Trump, we should remind people, isn’t an outlier. He’s what Republicanism is these days. He’s the prodigal son of the evolutionary transformation of the GOP – a transformation that goes back a half century. Goldwater then Nixon got the ball rolling. Reagan upped the ante and spread the word. Gingrich took it to a new stage. The Tea Party and a handful of billionaires catapulted it into new territory. And Trump continued this process, while adding some new wrinkles, with only the most tepid internal resistance, to the GOP’s evolution into a full blown authoritarian party – at once white nationalist, mysogynist and patriarchal, plutocratic, christian fundamentalist, homo and trans phobic, xenophobic, labor hating and more.His capture of the presidential nomination in 2016 wasn’t a fluke. More than any other presidential hopeful in the GOP primary, he gave voice to the new music and beat of a significant section of the party – base voters and financial backers alike.
In short, he adapted to as well as accelerated the transformation of the modern day Republlcan Party into an existential and immediate danger to democracy and social progress, something worth reminding voters of now and this fall.