By limiting ourselves to reading the title alone, we can easily come to the conclusion that this post constitutes propaganda in its most direct and elementary form. However, the qualifiers used are not my own, they were used by Stuart Stevens, a veteran Republican strategist.
Not long ago I was writing about the growing influence of the woke movement on the New York Times editorial team. I underlined in the wake of the grip of the extreme tendencies on the media and the political formations. For his part, Stevens denounces the slippage of his training that he no longer recognizes.
For a few days now, Stuart Stevens has been touring the American media to present his book entitled “It was all a lie: How the Republican became the party of Donald Trump”. Drawing on his long experience as a party member and strategist, the author provides numerous examples that demonstrate that the Trump phenomenon was predictable. The billionaire would only be the most spectacular manifestation of a gradual abandonment of deep convictions.
If Stevens deplores the hold of a faction ready to defend the words of a president who relies on hatred, anger and racism to divide his country, he does not spare himself a mea culpa. The author claims to have overlooked clear signs of the slippage over the past fifty years.
Essentially the strategist finds that the political formation has gradually transformed into the “angry white man’s party”, abandoning the plan to speak to all Americans. We are no longer content to bet on predominantly white regions, we antagonize others.
Are Republicans struggling to reach the female electorate and minorities? We no longer even make the effort to develop strategies to win them back, we “stretch” the vote of the white population and we accuse the Democrats of ignoring them (which is not totally false). Can we no longer win the popular vote? Let’s bet everything on the electoral college.
I can support Stevens’ observation and my own observations of the evolution of the party point in this direction. The interest of the author’s book lies in its perspective. That such an influential member who has contributed to numerous electoral campaigns dares to commit himself publicly in the midst of the presidential election is not trivial.
Stuart Stevens goes even further and suggests that a Republican defeat in November could be beneficial. Only the specter of repeated defeats can lead to real reflection and a purge of the most harmful elements of the Republican Party.
We will eventually have to return to a less aggressive message and court all electoral clienteles with a platform that is not limited to empty formulas. The demographic evolution of the country will perhaps be the reason for a discourse of division and opposition.
During the 2016 campaign, divisions within the Democratic Party were rightly reported. Trained further and further to his left, Joe Biden’s roster seems temporarily united to defeat Trump.
The day after a possible victory, we will see if this beautiful unity can be maintained. But let’s not forget that Republicans are grappling with their own heartbreak and may well lose more than the presidency in 2020. Democrats are expected to keep the House and the polls for the Senate are encouraging. Fear as a driver of change? Stuart Stevens thinks so.