Thoughts on a chain email: is Trump Wallace or Goldwater’s heir?

J.D. Crowe - Mobile Register - Trump and George Wallace - English -

Of course I don’t usually read chain emails, but this one was forwarded by someone close to me with a request to “let me know what you think”, which might as well be a trigger word for me. Ask and you shall receive, probably more thoughts than you actually wanted but oh well! And so I come back to the blog.

The thrust of the chain was a political cartoon about today’s primaries, with winner-take-all Florida as the grand prize of delegates:

So tonight we find out if the GOP gets a stay of execution or the nation may be witnessing what amounts to a wake of the GOP

Take a look at George Wallace 1968, Barry Goldwater 1964, and Lincolns 1st and 2nd runs for office, the second victory kinda didn’t last too long for poor old Abe, (too bad they didn’t have Netflix back then he could’ve stayed home that night) The similarities of these four campaigns are in some instances amazingly similar to the shitstorm of this current tsunami of nonsense we bear witness to daily without pause for reason

Aint politics great…..

I think the comparison to Lincoln is lacking any substance (sure it was a divisive election, but that GOP was nearly nothing like the modern version) but the tenor of Wallace and Goldwater’s campaigns (populist, bombastic, nativist/xenophobic, outsider/non-politician) have some resonance. The scary thing is that those campaigns were always much farther from the presidency. Trump has exposed a real rift in the party between elites who focus policy on the wealthy, and the white working class and poor who actually vote, against their self interest, for those elites based on mostly false or failed promises.

Marco Rubio recently joined a chorus of talking heads claiming that a Trump nomination could meaningfully split the GOP. I’m of a mind with that opinion, because the party of “tax cuts and Liberty” isn’t really doing that for the last few decades, except for a small privileged class. If the party wants to remain more universally popular I do think it needs to rethink how to speak to the disaffected people supporting Trump out of fear and frustration, with both the economic and social climate.

See this article from Slate for more in depth thoughts on how the GOP could come home to its voting base and re-imagine itself as the party of small government and liberty for all, not just wealthy elites.