Was it inevitable, that is, the implosion of the Republican Party (GOP)? We are fortunate that the Democratic Party has remained strong, with years of public service and deep experience embodied in its standard bearers.
But, the U.S.A. cannot afford to move toward its future limping on one leg. Extreme conservatism has been a cancer, sabotaging American strength here at home and abroad. Its celebration of ethnic segregation, national isolationism, and scientific ignorance is profoundly disturbing. These are not values that support our country's engagement with the rest of the world.
The GOP has only itself to blame, for ignoring the advice of its moderates on how to grow their party. It dug itself in with a clueless farmer in Donald Trump who nurtures weeds instead of sweet corn. Actually, a better analogy would be their own foot soldiers opened the doors to a GOP-killing Trojan horse.
Change within the GOP will come from a younger generation, since its statesmen have forsaken their own principles and common sense to endorse carnival barker Trump. Its leadership has acted positively schizophrenic, on the one hand denouncing Trump's harmful rhetoric, while on the other saying they will vote for him as president of the United States.
The list of castrated GOP leaders is disappointing: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Kentucky), House Speaker Paul Ryan (Wisconsin), Senator John McCain (Arizona), former Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal (East Indian American), Senator Marco Rubio (Florida; Cuban American), and so forth. They are unable to do the right thing, even when the choice is starkly obvious.
The most prominent exception is the GOP-reviled, pompous Senator Rafael Edward "Ted" Cruz (R-Texas; Canadian-born Cuban American), who told booing Republicans at their recent national convention to vote their conscience. (He implied they should vote for him.)
Anti-immigrant drivel by Trump hurts the GOP among traditionally GOP groups of minority voters. Recent immigrants and younger generations of Cubans and Vietnamese are voting Democratic. In the past, these groups supported the GOP for their own reasons, e.g., Cubans hated Fidel Castro and Vietnamese hated communism. But older voters are being replaced by U.S.-born voters with broader outlooks.
In California, almost a third of Latinos and Asians voted Republican in 2012 (Carcamo & Do, L.A. TIMES, 3/22/16). This percentage will undoubtedly fall still lower during the 2016 presidential election as Republicans abandon Trump & Pence for the Democratic Party's Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine, or even an Independent like the Green Party's Jill Stein.
Kat works in L.A. County and Orange County, and observes and writes on trends in the Latino and Asian American communities.