The Frankenstein GOP Base

The Frankenstein GOP Base August 10, 2015

A lefty reader writes:

The conservative Movement has been taken over by the mob of racists and misogynists it has been catechizing for decades. No longer does Fox News and others lead them, but Fox responds to them at this point. This is the Frankenstein monster of the right and it controls the Right. Rush, even “thinking groups” like First Things, are at the mercy of The Monster, not leading it. Congrats.

Watching the spectacle of Megyn Kelly and FOX, as well as Kevin Williamson and Jonah Goldberg, trying to rein in the braying herd of Trumpies orgasmic with the dark joy of the Id Monster over his racism and repulsive sexism, I have to say I agree. The 57% approval rating lead the “prolife/support the troops” Right has given this pro-abort who takes dumps on POWs and routinely calls women “pigs”, “dogs” and “disgusting animals” makes clear what the priorities are for the base. The desperation of the leaders of Movement Conservatism evince as they struggle to bring down the Monster show pretty clearly that the Monster is in charge.

My 2 cents, at any rate. Discuss.

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  • Pete the Greek

    What exactly is conservative about Trump? He’s about as conservative as Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush.

    • chezami

      Beats me. But his base of self-described GOP conservatives think he is.

      • ck

        “But his base of self-described GOP conservatives think he is.”

        Nobody thinks he’s a conservative. Here’s an Unz writer explaining the value of this clown:

        “Just think about what the man said. He not only explained that the whole system is rigged (Baier: “And when you give, they do whatever the hell you want them to do.”…TRUMP: “You’d better believe it.”), he also said that the politicians will do whatever they’re told to do. (TRUMP: Well, …with Hillary Clinton, I said be at my wedding and she came to my wedding. You know why? She didn’t have a choice because I gave.”)

        “Doesn’t that confirm your darkest suspicions about the way the system really works, that money talks and that elections are just a way to get the sheeple to rubber-stamp a corrupt, fraudulent system?”

        • dabhidh

          That’s an interesting perspective and I’d like to think it has a certain level of truth, but unfortunately I suspect that Trump’s appeal has more to do with the fact that he’s, a) a business tycoon (supposedly speaks to intelligence and success), b) a blowhard (simulated “tell it like it is” honesty), and c) occasionally sounds like a hard-liner on immigration. The moment he said he was going to “build a wall and make Mexico pay for it”, a whole buncha people’s eyes glazed over and they became instant Trump partisans. Never mind the fact that he couldn’t actually do that. It just sounds so damn satisfying to some.

          • Pete the Greek

            “build a wall and make Mexico pay for it”
            – That’s funny. Pay with… what, exactly? Maybe the Mexican government would turn around and tell him that America needs to pay for the drug war we’re forcing their government to wage on the cartels.

            • D.T. McCameron

              Hah! Get paid by both sides! I like it!

          • Dan C

            No one addresses the fact that immigration is the answer to the whine of conservatives for close to a decade: demographic winter.

  • Edward Mechmann

    What’s particularly disheartening is the level of support he enjoys among avowed Christians.

  • Ray

    There are no nut jobs on the left? No racists? No sexists? How delusional, how lacking in self-awareness is the “Lefty” and Mark? If the right has built Frankenstein then the left has built the pool of Narcissus.

    • BillyT92679

      Of course there are, but tu quoques are meaningless. We on the conservative end need to purge guys like Trump like Buckley purged the John Burchers.

      • Dan C

        Buckley’s purge made space for his own brand of libertarian elitist racialism. He couldn’t stand the competition.

  • Dan13

    I think the Trump supporters are just voicing disgruntlement. I don’t think most of them seriously want him to be president.

    • Pete the Greek

      I think you may be on to something there. Maybe he touched on this in the debate, I dunno (didn’t watch it), but a big thing in the minds of average, particularly blue collar people is immigration from central and South America.

      Maybe I’m not the best one to mention it, as poor immigrants coming in by the torrent is actually helping my type of business (mid/low real estate) as they are usually fantastic tenants. If you ask landlords in our area, if they are feeling talkative, they’ll admit that if they could do it, they’d evict everyone else and fill their buildings with hispanic immigrants.

      But it seems to me that almost every time the issue is brought up, the person who brings it up, yes even on Catholic blogs, is simply dismissed as a racist redneck. Ah, he is just saying that because he hates people that aren’t white.

      Now, do those people exist? Yup, met some of them. But there are vastly more who simply look at areas of the country quickly becoming majority Hispanic (Arizona and New Mexico will soon be like this) and note, correctly that this massive flood of immigrants don’t seem to have much, nor do they want to have much, of anything to do with being American. They don’t want to ‘integrate’, whatever that means anymore. They come to earn some money for a better life (which is pretty important if you’re one who has lived long without it). They like being Mexican, or Panamanian, or wherever they are from. Fine and dandy, but the question remains what happens when said group becomes 51% of the existing population of a state, and then continues to grow to become the power majority?

      If this population has no real allegiance to the US national government, and in fact instead would favor integration with Mexico, say (remember, they are the voting majority and by then the ruling class), could not such a situation result in a defacto, if not legally recognized departure from the Union to join with the mother country? (and no, all of you bedwetters need to calm down, I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT REVOLUTION OR ANY BS LIKE THAT. Put a cork in it.) Perhaps simply acting as if there is no border at all, ignore federal laws that aren’t cared for?

      If some say “Nah, never would happen” I would remind you that pot is still against federal law, but many states are just ignoring those laws. Washington doesn’t seem to be doing anything about it.

      In short, if they simply ignore the federal government, because if you don’t feel any allegiance to them, why bother, what exactly is the federal government going to do? Are they going to send the Marines and 101st to invade and install martial law in Phoenix, in short make war on the majority of the population? Hit New Mexico’s capital with Tomahawks? How powerful REALLY is the federal government?

      As another blogger said: maybe in 30 years this will turn out to be a bloody disaster, or our kids will look back and wonder what everyone was all worried about. But one thing the future generations will not say is that we actually debated the issue like adults instead of just sweeping it under the rug.

      Meh, sorry I wandered a bit, anyway, my original point was that if people have serious concerns that continue to be ignored, they will start searching around for anyone who will address them for them.

      • Rebecca Fuentes

        I think that’s a very good point, and one that usually doesn’t get voiced. The media talk focuses on things that are more sensational–murder by an illegal immigrant, jobs, etc. Culture shift isn’t as sexy to talk about.

      • Spengler

        “this massive flood of immigrants don’t seem to have much, nor do they want to have much, of anything to do with being American”

        That word – ‘American’. What does that mean, anyway? Is that some special species of humans?

        “They don’t want to ‘integrate’,”. In other words, they do not want to live like white people – apple pie, motherhood etc etc.

        “what happens when said group becomes 51% of the existing population of a
        state, and then continues to grow to become the power majority? If this population has no real allegiance to the US national government”

        Whoa, hold on there. I thought state’s rights were worth a civil war. Or is it the case that irrespective of the situation, there is a certain way of life, a certain culture – cough, cough, white culture – that should be _the_ “American” gold standard, even if only 10% of the population lived by it? Will the rest, the majority, always be second-class, living the less-American (or un-American) way of life?

        America is what the majority of Americans want it to be. As whites become a minority, the identification of white=American will change. Or has to change. And people of goodwill should hope for that change, because anything else would be a tyranny. We have enough examples of such tyranny all over Latin America. Minority whites running a tyranny over indigenous peoples.

        Anyway, thanks for raising the concern. The reason no one talks about this issue, is that the prevailing culture inevitably chooses tyranny instead of adjustment. You can see the rumblings of that now, and the men who hope to ride to power selling that tyranny, clearly. Which leader will go out and tell the prevailing culture that it will need to adjust? That’s a surefire way to lose elections.

        So we have the choice between despots and cowards, and no leaders.

        • Pete the Greek

          “That word – ‘American’. What does that mean, anyway?”
          – A lot of things rolled into one, with lots of VERY divergent flavors based on regions. I’m sure you have no idea what I mean, right?

          “Whoa, hold on there. I thought state’s rights were worth a civil war.”
          – Well, considering that a Federal response in that war destroyed the very concept of state’s rights, I’m not sure the war worked out so well.

          “America is what the majority of Americans want it to be.”
          – I don’t think that’s really the case at all.

          “The reason no one talks about this issue, is that the prevailing culture inevitably…”
          – Well thanks for… not actually reading it at all, it seems? The point is that, no, it doesn’t have to be inevitable at all. The fact that real concerns are not discussed (or if they are, in only a cartoonish way) on this issue is because elites in this country want this to happen, Democrat and Republican both, for different reasons.

          As I said, maybe it will turn out like it did for the Czechs and Slovaks. Then again, maybe it could turn out like it did for the Bosnians and the Serbs. I sincerely hope not.

    • Joe

      We can only hope.

    • Doyle

      This. The tea + base turned out in the mid terms to try and chain Leviathan. They said NO to Obama’s initiatives and policies and handed the GOP the house and the senate.

      The GOP funded Obamacare.
      The GOP passed the Corker bill.
      The GOP failed to defund PP.
      and with a little research I could go on and on on all they COULD have done in the conflicts of our time: culture, life, personal responsibility, U.S. fiscal responsibility.

      I’m one of them. I’m so disgruntled I want to vote for anyone who will stop this march to socialism. I’ll end up making a reasoned choice, but this is a message. The base has every right to be furious. We were absolutely betrayed by the leadership.

      • Andy

        The republican base is not the only group betrayed by politics and the political machinations of our current owned government – it si every America who has been betrayed. Trump et al. are just examples of trying to deflect real discussion of the real problem in America – the lack of dignity for each person, the commidification of people, and the creation of a “new” (renewed?) oligarchy.

  • Mark S. (not for Shea)

    I have an idea for a great campaign poster for the Donald. A picture of the Donald standing in front of a breeze-tossed American flag. In his right hand, he is holding a shovel. The campaign slogan reads: THE GOP. YOU JUST THOUGHT WE COULDN’T GET ANY LOWER.

  • I don’t understand Trump’s appeal. I have plenty of complaints against most mainstream Republicans and conservatives, but Trump’s not a conservative of any sort. He’s simply a loudmouth jerk. None of the conservatives or Christians I know seem to support him, so I really can’t understand who is.

    • BillyT92679

      Know who likes Trump?

      “THEY TOOK OUR JOBS!!!” types that are overtly racist, ethnocentric, misogynistic, irreligious, against SSM not on moral grounds but on plain old homophobia, anti-government folks, SECULAR NRA members (not the church going ones, ones like I know who have their guns as their religion), at least neutral on abortion, if not straight up pro-abortion, often atheist, social moderates.

      A strongly interconnected Venn diagram with the old Perot fans of 20 years ago.

      • SteveP

        Your subtle parody is very excellent.

  • Elmwood

    at least he’s entertaining, that’s all i can hope for in these debates. i think people are so fed up with politicians that Trump comes across as a refreshingly bad alternative. he’s hardly worse than Ted Cruz as a candidate.

    seriously, how much more of the sh#t sandwich we catholics get served from the GOP can we take.

    • Dan C

      Trump is a bad candidate exposing the Right is motivated by overt racism and misogyny.

    • prairiebunny

      “how much more of the sh#t sandwich we catholics get served from the GOP can we take”.
      Just recently there was a vote in the senate to defund PP.The GOP didn’t have the votes to do it alone.They needed help from the baby crushing Dr Mengele party better known as democrats. Didn’t get it.Especially no help from the 15 or so proabort catholic democrats in the senate.Nobody talks about them not even in the church hierarchy. Instead the Cdl Dolan’s go after non catholic Trump.Pathetic.

      • Elmwood

        i think it was grandstanding, obama said he would veto it. Dolan likes Jeb.

  • Scott Bute

    I watched the debate twice. The Trumpster never answered one question. He just blows a lot of hot air. When he’s had his fun, he will exit stage left and we can get about the serious business of stopping a third Obama term by defeating Hillary.

  • Rebecca Fuentes

    I have been assured that Fox News is part of a conspiracy to discredit Trump, which is why they were so hard on him during the debate. Poor little Trumpites.

    • Ken

      You mean by asking perfectly legitimate questions? How could they do that to him?

      • Rebecca Fuentes

        Yup. How dare they treat him like any other candidate. Don’t they know he’s *special*.

  • Joe

    And with Ted Cruz is in 2nd place, the GOP base seems pretty hell-bent on handing the Dems a victory on a silver platter.

  • jeanvaljean24601

    Interesting. For some few months, I have been thinking the problem is not one of “leadership”, but of “followership”. The problem is not that no good leaders can be found, rather that the leaders faithfully reflect the followers. And, right now, on both Left and Right, Americans have become a rabble of bad followers. (In general, and — I know, whosoever reads this is a Good Follower. It’s all those Other People who are messing things up.)

    Please note, I am not advocating sheep-like “following”. Rather that the ordinary citizens have abandoned their precious intelligence in favor of giving full credence to the “experts”, especially those who inform everyone as to what’s going on lately.

    A few weeks back, the pastor of my parish spoke of tribalism causing economic problems in a certain diocese in Africa. And what we are seeing played out is tribalism in American politics. Blues vs Reds. (vs Greens) Like in Byzantium.

    • Dave G.

      And yet I’m struck by just how non-helpful the whole Reds vs. Blues really is. I think of a group I worked with for the last couple years. In that group I heard them say over those couple years that 1. we need prayer back in schools, 2. we need public executions, 3. nothing wrong with gay marriage, 4. it’s a woman’s choice. WTF? And yet, as I listen outside of the media generated narrative, I’m shocked at just how common that approach is. Blue State? Red State? I don’t think so. I think there have been bigger changes than just two options on the political map.

  • Tom

    It’s silly and ignorant to think Trump supporters are the “GOP Base”. Trumpites are Reagan Democrats who never quite found a party they liked and they’ve glommed on to Trump. All the hysteria over the Donald is silly because polls mean nothing at this point. Remember Herman Cain?

    But Trumpmania is fascinating in part because I think it’s human psychology in action. When people tentatively attach themselves to a person or idea and that person or idea is attacked they end up doubling-down, attaching to themselves to that person or idea with much more intensely. Sort of like how Mark Shea became a hater of the Republican party once he started getting attacked over it. Sort of like how abolitionists probably made Southerners more pro-slavery than they might’ve been otherwise, were they allowed to come to their own conclusion without being called evil. Not that they would’ve given up slavery on their own of course, given that giving up wealth/privilege is a universal human moral-warpping mechanism.

    • Dan C

      Reagan Democrats? It’s 2015 dude. Blaming Democrats for Republican failures?

      How typical of the Party of Personal Responsibility?

      • Dave G.

        Having read your comments, I thought it would be good to admit that sexism and racism are alive and well and living in the Right, just down the hall from the sexism, racism and antisemitism that is alive and well and living in the Left. Again, I increasingly find the two distinctions less and less helpful as time goes on.

  • Ken

    Donald Trump is the creation of political talk radio and angry political web sites where every person on the opposite side is “dumb,” “a loser” and any other word you want to use to describe them. He’s a candidate that actually says all these horrible things that his base would say if they had the platform.

  • Na

    all thing to all??? not really…if you perpetually engage and advance the “cool” pelvic sins (which for some reason they derisively include the liberal talking point of dismembering unborn children) they preach tolerance, engagement and accompaniment…if you don’t worship at the alter of statism you are a racist, misogynist.

    since this is supposed to be catholic blog, perhaps you can write a post about how a christian can loosely impugn the motives of a whole group with no evidence and no Socratic reasoning and not be “judging” them. I am sure this christian wouldn’t want to have that measured applied against him on the last day.

  • SteveP

    “The conservative Movement has been taken over by the mob of racists and misogynists it has been catechizing for decades.”
    Your correspondent has a weak grasp of the content of public education at the primary, secondary, and university levels. If a singular radio show and teevee news program can so upset such carefully crafted lesson plans, of what use is the educational bureaucracy?
    I’d suggest to your correspondent: tolerate the conservative moment—they were probably born that way.

    • Dan C

      Conservatives have shown they only learn from each other. Conservatives have been promoting Southern Strategy, misogyny and other disgraces somce Reagan and “welfare queen” and his “young bucks/welfare” comments.

      You willfully deny the catechism you have received on Fox News.

      • SteveP

        I don’t know “Welfare Queen” but if you hum a few bars I can probably pick up the harmony.

  • TopBumpkin

    This country has only two viable political parties that comprise practically the entire spectrum of social ideologies in countless combinations.

    Those big tents will include crazies from both sides of the political spectrum. Sometimes one of the village idiots gets noticed, yet they certainly don’t reflect the character of the majority of the community.

    Same goes for the sweeping generalizations that are unfairly leveled at conservatives based on it’s fringe elements.

    Trump is a village idiot – an egomaniac who, through blind stupid luck and an outrageous personality, has managed to stumble upon and exploit legitimate concerns of conservative voters.

    Trump is not the Frankenstein monster, he is Mr. Hyde.

  • jaybird1951

    What overwrought prose coming from both Mark and his lefty reader. By the way, what 57% lead? Trump has at a maximum 26% in the polls I have seen. On matters involving the Church and the Faith you are excellent, Mark. But when it comes to politics, your writing is grossly exaggerated and polemical.

  • ManyMoreSpices

    The conservative Movement has been taken over by the mob of racists and misogynists it has been catechizing for decades.

    Well given that this is a “lefty reader,” I’m going to go waaaaaaaay out on a limb here and assume that the Misogyny Catechesis to which this correspondent refers consists principally of the conservative movement’s opposition to abortion on demand and its rejection of other of the worst excesses of feminism. So if you don’t mind, I’m going to discount this person’s assessment of the sins of the conservative movement. He may be right about Trump’s sexism, but to the extent he’s using Trump as the capstone for the Wall of Conservative Bigotry, the rest of the wall is rickety, as it is made up of bullshit.

    And that’s really what the left (and many on the right) misses about the offensive stuff that Trump says. They’ve been calling conservatives racist for decades. Every conservative presidential candidate is racist. Opposition to Obama in any form is racist. The POW/MIA flag is racist. Literally everything white people do is racist because they benefit from the system of White Privilege blah blah.

    The left has been crying “wolf” “racist” for decades. Now when someone who’s actually saying racist stuff shows up, many conservatives can’t be bothered to care about the left’s bleating. Oh, you think a conservative is racist? Again? Okay buddy.

    So no, I don’t think that Trump encapsulates or represents the core of conservatism, or shows that conservatives are racist. He shows conservatives have had it with the charges of racism. They don’t work anymore. And if you’re going to continue to make them, I cordially invite you to tinkle up a rope.

    • TopBumpkin

      I usually enjoy how the Irish in Mark’s personality is displayed through his “subtle” and “nuanced” observations of the faith, culture, and politics.

      Although not alone, Mark’s polemics too often display what I call exception-ism: taking an exception and making it the rule. Trump is an aberration to conservatism in the same way that Pelosi is to Catholicism. And it frustrates me when sweeping generalizations are made about conservatives by pundits who should know better.

      Certainly all of us engage in it to demonize who or what we are critical of. Yet, we need to recognize when we are engaging in it and re-examine our attitudes – especially those people who have significant influence.

      • jaybird1951

        I think Mark does know better but he enjoys indulging himself in cliches and creating strawmen he easily demolishes. How is it that he can write so well and so sensibly on matters of faith but on political issues he resorts to slogans and even dishonesty? Trump in the polls has 20-22% which means 78-80% of the GOP base does not support him. But for Mark, it is “the GOP base” that is at fault.

        • TopBumpkin

          I don’t know. I think that he is just extremely disappointed, frustrated in some highly visible conservatives whom he thinks should know better. Let’s put it this way, he doesn’t suffer fools gladly.

    • Tweck

      Many of the loudest conservatives for decades have BEEN racist, sexist, etc. etc. Does that make the entire conservative movement that way? Of course not – to say so would be dehumanizing. But if mouth-pieces like Rush Limbaugh and other far-right talking heads hadn’t been shouting it into our ears for decades, perhaps that perception wouldn’t be there.

      I know many conservatives who I’d never consider bigots, but then they aren’t standing at podiums or preaching hate from television sets and radios either.

      • ManyMoreSpices

        Hmm. If “[m]any of the loudest conservatives for decades have BEEN racist, sexist, etc. etc.,” then… Trump isn’t exactly an outlier, is he? You can’t have it both ways. You can’t say there have been many loud evil voices within conservatism, then treat Trump as if he’s a departure from every other GOP presidential candidate whom the left has slimed as a bigot. So the left goes with the former: everyone’s a racist homophone sexist. Even the GOP’s squishes. Earning the GOP nomination earns you a Certificate of Bigotry from the left.

        Yeah, you’re basically proving my point. All this talk about Limbaugh “shouting” things that are “racist, sexist, etc.” is a sign that someone has never listened to a moment of his show, and instead is creating a view of conservatism that flatters her biases but bears little relationship to reality.

        Everything is racist! Everything is sexist! Sorry. You can play that card if you like but I’m just going to shrug at it.

        Limbaugh has been portrayed as this shoutin’ firebrand, when he’s… not. If you want that, try someone inconsequential, like Michael Savage. Limbaugh gets a lot of stuff wrong but good parents shout at their children more than Limbaugh shouts about anything. One Bernie Sanders campaign speech has more shouting than a year of Limbaugh’s program. And I’ve never heard him “preach hate,” unless by “preach hate” you mean “declining to sing loud hosannahs to homosexuality.”

        Exit question: an avowed socialist is leading the Democratic polls in New Hampshire. Does that mean that those who called Democrats “socialists” for decades were right all along?

        • jaybird1951

          My own personal experience has been that those who condemn Limbaugh by calling him bigoted and full of hate have never listened to his show. They are parroting propaganda.

  • Neihan

    “Racist,” “Sexist,” “Homphobic,” etc. Those words have no meaning anymore, and are nothing more than mouth-noises that leftists create. Attempts at incantations which they recite to bring shame to their enemies and a raiment of righteousness upon themselves.

    Your identity politics bore me.

    • Pete the Greek

      To make such statements on this blog… is to court Death.

    • Tweck

      Ah right… great way to whitewash racism, sexism and homophobia. Pretend they don’t exist.

      • ManyMoreSpices

        Fun Fact: the only people in the universe who use the word “homophobia” without rolling their eyes are people who see it where it doesn’t exist.

      • MJD

        “Homophobia” is, of course, a nonsensical term invented to make those who object to immoral conduct appear psychotic. No Catholic should ever use the term except to criticize it.

      • Neihan

        You misunderstand the point. The point is that liars are rewarded by no one believing them even when they tell the truth.

        Leftists, with mind-numbing frequency, cry “Wolf!” when there is no wolf. They use the symbol “Wolf” for an end other than communicating the idea “Wolf.” They use it for moral posturing, public shaming, political and financial gain, and to avoid intellectual confrontation.

        This has several effects. One of which is that leftists no longer have a way to communicate the idea of wolves to people. The other effect is that people may think that maybe wolves aren’t so bad after all – that maybe wolves are better than leftists.

  • anna lisa

    When Trump opens his mouth, he gets the craziest expressions on his face. He screws his face up like an irate grandma straight out of an SNL skit . You’d think the people who take him seriously would have the courage to sit him down, replay his sour owl urine face for him, and coach him a bit.

    It just supports the reality that politics, and the news media have never been about making life better or about being professional. It’s all about a circus–entertaining a public that’s bored silly.

  • Tweck

    Meh, the whole political and economic system in the U.S. is under the influence of Satan. When a giant crowd of big business elites, neocons and politicians from the whole political spectrum show up to the Moloch-worshiping festival in California each year it’s pretty obvious what’s going down. I don’t trust any of it anymore. Trump seems like just another distraction. I ask myself, “I wonder what evil they’re up to behind the scenes while everyone’s obsessing over this guy?”

  • orthodox guy

    A lot of people are troubled by the things Donald Trump says. He has a following and there’s a reason for that which this author doesn’t seem to grasp. But his demonization of Conservatives is at best misguided. Trump will fade from the political scene and then it will be interesting to see where the left turns to in it’s never ending Conservative bashing.