OPINION: The Ruin of the Republican Party

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OPINION: The Ruin of the Republican Party

By Anna Chuo, Morale Officer

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Donald Trump has been making headlines recently. Aside from running for the highest office in America, the recent video of him bragging about assaulting women and the accusations of many women who claim that they have been sexually assaulted by him have caused many Republicans to question whether Trump is fit to be president. Many Republicans have asked Trump to step down (though it isn’t possible for the party to force Trump to step down). Since announcing his candidacy, Trump has caused a division in the Republican Party, or at the very least, tension. His comments about Mexicans, women, Muslims, the disabled, and he has even called the entire voting population stupid. Right now, the Republican Party holds control in the House and the Senate, but with an unusual candidate like Trump, many wonder about the fate of the Republican Party for this election and the future.

According to the New York Times, the national polling average has Hillary Clinton 5% ahead of Trump, with an 89% chance of winning. Though the chances of Trump winning are low, if he does win, the party will have to distance themselves from Trump and his hurtful words.

According to the Washington Post, Trump’s supporters are almost entirely made up of white, uneducated, and Christian Republicans. While there are people of those groups voting for Clinton, it is only the white, uneducated, cisgender, heterosexual Christians he hasn’t promised to target. He has encouraged the paranoid idea that all other groups of people are horrible people who will destroy America.

The Republican Party is now seen as racist, sexist, and homophobic, though that isn’t an accurate representation of the entire party. A major part of the party revolves around being fiscally conservative, which means one might believe in lower taxes, reduced government spending and minimal government debt. It also includes free trade and privatization of social security and medicine. The undecided voters who believe in fiscal conservatism don’t want to vote for Clinton because she isn’t fiscally conservative, but at the same time may not feel that Trump is capable running the country and dealing with foreign relations.

At the beginning of the election, some thought the Republican Party might nominate another candidate to run or Trump might run as a third party. Now, it is too late. But I believe the Republican Party may split apart from Trump’s supporters to try and gain more support. There are those who may like some conservative ideas, — such as fiscal conservatism — but because the current face of the GOP is orange and scared of every minority, many are turning to the Democrats. If the Republican Party chooses to change its image, it would drastically alter the political system, with the possibly of three major parties if the Trump Party keeps strong numbers.

A new Republican Party would probably mean a Democratic rule for at least another election. Many don’t pay too much attention to politics, especially without Trump running for president. Educating the public about a new party would take time, and even then, politicians just holding town hall meetings wouldn’t gather enough coverage. It would also take people learning about the new party from their peers too. So though the Republican Party may lose some power for a while, it would be worth it if they were to come back as a stronger, more morally-backed party.

The Democratic Party’s future is also being questioned, though far less than that of the Republican Party. There is a loss of unity is between the older Democratic Party and the younger Millennials who support Bernie Sanders. Though Clinton has been endorsed by Sanders, his followers still strongly oppose Clinton and the idea of her being supported by Wall-Street friends. On the 11% chance of Trump winning, Clinton’s loss may be blamed on her lack of support from his followers. If Clinton does win, the Democratic Party will probably remain the same, (at least for now) because we can’t have our two main political parties arguing within themselves.

There are still three weeks until election day, and even after the next president is elected, we may not know the fate of the parties. However, if there’s anything we learned from this election, it’s that anything is possible.