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The Iowa Caucuses: The Nail in The Coffin For The Republican Establishment

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The Iowa Caucuses.
The Iowa Caucuses. (Archive)

As the dust settles on tonight’s Iowa caucuses, a grim reality looms over the Republican Party. If the polls hold true and former President Donald Trump emerges victorious, it could signal the death knell for the GOP establishment, marking the end of the conservative movement that has shaped the party since Ronald Reagan’s election in 1980.

Current Trump supporters seem impervious to the pleas of prominent conservatives who once defined the party. Republican governors from key states like Iowa and New Hampshire find themselves ignored, and even the endorsement of a Trump opponent by Iowa’s top evangelical leader falls on deaf ears.

The warnings from figures like Chris Christie, Bill Barr, Liz Cheney, and Mike Pence about the party’s decline under Trump are dismissed at the peril of the GOP. Christie, a former New Jersey governor, bluntly stated that if Trump becomes the nominee, the party will not only lose the presidency but also both houses of Congress, a prediction he insists is not mere speculation.

The fallout is evident across conservative organizations, with Americans for Prosperity, backed by billionaire Charles Koch, suffering a blow after endorsing a Trump opponent. The rupture in funding from long-time conservative supporters is a clear sign of the disintegration underway.

The disarray extends to state parties, with Arizona and Michigan Republicans facing financial crises that could jeopardize their chances in future elections. The once-powerful GOP majority in the House, now aligned with Trump’s desire for economic turmoil, refuses to support critical funding deals. This failure to govern in the nation’s best interest has triggered a wave of GOP retirements from Congress, with lawmakers expressing frustration over dealing with Trump followers and false claims about the 2020 election.

As the House sees an exodus of members, including notable committee leaders, the impact on governance is palpable. It’s time to confront the harsh reality of a two-party system where one party is consumed by Trump’s authoritarian cult of personality.

A chilling glimpse into this future is Trump’s sanctioning of political violence, exemplified by his recent characterization of the Jan. 6 rioters as “hostages.” Shockingly, a significant portion of Republicans now approves of the actions of the Trump-inspired mob that stormed the Capitol. The shift in sentiment, from a majority strongly disapproving to a significant portion justifying the riot as defending freedom and patriotism, paints a grim picture.

As Trump barrels through Iowa, seemingly on his way to securing the GOP nomination, we witness the death throes of the Grand Old Party. The question now is not only about the fate of the Republican establishment but also the very essence of a party overtaken by the forces of Trumpism.

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