Election 2016 Round Table Discussion: Regardless of the outcome of the election, has the Republican Party been irreparably damaged by the Trump candidacy and its effect of alienating members of the party?

Gastonia, NC Correspondent-I think the GOP will be quite a long time recovering from Trump’s candidacy, win or lose.  Decades of catering to ever more outlying groups is coming home to roost, as the “big tent” is turning into a straitjacket.  There’s no more room for compromise or modernization since the far right goes into screaming hissy fits at the mere suggestion that the opposite side might have a good idea.  Similarly, the various factions go to war with each other over the smallest points of conservative doctrine, much akin to an old-time church going to war within itself with members trying to out-pious each other.

The GOP needs a Tip O’Neill for the new age, someone who can walk the conservative line but wields enough influence to forge compromises when they make sense.  There has to be a voice of reason who can build bridges and knit the fractious factions together.

Prescott Valley, AZ Correspondent-The Republican Party has not been irreparably damaged by the Trump candidacy, but it has been irreparably damaged by those Republicans who have refused to hear the voices of concerned Americans.  Republican officials, former Republican presidents, senators and representative, RINO officials and operatives have ignored the wishes and concerns that real Americans have voiced and faced over the last seven plus years.  They have failed to address the concerns, questions, fears and demands of everyday citizens who have challenged the refusals of the Republican establishment to intervene and override current policies as well as stop America’s decline that has occurred under the Obama administration.  He has remained unchallenged in executive actions, legislative efforts, deliberately dangerous foreign policy blunders, law and order issues, socialist doctrine spewing, veto powers and almost everything he advocates.

Republican members of the establishment must be open to the challenges and changes that members of all political parties are asking for and demanding.  With no intervention by Republicans and their adherence to Obama procedures and policies, real Republicans are leaving the fold and turning to alternatives, which are clearly present in the attraction to the Trump candidacy.

Staunch Republican Party establishment members will continue to lose ground in their attempts to stop any movement that goes against party principles. They have suffered for it as the American public is well aware of their voter neglect over the last seven years and prior to that. Those frustrations and outreach for leadership have been transferred to those outside the party.  Donald Trump has heard those grievances and has picked up the ball and run with it, and former Republican voters have given their allegiance to him in hopes of an overhaul of the current Republican Party and what it needs to accomplish to bring America back to normalcy.

There is a new crop of leaders that are ready, willing and able to take the bull by the horns and turn the party around to one that is representative of the people and their concerns and wishes for reinstituting the old America and “making it great again.”  Donald Trump and others are willing to follow that course and institute policy changes that are reflective of what needs to be done to establish a new platform and polices within the Republican Party.

Those in the old guard need to adapt to the new Republican Party of the people in spite of their desperate attempts to maintain the same old agenda.  Some will comply and others will remain adamant in their philosophies, but the Trump movement will affect them in one way or the other.  Perhaps their stubbornness will yield to what is best for the country rather than what is convenient and accommodating for them.  The Donald just may be able to sway the “hanger on’ers” in the right direction, but if he’s unsuccessful, they will be “fired” sooner or later by the American voters.

Owatonna, MN Correspondent-The Republican party is in danger of going the way of the Whigs, Tories, and Bull Moose parties if the leadership maintains an internal system that allows an outlier such as Trump to hijack the party nomination based on bluster, hyperbole, personal attacks, and self-aggrandizement.

The silver lining for America may be either the replacement of the Republicans by a new party that appeals to mainstream Republicans, or the ascension of a third party to relatively equal status with both major parties.  The Libertarian party seems most likely to inherit that spot, but it’s theirs to lose now, assuming Trump loses and Congress also suffers a turnover to Democratic control.

It’s also possible that Trump will lose, but Republicans in Congress will maintain their majorities in both houses, which would mitigate the party’s self-destruction.  If conservative Americans feel they are represented in Congress, the party may not suffer irreparable damage.  Nevertheless, they’ll have to overhaul the party leadership and bring in a new chair and staff who can address the holes in their strategy that allowed Trump to become one of the most reviled presidential candidates in history.

No doubt many Republicans have abandoned or will abandon the party after this election.  Some may become independents who lean toward conservatism, some may become moderate Democrats, and others may join a third party such as the Libertarians—a party that takes a conservative position on many issues, mainly economic and fiscal.  Regardless of what happens on November 8, 2016, the Republican Party will need lots of time and money to fix their mess.

Myrtle Beach, SC Correspondent-I don’t see where the Trump candidacy has damaged the Republican Party. If anything, I would argue that it has helped the Republican Party.

Trump is definitely not your run-of-the-mill presidential candidate, at all.  But that’s why he has appealed to so many voters.  People are tired of the politicians.  They are tired of the pandering do-gooders who just say what people want them to say; puppets if you will.

So how could one say an “outsider” hurt the party?  Sure he’s not what the Republicans want, because he’s not being bought (supposedly).  But who really cares what the politicians want?  I sure don’t!  The ones that say he’s damaging the party are just mad that they can’t control him the way they want.  I don’t think the general public really has changed their opinion of the Republican Party because of Trump. The party was already damaged in my eyes and Trump receiving the nomination actually brightened my view of the Republican Party.


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