they will fight.