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Saagar Enjeti: This Could be the End of the GOP Forever

SF Kosmo

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Ok, so the title here is kind of clickbait but the thesis is pretty intereresting. The TLDR is that Trump has always been about elitist policy in populist clothing and his base an uneasy coalition between neoconservative corporatists and working class populists, but that last week's events mark the dissolutioin of this uneasy alliance.

Moreover, Saagar, himself more of a populist conservative, laments that the populist wing has completely married itself to the "alternative facts" landscape of election fraud and conspiracy theories, something that could deeply unedermine their ability to be taken seriously on policy.

It's an interesting argument. Do you think populist conservatism can find a place in the landscape separate for troll politics and conspiracy?
 

pramod

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75 million voted for Trump and right now it's hard to figure out how many of those are in one of these 3 camps:

1. "Traditional" Republicans that don't necessarily like Trump but always vote GOP
2. Populists/independent voters who liked Trump's policies but not necessarily agree with the election fraud nonsense.
3. The true hardcore Trumpists.

It seems like if 1) and 2) outnumber 3), there is still a chance there for those 2 to form a new backbone for the Republican party.
If 3 is the bulk of the 75 million voters, then I dunno, maybe this country has totally gone off the deep end.
 

Schattenjäger

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similarly to how the democrats have married themselves to socialism...
GOP will be galvanized because of this dumb impeachment
 
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HeresJohnny

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Two things will ultimately bear this out as false:

1) 4 years of hard left rule is going to make people hungry for an alternative.

2) Trump’s populist policies are VERY popular. It’s why he got 74 million votes. It’s one of the main reasons the Democrats focused not on his policies but his character. Their policies are batshit crazy and don’t withstand scrutiny well, and they know that.

I don’t think Trump will be viable politically, but I think his policies are as viable as ever, possibly more so once people get a taste of what’s coming.
 
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pramod

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laments that the populist wing has completely married itself to the "alternative facts" landscape of election fraud and conspiracy theories,

"Completely"? The fact is, we just don't know right now how much of the populist wing is on the side of the election fraudsters. So until we do there's no way to answer the question.
 
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Sub_Level

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Same thing was said in the Obama years. Republicans were supposed to be lost for a generation. We saw how that worked out.

That being said, yes I can see Trump bitter aftertaste creating a safety buffer against some of Biden's inevitable fails.
 

SF Kosmo

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similarly to how the democrats have married themselves to socialism...
GOP will be galvanized because of this dumb impeachment
This is a bad take. There is a socialist wing in the party but they took a beating this year. Now the game plan seems to be for neoliberals and neoconservatives to form an unholy alliance to push out the peasant class on both sides of the aisle.

And honestly an uneasy alliance between populists on both sides is not totally out of the realm of possibility if they can get their shit together on policy. The Bernie-Trump voter is real.
 

SF Kosmo

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No.
The GOP still completely controls the second and the third most populous states. They aren't going anywhere.
Trump is likely finished though.
Yeah of course, like I said don't take the headline at face value, it's more than they are going to need to reinvent again
 
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Cato

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Ok, so the title here is kind of clickbait but the thesis is pretty intereresting. The TLDR is that Trump has always been about elitist policy in populist clothing and his base an uneasy coalition between neoconservative corporatists and working class populists, but that last week's events mark the dissolutioin of this uneasy alliance.

Moreover, Saagar, himself more of a populist conservative, laments that the populist wing has completely married itself to the "alternative facts" landscape of election fraud and conspiracy theories, something that could deeply unedermine their ability to be taken seriously on policy.

It's an interesting argument. Do you think populist conservatism can find a place in the landscape separate for troll politics and conspiracy?

I think populism is here to stay. We don't really have news anymore. I am just looking at my local "news papers" website and it is almost all "mum makes shocking discovery in cosmetics isle at local supermarket" or just reporting and quoting on some hot clickbaity twitter thread, where the "article" is mostly just a long list of twitter screenshots and some commentary.
The only actual news I can see are a few "covid announcements" and the latest bs china is doing. But the vast majority is just clickbait twitter.

My local newspaper is basically a curated "what is trending on twitter" with commentary. How are your newspapers doing?

I don;t think people want to read actual news anymore, at least not the average person. Why spend so much time reading a long article that tries to discuss some aspect of the fiscal policy of europes central bank and how it will affect trade? when you can just get all the news you need in 15 second soundbites from your twitter feed.

No one really cares much about facts or informing themselves. It is all about what the latest soundbites in your self-curated bubble tells you and filters.

This inevitable leads to populist politicians.
It is a twitter and social media world now. I think populism and populist politicians are coming more and more because they can telly you what you want to hear and they can do it in a catchy soundbite without any need to back things up with boring facts.
I predict we are going to get a lot more populism going forward. Not less. Thanks social media. And it will be at the expense of the non-populist politicians.
 
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SF Kosmo

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Articles about the demise of the GOP were everywhere when Obama took the White House with a 60 democratic Senate majority in 2008.
Yeah I think the more interesting question is if populism can get their seat at the table back.
 

Schattenjäger

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This is a bad take. There is a socialist wing in the party but they took a beating this year. Now the game plan seems to be for neoliberals and neoconservatives to form an unholy alliance to push out the peasant class on both sides of the aisle.

And honestly an uneasy alliance between populists on both sides is not totally out of the realm of possibility if they can get their shit together on policy. The Bernie-Trump voter is real.
my point was that the GOP isn’t going anywhere
 
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TKOFromTokyo

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Assuming they put up a real candidate this time, I’ll probably vote for them. I mean I did vote for Romney and McCain despite my reservations. I just couldn’t pull the trigger on Trump. I found him personally abhorrent.
 

SF Kosmo

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Just as it does now. Political ideologies go beyond the cult of personality. Obama is proof of this.
The populists are gonna need to break up with the QAnon's and the crazies to do that though. That stuff really bled into the mainstream, like really a majority of the base was buying into the stolen election shit. Some of that was just cope and will fade, but I think it's gonna take a while for a lot of people to come around.
 
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HeresJohnny

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The populists are gonna need to break up with the QAnon's and the crazies to do that though. That stuff really bled into the mainstream, like really a majority of the base was buying into the stolen election shit.
Agreed, but more for the benefit of the country. But honestly, when you think about it, there was never any introspection or soul searching from the Democrats after their loss. They doubled down and actually embraced lunacy, and were rewarded with power four years later.
 

spandexmonkey

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I hope the populists get kicked to the back of the bus so we can get back to fucking over poor people and minorities with empty promises and platitudes. Biden is here to make sure of that. God, the thought of sending more jobs overseas with TPP is just making me so fucking hard right now. Maybe restore NAFTA so we can fuck over more Americans. *cough* with protections we promise we'll enforce.... this time, hahaha.
 

NickFire

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This is a bad take. There is a socialist wing in the party but they took a beating this year. Now the game plan seems to be for neoliberals and neoconservatives to form an unholy alliance to push out the peasant class on both sides of the aisle.

And honestly an uneasy alliance between populists on both sides is not totally out of the realm of possibility if they can get their shit together on policy. The Bernie-Trump voter is real.
I suspect if someone could read minds they'd find the first alliance you suggested already exists in some ways, and was essentially the (H) Clinton platform. But I don't see a pathway to that becoming something either partner can possibly acknowledge in the near future. Love them or hate them, Trump like politicians and Squad like politicians have more sway within their parties than the more traditional politicians ever imagined would be possible.

The Bernie-Trump voter alliance is definitely something that could affect any election in the next 4 years, especially the mid-terms. Biden is in the driver's seat and could prevent that from happening with his congressional majority. And the Bernie voters still seem, by and large, a very loyal blue base. What I am not sure of is what percent of Bernie supporters feel left behind, compared to the type that subscribe to the Squad's ethos hands down. Those who feel left behind could be lost if the party is more focused on international social justice theory. It's one thing to stay loyal after being dismissed in the primaries. Being dismissed in the governance would probably lead to red pill city.
 

QSD

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this made me think of the time Peter Hitchens (the late Christopher's conservative brother, who is at once completely the opposite of his brother yet equally entertaining) tried to convince all tory voters in britain to vote for labour so the tory party would implode and a real conservative party could take it's place
 

Cravis

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Ok GIF by maddyshine
 

Singular7

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this made me think of the time Peter Hitchens (the late Christopher's conservative brother, who is at once completely the opposite of his brother yet equally entertaining) tried to convince all tory voters in britain to vote for labour so the tory party would implode and a real conservative party could take it's place

Peter is significantly more intelligent than Christopher.

They debated once ... it was extremely painful to watch.
 

Singular7

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Yeah I know it's kind of a stretch but work with me man


I'm not gonna even try to adjudicate that one

Peter is significantly more cantankerous though

Wise man :)

In my opinion, Christopher was plagued by too many psychological problems to see clearly. Incredibly smart, but those holdups were strong. Came to the fore debating his bro
 
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QSD

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Wise man :)

In my opinion, Christopher was plagued by too many psychological problems to see clearly. Incredibly smart, but those holdups were strong. Came to the fore debating his bro
LOL

Yeah Christopher definitely had problems. I remember reading Hitch-22 (his autobiography) and his mother committed suicide. She actually called his house before doing it and he was away with his mates IIRC. That kind of shit fucks a brother up for life man. It doesn't take Freud to figure out how the drinking started anyway.
 
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Woo-Fu

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It's an interesting argument. Do you think populist conservatism can find a place in the landscape separate for troll politics and conspiracy?

I think populist conservatism is an oxymoron crafted to try to explain Trump's draw.

Populism isn't viable in either party because that's not what the donors are paying for.

The only time populism gets any play is leading up to an election. It goes back on the shelf to collect dust after the election.
 
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tillbot8

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Peter is significantly more intelligent than Christopher.

They debated once ... it was extremely painful to watch.
Their iq's would be in the 140 plus region, but I do think Christopher was a bit sharper and ahead of the curve then his brother in my honest opinion. No doubt if Christopher was alive today the woke mob would of tried to take him out.

And he would be laughing his head off at their stupidity. Curious what he would of thought of Trump...my guess is not like him. But he would HATE Biden!
 

Spokker

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The GOP was endangered before all this happened. Conservatives ceded the schools, libraries and public broadcasting (PBS/NPR) to the leftists and didn't think it would have long-term consequences. Kids have been getting taught by the left for the past few decades.

For example, instead of fighting over public funding of PBS at all, they should have said, okay, we'll fund it as long as we can produce some wholesome conservative programming that teaches love of country, showcases rural life, independence, self-reliance and teaches kids how to fix a lawnmower or something. Instead, they ceded PBS to liberals and a generation of kids were raised on shows with a strong urban/left-wing bent. The programs focus on shit that liberals like, such as the arts (which is good) and less on practical things like the trades and hanging drywall.

It's all for a kid who lives in a New York City-like environment. It's what elitist New York parents want to show their kids. They are told their heroes are Maya Angelou, Michelle Obama and a puppet with AIDS, not John Wayne, Newt Gingrich and a puppet that wants to lower taxes, brutalize criminals and rule you like kings.

It's the right's own fault.
 
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Goro Majima

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It’s a two party system so there’s always going to be an “opposition party”.

People have claimed that Republicans are dead on more than one occasion in the last 20 years. I certainly remember people saying that Republicans were “done” in 2008 thanks to shouldering much of the blame for the Iraq War AND the financial crisis vis a vis W. Bush. I also remember people saying that the demographics would make it impossible for a Republican to ever win the presidency again in 2016.

The only real uncertainty I have is if/when a political party can de-radicalize and rebrand itself as something more palatable to the center. They’ll have something to build on being an opposition party to the Democratic agenda much like the Tea Party in 2010 but they have to pivot away from Trumpism ASAP.
 
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DunDunDunpachi

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The GOP is going to be the new big tent opposition party and has been slowly moving in that direction for ~15 years.

If the US can vote Trump, and then vote Not Trump, they'll happily vote Not Biden in 4 years unless he actually gets something done.

Democrats are clear sailing... as long as there isn't an economic crash, a cultural panic, or a pandemic to hasten the de-centralization of their big-city voting blocs. Something like that might cause the populace to seek out familiar anchors as their former way of life melts in front of their eyes, or cause them to move away from the places where their voting blocs typically congregate.

Disillusioned Blue state taxpayers going to other states and gradually voting out the Red officials is often spoken of as a warning sign, but this will be outpaced by people fleeing wildfires and riots.
 

LarknThe4th

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The GOP used Trump for the 2016 election he is damaged goods now so they will move on to the next vasal like both parties always do, not really complex
 

BadBurger

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I bet if one were to go back and mine editorial pieces from every year the GOP lost both chambers of Congress they'd find articles like this.
 

Cato

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The GOP will not disappear because a few hundred idiots, that should be locked up, went full retard.
If that is enough to end a major political party then all political parties would have gone under already since there are crazy fringe in every movement.

Now, they DO need to reinvent themselves and move away from Trump. They should look at why so many people followed him and why he got so much support.
I believe it is because he connected with the working class. A large group of people that I think got forgotten by their traditional home in the left and found a new home with someone that told them to be proud and he would get them their jobs back and a message of hope for their future, while their traditional party had become a party of the elite that would openly mock blue collar workers and gloat at them for being poor and suffering.

This shift in the democratic party to become hostile to blue collar workers is in many ways one of the reasons for Trumps success.
If GOP is smart, they will reach out to these forgotten people and build on what trump promised them but without the personality cult.
If DNC is smart, they will drop the crazy left and try to win back the blue collar vote.
 
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Torrent of Pork

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This is a bad take. There is a socialist wing in the party but they took a beating this year. Now the game plan seems to be for neoliberals and neoconservatives to form an unholy alliance to push out the peasant class on both sides of the aisle.

And honestly an uneasy alliance between populists on both sides is not totally out of the realm of possibility if they can get their shit together on policy. The Bernie-Trump voter is real.
I'd watch this sitcom.
 

QuantumZebra

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Ok, so the title here is kind of clickbait but the thesis is pretty intereresting. The TLDR is that Trump has always been about elitist policy in populist clothing and his base an uneasy coalition between neoconservative corporatists and working class populists, but that last week's events mark the dissolutioin of this uneasy alliance.

Moreover, Saagar, himself more of a populist conservative, laments that the populist wing has completely married itself to the "alternative facts" landscape of election fraud and conspiracy theories, something that could deeply unedermine their ability to be taken seriously on policy.

It's an interesting argument. Do you think populist conservatism can find a place in the landscape separate for troll politics and conspiracy?


This pretty much sums up my time on PoliGAF.

Being ostracized (as a populist conservative) because I knew Trump wasn't one and called him out (and also didn't buy the BS election fraud claims).
 

Fox Mulder

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People were saying this when Obama won. The republicans aren’t over, it’s a two party system where the other side will always have a way to bounce back.
 
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Yoda

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Krystal and Saagar are self-styled populists who always echo the establishment elite when it really counts.

This can't be stated enough.

WRT the thesis, we'll have to see, he's still going to be the most popular politician amongst the base, but the GOP needs to regain institutional power if it ever wants to implement its agenda and in its current state I don't see that happening with everyone needing to tip-toe around Trump, but saying the party is flat out dead is hyperbole.
 
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Ogbert

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They say this every time an election rolls round.

Trump will be forgotten by April.