The Obama Factor
For eight years straight, the starting point of conversation coming from so many in the GOP is not about ideas or policy, it’s about what they hate and who they want to stop. What were the choices after Trump? Hater Cruz or empty-suit Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) who spoke more on Obama than the current nominee Hillary Clinton? Once being a “real conservative” meant running campaigns on “stopping Obama” the voters landed on Trump.
The GOP has been transformed from a party of policy ideas to a party galvanized around “who we want to bring down.” It’s unrecognizable as compared to the presidencies of George H.W. Bush or Ronald Reagan. Despite scandals, paranoia and lists of enemies, even Richard Nixon was generally policy driven. That Republican Party is gone. Republican voters nominated a candidate whose most dominant public act was lying about the first Black President of the United States’ birthplace in a relentless effort to undermine Obama’s authority and legitimacy in the name of ego. Trump couldn’t get his mind around the fact that a Black man in America has ascended higher than himself. Trump’s effort has 300 years of legacy behind it and it was given oxygen by many in the GOP universe.