Hi Chris! Thanks for commenting!
So let me first clarify that I don’t personally believe the GOP is on the verge of collapse; Leyden and Teixeira make that argument in their series, but I don’t entirely agree with it. Do I think that the Republicans could suffer major losses in November? Yes. And do I believe President Trump could lose in 2020? I do. But even if the GOP takes an electoral beating over the next few years, I find it difficult to believe that they would lose as much power as Leyden and Teixeira predict. They might not be able to maintain majorities in Congress or win the White House back for a while, but I do not see a Democratic supermajority emerging in either the House or the Senate. And at the state level, it seems incredibly unlikely that the GOP is going to suddenly start losing their grip on the South and Midwest.
As for President Trump, I think I have a fairly good grasp on why people like him. He punches back. He’s unapologetic about his positions on the issues. He doesn’t kowtow to the media, and he eschews political correctness. In many ways, he’s the perfect counter to the judgmental, sanctimonious left-wing people who for years have been treating working-class conservatives like they’re a bunch of low-IQ knuckle-draggers with nothing to offer the country.
At the same time, I also know in my heart that if Obama behaved the way Trump often does, Republicans would have completely lost their heads over it. They wouldn’t have tolerated this sort of behavior from a Democratic president. There’s just no way that would happen.
But I also recognize that Trump is mostly the product of a broken relationship between the left and right, hence the massive support he has outside of the left-wing enclaves you mentioned. That’s also why I agree with you when you imply that the GOP could very easily beat the odds again in 2018 and pull off some surprising victories in November. I definitely am not discounting that possibility, and I sure as heck will never trust another electoral poll for as long as I live. Not after what happened in 2016!
No matter which side emerges victorious, though, I do still believe that there’s some room for compromise on quite a few issues, and that both parties would do well to stop burning bridges and start building them via bipartisan legislation and policy negotiations that could make majorities on both sides very happy. That was really the main point I was going for in my piece.