GOP Civil War Could Near Completion in 2018

I thought the GOP civil war might finish in 2016 or by 2020. It looks like 2020 might mark the emergence of a "new" party depending on how the 2018 off-year election plays out.

The GOP civil was brewing with the Ron Paul campaign in 2008, but didn't show up at the ballot box until the 2010 Tea Party and the 2012 presidential primaries. During Obama's presidency, GOP energy that would have flowed into internal conflict was redirected into opposition. Establishment GOP politicians who didn't want an internal civil war could hide behind opposition to Obama. President Trump broke that stability in 2016. He ran on long-ignored issues in 2016. He exposed how far public had moved from the establishment. Time and again, Trump forced his internal opponents into the open. He also won too quickly. He moved much faster than the rest of the party, resulting in a large base of opposition from within his own party. Now the task of removing internal opposition is underway.

The point I made from the beginning is that during a period of negative social mood, the party that offers voters something new will have the strategic advantage. They may lose an election here or there, but they will control the political zeitgeist. Democrats are only now starting to remove their old leadership, with a plot to replace Nancy Pelosi. The Democrats are still relying too much on demographic change and immigration though. They don't think they need to change their policies because they expect them to be accepted by a new electorate. At this point, I don't see a battle within the Democrat party over policy arising, rather the most likely point of conflict will be identity as the old white leadership gives way to younger minorities who are organized on racial and ethnic lines. When they get around to having a policy battle, as the Republicans have been having for nearly a decade, then they will offer a countervailing force. Until then, and as long as mood remains in a negative trend, the Democrats will offer a temporary break from the nationalist agenda. All the pain the GOP has experienced and is experiencing, will clear the way for a unified party that will eventually be handed carte blanche power to remake the nation for generations (assuming it doesn't fracture before then).

Previous coverage

From 2011: Republican party headed for civil war; Democrats to follow?
From 2013: GOP Civil War About to Explode
This will not be won by the establishment. The party establishment is going to be destroyed in the 2014 election as the GOP tears itself apart and swings to the right. This is good news for Democrats in 2014 and 2016, but bad news for 2020 and beyond because it means the GOP is likely to turn increasingly radical. That makes them more likely to win at what will eventually turn into musical chairs. Voters will be fed up with all of the establishment, and the small radicalized GOP will be able to reshape politics.
From 2014: GOP Civil War Nearing Completion, But Democrat Civil War Just Beginning
One theme here has been the effect of negative social mood on the political system and how the GOP began tearing itself apart in 2008. It looks bad in the short-term, but if social mood stays in a negative long-term trend, the party that morphs into a reform party, no matter which way they move, will have a clear path to total power in Washington, D.C. on par with the New Deal revolution in the 1930s.

Following defeat in 2008 with a moderate candidate chosen to appeal to independents, the GOP base re-emerged in 2010 with the Tea Party, pulling the Congressional delegation to the right and electing candidates who disagreed with the establishment on major issues such as national defense. Then came 2012, when the party again chose a moderate designed to appeal to independents and angered the base with their tactics. Now the base is fuming over the leadership once more and the Speaker may even have a challenger in the primary, while the VP nominee from 2012, Paul Ryan, also has lost great stature among the base.

...Every single political analysis I've seen thinks the GOP will harm itself in 2016 with primary battles and that the Democrats will have smooth sailing with Hillary. That may end up being the case, depending on how things play out, the question is whether the GOP and the nation are ready for reform in 2016 or whether it will take until 2020. Should the GOP lose in 2016, by 2020 it would have changed greatly on the issues and will likely nominate (or the party that replaces it will nominate) an anti-interventionist, anti-free trade, anti-bank, anti-immigration candidate. Meanwhile, by then the Democrats may be having riots in the streets again.
That last paragraph is 90 percent accurate, with only the timing off.

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