The dismantling of the Republican Party

Sean McCarthy,

Americans have become disenfranchised by their respective parties and have begun to register as no party or Independent instead.

The constituents for both parties are at their historically lowest points, according to a study by Gallup. Only 26 percent of the nation identifies as Republican this year, down from 28 percent in 2012 and 33 percent in 2005. The Democratic Party represents 29 percent of the nation, down from 31 percent in 2012 and 33 percent in 2005. The number of people who are now registered as Independent has increased to 42 percent, up from 40 percent in 2012, and 33 percent in 2005.

Donald Trump is not a politician. He may have inherited a fortune like many Republican politicians, but at heart, he is a businessman who decided to run for president. He is similar to Arnold Schwarzenegger or Ronald Reagan in the fact that he never practiced politics before running for the position.

Despite his party affiliation, Trump is not a Republican; his political views differentiate from the Republican norm. Earlier this month, he said he was open to raising the minimum wage, he does not support free trade, he was pro-choice until last April and avoids topics relating to religious freedom. He is unfavorable in the eyes of the GOP leadership because these viewpoints are considered anti-establishment.

Paul Ryan, the Republican Speaker of the House, has been extremely vocal in his disdain for Donald Trump.

“I’ll never support Donald Trump and Ted Cruz does very little to appeal to me as a young voter,” Ryan said at Georgetown University in April.

However, in the wake of Trump’s victory in the Republican primary, Ryan has changed his tune. Trump flew to Washington D.C. to meet with Ryan on May 12 to discuss unification of the party. Republicans are desperate to keep Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic nominee, from becoming the 45th President of the United States and first woman to hold that position.

“I was very encouraged by what I heard from Donald Trump today. I do believe we are planting the seeds to get ourselves unified,” Ryan said at a press conference after the meeting. This meeting sounds like the party is trending in the right direction, however, the opposite is true. Ryan had no choice but to support Trump because Republican voters were going to vote for him nonetheless.

In a poll aired on CNN May 17, 58 percent of people thought that Trump was more trustworthy to lead the Republican party than Ryan, who received 39 percent of the votes. That fact alone shows how disenfranchised the Republican voters have become with the party.

Trump currently has just over 10 million votes and comes in a close second to George W. Bush’s 10.8 million votes in 2000. Trump is expected to surpass that number by a wide margin after the Republican primaries conclude on June 7.

If Ryan submits to Trump’s version of being a Republican, it shows that Republican voters no longer see the party’s platform as their ideal platform. Trump’s version of the Republican Party goes against many of the conservative Christian views on sexuallity and women’s rights. This would also cut out many of our big businesses that trade with China, which he believes is financially crippling America.

If Ryan decides that the GOP cannot submit to Trump, then the GOP will be turning its back on the vast majority of Republican voters. Trump could abandon his whole platform and conform to the Republican establishment, but that just does not seem plausible. Trump said in April that he would run as Independent if the GOP stole the primary from him.

In their effort to do this, the Republicans kept John Kasich in the race as long as they did to steal a few votes from Trump in every state. They hoped that by doing this, Trump would not reach the total number of delegates needed to secure the Republican nominee. This tactic failed miserably.

It is likely that Ryan and the GOP will submit to Trump to block a Clinton nomination. In four years, they will try to propel a new Republican nominee to battle either Trump or Clinton in 2020. By that time, Trump will have shaken up the entire establishment.

Trump has not stated any specific policy ideas for the greater part of his campaign, yet his statements about building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico and banning all Muslims from entering the country have resonated with millions of Americans. These emotions will continue to run through the hearts of his followers until the next presidential campaign in 2020, whether or not Trump runs again.

Republican voters will not be voting for whoever the GOP selects going forward. Their only establishment nominees — Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Kasich — failed to gain any traction.

The only candidates who had any success this year are Ted Cruz, who is not an establishment Republican, and Trump, who is only a Republican in name. The GOP will need to reevaluate what the people want going forward and change; otherwise there may not be a Republican Party in the future.