The GOP Is Struggling, But It’s Not Entirely Their Fault.

If this election has proved anything, it has proved that the Republican Party is struggling with its supporters. The rise of Donald Trump (and even Ted Cruz) has shown many voters are frustrated with the party. While some Republicans have broken their campaign promises and have compromised their morals, the majority have not.

First, conservative radio and TV pundits (nationally and locally) have driven voters to become inaccurately frustrated with the party. People love to be outraged about political issues and pundits have given voters a place to direct their outrage. The pundits do it by blaming everything on the Republican Party. If something isn’t getting done, they blame it on the Republican Party. If one or two politicians decide to compromise, they blame it on the Republican Party. This “blame game” has given the pundits ratings, viewership, and money. In the end, voters feel disenfranchised by the party. Usually, it’s just the fault of a couple compromised Republicans, or not even a Republican’s fault at all.

This blame has driven many voters to the far-right, but farther to the right than we’ve ever seen. When I joined the political scene in 2010, I was considered a Tea Party guy. In fact, up until 2014, I was writing for FreedomWorks and speaking on behalf of the Tea Party Express and Tea Party Patriots. Today, I’m considered a “RINO” by many conservatives. Similarly, four years ago, Paul Ryan, Scott Walker, and Marco Rubio were considered “far-right.” Today, most conservatives consider those three politicians RINOs. Yesterday’s conservative is today’s moderate. That’s how far the Republican Party’s supporters have drifted. 

Conservative voters have also become incredibly petty and stubborn. In example, Marco Rubio’s failed presidential campaign. Marco Rubio has one moderate stance, illegal immigration. Yet, when people went to the polls to vote, they voted against him because of that reason. Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign is another example. Romney isn’t a far-right conservative, but he sure was better than the alternative. Yet, many far-right conservatives didn’t vote for him in the general election, which helped elect Barack Obama. This happens all the time. When it comes down to a general election, voters should vote for the candidate they agree with the most. Instead, they end up sitting out of the election because the candidate doesn’t agree with them 100%. Ironically, this helps put their opposition (liberals) in office. It’s disturbing how petty and stubborn some conservatives have gotten.

Many conservatives have failed to realize that moderates are necessary in politics. The Democrats have moderates and so should we. Congress has always been made up of politicians from all backgrounds and viewpoints. Moderates are needed in politics just as much as the far-left and far-right politicians are needed. Moderates respect the opposition, help facilitate discussions, and bring a different opinion to the table. Most importantly, there are geographical areas where only a moderate can win. The Republican Party has attempted to support these moderates, all while supporting members of the Tea Party as well. They should do that, as it is necessary for the party to garner support from all different conservative opinions. The failure to understand the importance of a moderate has driven many conservatives farther away from the GOP.

The rise of Donald Trump is due to the anger in regards to the Republican Party as well. While the Republican Party has been trying to be inclusive to far-right and moderate conservatives, minorities, women, and LGBT groups, Trump supporters have been acting in complete exclusion. Trump and his supporters attack absolutely anyone who has a differing opinion, including conservatives with similar views. Trump’s supporters are the voters who have been driven to hate the Republican Party through their false belief that the Republican Party has left them. Despite that, these voters are supporting a man who was liberal until six years ago. In addition, he’s endorsed by “RINOs” such as Chris Christie and Scott Brown. The irony and ignorance of his supporters is astounding.

Far-right folks have inaccurately put the blame on the Republican Party for things out of the party’s control. The Republican Party—and the success of conservatism—will perish if voters don’t become less ignorant. The conservative movement has come to a tipping point. If Donald Trump becomes the party’s nominee and Reince Priebus doesn’t denounce his candidacy, the party may be gone forever. People will not want to vote for a party who supports a sexist, racist, inappropriate, and ignorant man. If Trump is the nominee, we will lose our majorities in the Senate and House. The future of the GOP should be made up of principled, mature, successful, and bright leaders such as Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, and Scott Walker. I’m just not sure if conservative voters will drop their ignorance and give them a chance to lead.