There is a grave danger for Republicans in all of this. If there’s one thing the 2016 presidential election should have taught the GOP establishment, it’s that Americans are disgusted with politics as usual – the showboating, the sloganeering, the canned talking points and the pervasive, poisonous insincerity of it all.
That’s why Republican primary voters rejected, one by one, a field of presidential candidates full of experienced politicians. GOP voters were told their 2016 candidates were diverse and accomplished – and indeed they were. But they all had one thing in common: they were politicians, and Americans were fed up with politicians and politics as usual. So fed up, in fact, they did something drastic, maybe even reckless. They elected Donald Trump president.
Now that the politicians have failed them yet again, and in such spectacular fashion, conservatives might conclude, with good reason, that there’s no point voting for Republicans because they don’t deliver on their promises once in power. They might conclude that Republicans, having failed to take seriously the discontent of ordinary Americans, don’t deserve to govern after all.