Created June 25, 2021
The latest (May 17-19) Reuters/Ipsos poll finds that 53% of Republicans still believe the 2020 election was stolen, down from 68% in a January 28 poll. The stolen election belief appears to be dropping about a percentage point a week. A straight-line extrapolation suggests that pollsters may soon find that the majority of Republican voters no longer believe the election was stolen.
Many of those who “changed beliefs” in the 17-week period may actually never have truly believed, but their party loyalty caused them to adopt that stance. Making a more accurate projection requires being able to make an accurate estimate of how many of the original 68% were actually loyalty driven rather than true believers. Why? Because beliefs are extremely hard and slow to change, whereas postures may be easily changed overnight.
Assuming for the sake of argument that two-thirds of the original 68% were loyalty believers and a third true believers. If that were the case, all other things being equal (which they never are), about 30 weeks from now (mid-December 2021) the percent of Republicans who say they still believe the 2020 election was stolen may be down to 23%, where it could remain for a long time.
But I would bet against it going down that far that fast, especially given the mid-term elections coming up. Those upcoming elections are the main reason the party is clinging so desperately to what almost everyone else sees as a big lie. And why the Grand Old Party is doing what it can to interfere with Democrats voting in those elections, despite the obvious risks of driving away support from all but the most fanatical Republican core.
This is all so sad.
Saddest of all for the remaining Republicans who are aghast at the behavior of their party but who feel impotent to do anything to save the party.
Psychiatrists might tend to explain the current official actions of the party as an attempt to rationalize the recent past and remove the black eye that Trump gave the GOP in the eyes of most of humanity.
But as a parent, if you heard your son or daughter saying things that were untrue and non-credible as a way of covering their ass for something they had done, what would you say to them?
Most parents would say, “If you keep doing that, no one will believe or respect you, and people will avoid you. You better fess up as soon as possible, people will forgive and respect you for doing that, and in the end you will gain much more by confession than you would gain by trying to keep up pretenses forever.”
It’s not too late for “normal” Republicans to raise their hands. That’s the best thing for the party, for Americans, and for the world.
The downside scenario for clearheaded Republicans is for the party to be split into two parties, which could happen if, for example, that 53% stat above for any reason gets locked in and doesn’t change at all for the rest of the year. Eventually the other 47% is going to have to start thinking about the long term, and some will bail and become independents (this has begun). Natural leaders will step up and it could cause party fission.
A new party might call itself the Independent Party. Or it could call itself The Center, implying the mental freedom of a Moderate without religious attachment to either progressive or conservative knee-jerks. How it positioned itself would drive how big it became.
But it wouldn’t matter. The remnant parties would find it very hard to make their way against the Democrat party because of relative sizes. The story would become one of backroom attempts to re-form coalition between the pieces of the GOP. That is what the Republican party is headed toward if it continues to use duplicity and guile in such utterly obvious ways. The fessing up scenario is the only way out.
Let’s say you are a non-Trump Republican and want to do something about this, what is there for you to do about it? Create a movement. Call it anything you want, Republicans For Reality, or whatever.
But do it soon. Contact all the people you know (even non-Republicans can help, if you let them), license use of lists and compile the contact information for as many Republican officials and voters as you can, send out frequent eblasts of posts written by members of the movement. Raise money and run public service advertising.
Focus on the immediate future not on the past. Focus on what should be done, not on what should not be done. Don’t condemn anyone, get past all that, be the beacon of reason that will magnetize other Republicans to take off the Halloween masks and get down to the work of cooperation with all Americans and like-minded people everywhere to solve the pressing problems we all face together, which I won’t list here again as I know everybody knows the list already.
The one thing I advise above all else: if you really love the Republican party and want to see it rise again in public esteem (including self-esteem), if you want to see the Grand Old Party of Lincoln be able to attract new members from all social classes, stop the attempts to restrict voting rights. The blowback on that issue will sharply reverse recent trends of the party attracting lower-income people and minorities, and will turn off the many older people in the party who need the vote by mail option. A betrayal takes decades to heal, or centuries, or millennia. Restriction of voting rights is a betrayal of the 15th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution:
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States, or by any State, on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
Republicans loyal to American Principles, Arise!
Love to all,