In his column for the Daily Beast, former Republican Matt Lewis lamented the current state of the GOP after four years of Donald Trump, saying plans by the Republicans to make it the "big tent" party has gone off the rails as it has become a magnet for unapologetic racists and conspiracy kooks.
As Lewis sees it, even with Trump on his way out the door, the party may never recover from the damage he did.
Questioning whether the part is "salvageable," Lewis wrote, "Merely getting rid of Trump won't solve the problem. The Republican Party and the conservative movement have been conquered and transformed by the barbarians at the gate. How do you rescue people who don't want to be liberated?"
According to Lewis, instead of drawing in a new generation of voters who believe in free enterprise and other traditional Republican values, the post-Trump GOP is now home to people obsessed with believing they are being victimized.
"I call these new MAGA Republicans 'immigrants' —a name most of them would find ironic, if not objectionable. But stick with me. Like any nation, a political party or movement requires constant replenishment of its ranks. But preserving your founding principles also requires assimilation, lest your vision and traditions disappear after one generation," Lewis wrote before adding, "... the GOP largely became a white identity politics party. (The GOP has long had a problem attracting minority support, but that's different from being the default party for non-college-education white people.) Racial and cultural identity supplanted ideas, philosophy, or other forms of identity."
"In this regard, Trump was a Trojan Horse who snuck insurgents inside the GOP tent. To be sure, I'm OK with a big tent, but not a circus tent. And it is starting to look like the GOP has permanently settled on the latter. Questions remain: To what degree has QAnon congealed with the Republican Party? Is the Alt-Right now the entire Right?" he continued. "What is clear is that the influx of Trump voters into the GOP, coupled with his capture of formerly normal Republicans, will make it difficult, if not impossible, to restore the party and the conservative movement to its more sane, more decent, pre-Trump standing."
Lewis concluded by stating the flood of newcomers have embraced a "personal sense of victimhood" that is both "un-Christian and unconservative," before adding, "So our best hope may be that voters turned on by Trump will simply drop out of politics."
You can read the whole piece here (subscription required).