Will conservatives here reflect on malign ties between conservatism, Republicanism, and Trump?

I haven’t seen much if any of this here. He has non supporters here and never trumpers too, but they seem to spend all their time owning the libs. Is it possible for any of them to engage in thoughtful reflection about how they got to here in 2019.

I mean the denial is getting to be a tsunami. How long can you trumpet victory in the face of a great national shame?

The OP is rather vague, I’m not quite sure what you are wanting here. As a fiscal liberal but social conservative who voted third party in 2016, I’ll give it a stab:
Many Republicans have yearned for someone like Trump, but what they really want is someone like him, but not quite him (but even they themselves don’t realize it.) They want someone who boldly stands up and tells the politically incorrect offensive truth. But Trump isn’t the 3D chess player they want - he is not a highly intelligent, cunning, savvy strategist - his brain’s thought process is “six fireflies blinking randomly in a jar,” as a NY Times editorial put it. But he sounds close enough to what they want, that they thought he was what they want.

But also, Trump is the social conservative that many have yearned for - someone who will say things like, “Men are discriminated against, Christians are discriminated against, etc.” - because, let’s be honest, to a certain extent, there ***is ***a considerable amount of anti-men-ism or anti-Christian-ism that goes on in America. And when conservatives found someone who actually scratched that mental itch for them - Trump - the relief and joy he gave them was so intense that they’d go to any extent and do anything for him. It was almost indescribable delight - finally, someone who speaks for us! Many liberals are utterly baffled and confounded by the zeal of this passion - why Trump scratches the itch of these conservatives so satisfyingly. Because everyone wants a leader who they think speaks for them. But even Trump isn’t a truly zealous social conservative; he more or less figured out how to scratch these people’s itch for political gain.

Moving castigation from GD to the Pit.


My reflection on Trump’s election is that I now believe the multiverse is real.

Thank you for your meaningless koan, beneficent guru. And we didn’t even need to climb to the mountaintop for it!

I think Velocity’s post above is very good, and points up the bizarre psychological distortion in the conservative worldview; that the existence of “a certain amount of anti-Christian (or men, whites, whatever) sentiment” equates to “Christians are being discriminated against”. As far as they’re concerned, only straight white male Christians are really first class American citizens, and allowing others equal rights constitutes “discrimination” against the groups which have historically enjoyed unfair privileges! Even the fact that people are allowed to freely express hostility towards them is intolerable, while they demand the right to say whatever they want about others!

I am a small c, New England, William F. Buckley conservative.
I have no fucking idea what the current Republican party is thinking. Their actions do not align with anything I have held to be conservative values.

Not on the SDMB, no. You guys can’t stand to read it - you feel the immediate need to substitute what you think (so to speak) and then rant against that.

Besides, it isn’t necessary - there is no shortage of posters who will tell me what I think no matter what I say.


I’m pretty sure the data explains this – it’s about cultural grievance. A big part of conservatism has always been about cultural grievance. Back when the Democratic party was the culturally conservative party, it campaigned on cultural grievance (i.e. racism, bigotry, xenophobia, etc.). And it was quite successful, especially in the most racist parts of the country (i.e. the deep South). The Republicans took control of that with the Southern Strategy, which was successful again. The highest correlator with Trump support that Nate Silver found were google searches for racial slurs. Again and again we’re shown that many or most Trump supporters value harming and angering those they don’t like – liberals, immigrants, Muslims, etc. – far, far more than any actual political principles or achievements.

Cultural grievance explains pretty much all of this. It was always part of the conservative movement – maybe the biggest part. Trump made it more explicit than anyone since George Wallace, and there were millions of Americans very hungry for such a message. I’ll note that this isn’t just about racism and ethnic hatred – it’s also about anger at liberals/progressives and cultural change and progress.

Of course there are many individual conservatives that don’t share these cultural grievances. But on a macro-scale, in my understanding the data strongly suggests that cultural grievance is, by far, the best explanation.

Should have added that I’m not a conservative, so that may not have been what the OP is looking for.

But it’s what the OP was gonna get no matter what.

Like I said, threads like the OP get mostly two kinds of responses - liberals telling other liberals what conservatives really think, and liberals telling conservatives what conservatives really think.

If thoughtful reflection were going to come from such a poisoned well as the OP, Bone would not have moved it to the Pit. Yet here we are.


The William F. Buckley who wrote this?

So you won’t even attempt to answer the question of “why Trump”. Instead, you would rather play the victim.

I guess this behaviour actually does explain rather a lot.

Hey, quit being so hard on him! These are very fragile people. The slightest criticism can shatter them into a million shards of white-hot rage and fear.

But **Shodan **has a point, though - every time we’ve done threads like this (“Trump supporters, why do you ____,”), a great deal of posts in the thread end up not being actual conservatives or Trump voters, but rather, Trump opponents trying to project their own analysis or guesswork onto how Trump voters actually think. That rather clutters up the discussion with radio noise.

It’s kind of like the IMHO threads we have about women - “Women, why do ?", and around 70% of the posts end up being men trying to mansplain, or project their own assumptions about women, onto women - rather than women actually being the ones to say how they feel. It’s rather counterproductive. Imagine if we did threads about "Muslims/LGBT/Jews/(insert category,) why do you?” and then it’s a whole bunch of people who aren’t Muslims, or LGBT, or Jews, jumping in with their opinions.

If the OP is asking for conservative input, wouldn’t it be best to, you know, let conservatives be the ones providing the feedback?

Don’t even try to imply that this hasn’t been attempted here more than once. Hundreds of times stabbed in the back with a rusty butter knife, twice shy.

Well, we’re waiting… Have you seen any willing to actually provide said feedback?

And he had the balls to quote Shodan, the person voted most likely to shit all over such attempts.

I don’t identify as a conservative; if anything I’m more moderate than anything else.

I think that there were really two parts to the modern Republican party - there were the small-c conservatives like **DrFidelius **mentions, who weren’t necessarily religiously or socially conservative, but held a more… philosophical set of views about government roles, government spending, personal responsibility, etc… These were the people who dominated the party through the party’s time up until Southern Democrats defected en-masse to the GOP in the 1970s.

And that’s when the wheels started to wobble significantly. These people brought in a super-heavy dose of racist-oriented policies, and aligned themselves with the Christian Right/extremely socially conservative elements.

Somewhere along the way (by my estimation, about 1989-1990ish), they discovered the power of talk radio and painting the political struggle as more than that; it now became a cultural struggle where basically “good God-fearing, family-values-oriented people who work hard and save their money” were pitted against some combination of de-facto criminal illegal immigrants, shiftless, criminal and uncouth urban dwellers, or wealthy, bleeding-heart East coast liberals who are all about spending someone else’s money (Yours!) to engage in futile efforts to help the shiftless urban people/illegal immigrants. In essence, the non-white, non-suburban crowd was portrayed as lazy criminals, and the whites who wanted to help them were portrayed as effete Easterners who want to spend hard-earned tax money to help these people. And they portrayed the efforts for religious inclusion and/or limiting state-mandated religious displays as attacks on faith, these hypothetical “conservative values”, and their very way of life, as if having to allow the Koran to be displayed at the courthouse alongside the Bible somehow attacks Christians.

Now imagine two and a half decades of relentless propaganda about these topics toward a specific set of the population- white, rural or suburban, and religious(usually Evangelical or at least not mainline Protestant or Catholic), augmented by the rise of the Internet and the echo-chamber effect and ability for the more nutty elements to self-support and feed each other, and a hefty dose of corporate astroturfing, and you got the Tea Party. Fast forward a few years, and now you have a presidential candidate who in essence isn’t playing by the rules- he’s “telling it like it is” (or should be), and sticking up for THEM (the white, suburban/rural, strict-christian crowd), and you get someone that crowd is willing to back wholeheartedly, despite his peccadilloes and general retardation otherwise.

Meanwhile, the toxic radiation from all this propaganda is still irradiating people who may not have been totally on board with this stuff, and somewhere it resonated- there were/are a LOT of people who didn’t like Trump at all, but were totally against voting Democrat. Maybe they felt that Congress would rein in his stupidity, maybe they felt like he’d actually attempt to govern in a more conventional fashion, and almost assuredly, they thought Congress would retain more independence in policy making and thought than they have. Maybe they were just so against certain issues that they felt that having Trump in office was the lesser evil vs. some Democratic policies. Maybe they felt that even though they didn’t like Trump, they still didn’t feel like the Democrats were aiming anything their way. Either way, there were a lot of people who voted for the “R” after his name, and not for Trump himself in 2016.

That’s how we got him, in my view. I suspect that last crowd may vote differently come 2020; he probably won’t be seen as the lesser evil any longer by many.

Except that the old “Good vs. Evil” thing isn’t a factor any more for a lot of them-the only thing that matters is “winning”, and it really doesn’t matter how it is accomplished.