Permanent exile

When I first predicted that 2016 was the overture to a big partisan realignment, I had in mind things like Ronald Reagan Democrats becoming naturalized citizens of the GOP and giving up permanently on the Democrats, moderate-to-liberal suburban Republicans doing the same in the Democrat party.

I didn’t claim clarity about how the realignment would shake out, but that struck me as a like scenario. I even thought, and sort of hoped wistfully, that when the smoke cleared, we might see an antiwar, culturally conservative GOP (the kind of party I though I was voting for in 2000, and voted for again in 2004 in hopes that the Iraq war was a temporary “after 9/11, I just gotta bomb something” derangement) I could go home to, having gone into exile when, so soon after my last enthusiastic GOP vote,

Dubya effectively declared Forever War in his second inaugural address:

[I]t is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.

Donald Trump’s recent racist demagoguery, most recently whipping crowds Wednesday night into chants of “send her back,” make me suspect that my exile is permanent.

Rod Dreher captured my feelings:

There are things worse than a president who is radically pro-abortion, opposed to religious liberty, and favoring open borders. It’s having a president who recklessly endangers the lives of people for the sake of winding up a mob.

I even heard a depressing suggestion on a podcast this morning: Republicans in Congress are virtually silent on Trump’s latest outrage because they really don’t have an agenda or even a governing philosophy and they know it.

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