It’s 1964, not Gotterdammerung

Right before the end, in his bunker, Hitler decided the coming defeat was the fault of the German people.  They had proven to be too weak to prevail, and deserved to die.  He ordered that the subways in Berlin, crowded with civilians, be flooded, killing them all.  His orders were ignored, and shortly later he shot himself.

This isn’t Nazi Germany, and Trump’s no Hitler.  Hitler was a diabolical mad man, while Trump’s a simple narcissist whose self love is practically a mental illness.  No comparison.  But if Trump loses, it seems he wants to take the Republican Party down with him, in a kind of mindless rage.  The Republicans have proven unworthy of him, and must be punished.

I don’t think it will work.  Trump’s never really been a Republican, and the Party has an identity separate from his.  It’s not Trump’s to destroy.  It will survive, even if it loses the House.  But to restore itself to power, it will need to find a way to appeal to Trump’s constituency.  It can’t win without them.

We may get blown out like Goldwater in ’64.  Lyndon Johnson took his victory and squandered it in Vietnam, so four years later Nixon was able to bridge the gap between the Goldwater Republicans and the Party establishment.  The midterms in 1966 were a foretaste of Nixon’s victory in 1968.  This is what the Republicans need to do to win in 2020.

I don’t know who the new Nixon is, maybe Pence.  Whoever it is needs to understand what drives the Trump voter, and how to appeal to them.  What’s Trumpism without Trump?  As Joe Biden would say, three words:  America first.  American self interest in immigration, trade and foreign policy.  What’s the best for the citizens of this country, not what’s best for the world.  It’s a simple and powerful message, and it’s got nothing to do with Donald Trump, other than the fact that it largely accounts for his nomination.  Anybody can campaign on American nationalism.  And if the word “nationalism” make you uncomfortable, you’ll never get the Trump vote.

Normal Republicans are comfortable with American nationalism, but it’s not enough.  They want federalism as well.  They want to take power away from the federal government, and return it to the States, and the people.  In doing this, they can appeal to the libertarian minded millennials.  Issues like marijuana legalization, same sex marriage, education policy, LGBT rights, and abortion should all be decided on a state by state basis.  South Dakota may want to criminalize both marijuana and abortion.  The people in California want the reverse.  Every state decides what it wants.  Neither the Bible thumpers nor the extreme feminists may like that, but we’re all going to have to find a way to get along.  If you’re a radical lesbian in Rapid City, you’ll probably be more comfortable if you moved to the Bay Area, and vice versa.  I choose to live in the part of California where I do because I feel like I belong here.  I don’t really belong in the Bay Area.  Live and let live.

It’s called tolerance, and we’re living in an intolerant time, and that needs to change.  The man or woman who can figure all this out, and effectively communicate it, should be the 2020 Republican nominee.  It’s a political winner.  You go your way, and I’ll go mine.  I won’t tell you how to live your life, and don’t tell me how to live mine.  Just leave me alone, and we’ll make it mutual.

I’ll try not to make any more gratuitous insults of Trump on this blog, or on Facebook.  It’s not helpful to the cause of reuniting the Party.  And the thrill is gone.  It’s like piling on, now.  His angriest supporters will carry a grudge against everyone they think wronged him.  So I think we need a fresh face in 2020.  Pence fills the bill, but he’s not the only one.  There are outstanding people like Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin out there that no one’s heard of, and many others.

I thought 2016 would be a great year, and I was wrong.  But I was only off by four years.

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