We have a category of posts called “The Grasshopper Lies Heavy.” Pretentious, I know, but it’s the shortest tag I could think of on the spur of the moment to describe a very weird phenomenon: Stuff that seems to be capital-H History passing by completely unremarked.*
I’ve written almost too many posts to count about how the collapse of a major political party is a big deal. Here’s one about the collapse of the Democrats. Here’s one in which I wonder, yet again, why nobody seems bothered by this stuff. So here’s another one:
Via the Z Man, here’s The Weekly Standard‘s Bill Kristol openly declaring his intention to go 3rd party should Trump win the nomination:
Crowd-sourcing: Name of the new party we’ll have to start if Trump wins the GOP nomination? Suggestions welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) December 20, 2015
And since nobody believes Trump will go quietly if he doesn’t win the nomination, a major 3rd party run is pretty much inevitable in a few months. And given that, does anyone think that the Republican Party makes it past 2016? Trump’s clown show only exists because the “base” — which seems to mean “donors of under six figures” — is so disgusted by the money boys that they’re only voting to stick a finger in their eyes.
Let me repeat that: Pretty much every single Trump vote is a fuck you to the Establishment. I’ve never met a Trump supporter who can fluently discuss Trump’s positions on the issues, for the simple reason that Trump doesn’t have any. And let me repeat that: The fountainhead of Trump’s appeal is that he doesn’t have positions, i.e. the first and highest function of a political party.
Does anyone really think all those “fuck you!” voters are just going to go away if GOP 2.0 hands the election to Hillary Clinton? Right now they’re just fuck you voters; after four years of the Lizard Queen, there will be fuck you secession conventions.
This has happened before, y’all.
Best case scenario — using that term very, very loosely — you get 1912, where Teddy Roosevelt led the Progressive Republicans away into the Bull Moose Party, handing the White House to Woodrow Wilson and starting the fascist era. American liberty got its lethal injection that year, but hey, at least there weren’t shots fired.
Second best-case scenario is 1852, where the Whig Party simply disappears after it resolutely refuses to take a stand on the only issue that matters. The Whig candidate that year was Gen. Winfield Scott, a hero of the Mexican War, but the voters joked that General Apathy would be the real winner, since even the Dems couldn’t be bothered to nominate a real candidate (Franklin Pierce, the eventual nominee, was the darkest of dark horses, emerging as a compromise candidate after the horse trading failed for half a dozen other guys). But hey, the shooting didn’t start for another 8 years, so I guess that’s a win.
Worst case scenario, of course, is the collapse of the Democratic Party in 1860. People forget that Lincoln won only because the Dems split three ways — proslavery, really proslavery, and silently proslavery. Lincoln was the “fuck you” candidate in that scenario, the guy you voted for if you were tired of Southern slaveholders in the White House since… well, pretty much since the Adams administration.
As I say, this seems to be a big deal however you slice it. If you know anything at all about American history, you should be pretty fucking nervous right now. And yet… nothing.
*In the novel The Man in the High Castle, a book called The Grasshopper Lies Heavy told the “alternate” history of WWII in their world, which is what really happened in ours. So many commentators on the current scene seem to be misreading history so deliberately that I wonder if I somehow got the “alternate” version of the textbook back in high school… the version where there’s clear historical precedent for all this stuff.