I’ll save you from the apocalyptic theatrics. The Republican party is one of the two most established institutions in America. No matter how much strife there is among the establishment and Trump, despite a sharp divide in the base, the GOP will survive 2016. With that said, the future of the party looks like a long, dark road into the unknown. There will be a lot of soul searching and a lot of conferences among the elite on where we go. Maybe we’ll get another use autopsy report. I’ll present two possible scenarios, based on the outcome of the first Tuesday after the first Monday this November, on where the party can go forward.
A) Trump wins. In 2 to 1 odds, Trump wins every coin toss and barely eclipses 270. In the next four years, the agenda of Paul Ryan and a populist agenda of a President Trump will need to be reconciled. Who knows, maybe Paul Ryan won’t even be speaker come the next session of Congress. Either way, the vast number of conservative legislators who disavowed their nominee will have to come to terms with their decision. Either they stand firm, or fall back in line. For Mr. Trump, a day of decision making will come to him the day he enters in the Oval Office. All campaign season, Trump has flip flopped from issue to issue, never setting camp up for too long in way area. Will he push for a wall? Will their actually be a muslim ban? Does he actually think that single-payer healthcare is the solution to Obamacare? What about trade deals? If these issues are the agenda he pushes, my best guess is there will be a very large plurality of Republican congressman who will not support the Administration. In order for Trump to pass anything, he’ll likely the need the support of some Democrats. If this is the case of the next four years, don’t be surprised if we see a reprisal of the Republican nomination of 1976. *Cough* Rubio…or Ryan…or Gowdy? *Cough*
B) The more likely of the two scenarios; Trump loses. Probably not by as much as projected a couple of weeks ago (A 400 electoral landslide for Clinton), but nevertheless, another shot at the White House slips through our hands once again. Honestly if Trump loses, the future of the party is anyone’s best guess. Here’s mine: I think Trump understands the influence he now carries. Over 40% of the Republican base is likely now loyal to him for years to come. Will he start is own news network? I wouldn’t doubt it. I think what we will see for the next decade is future Republican candidates walking a fine line between the approval of Mr. Trump, and the support of the establishment and conservatives as well. If Trump chooses to wield the power he now holds, every national candidate for the foreseeable future will need to get the stamp of approval. Long standing policies might be walked back a little. Relentless support of free trade might dwindle. A more isolationist approach to foreign policy could come, and an overall shift to the center could be the near future of the Republican party. But don’t fret. This is our generation’s mid 20th century. Relentless defeat and divisiveness of the 1960’s, compromised conservatism under Nixon, but a conservative revival followed. Our conservative revival will come. One thing is sure about the future of the party, leaders such as Nikki Haley, Tim Scott, and Marco Rubio will make their mark in American politics.