It's not even the end of the primary but Republicans have already agreed on their party's core policy issues: refighting the Civil War, hunting Mexicans, escalating the conflict with Iran so the Rapture can come, and monitoring every uterus in America. Stylistically, they favor conspiracy theories, white men, people who defer to white men, and waving guns around in public places.
Sure, the party's going to have difficulties reaching out to women, Latinos, and suburban college graduates with this kind of approach. But there is nothing stopping them from appealing to mass shooters. And this is at a time when there are more of this demographic than ever before. Mass shooters are going to be next year's NASCAR Dads. Many of them might literally be NASCAR dads. That seems probable, and it would be a double victory for the party of Lincoln.
Sure, there are challenges. Some of these mass shooters, for example, are extremist Muslims who may be turned off by the GOP's "incinerate all Muslims" platform. But it's not an insurmountable difference. The kind of person who wants to enter a park or school and start blasting because of ideas he heard in an internet chatroom is just going to get the Republican Party and the conservative movement generally. It's a way of thinking that they both have. The fact that Republicans respond to these shootings by encouraging people to buy more guns is a powerful sign of their common values - and mass shooters will respond to that. The love of walking around with powerful weapons and a crippling sense of grievance that warps how you see every fact of history and culture is a quality the GOP can use to reach out to an impressive number of Americans. An impressive number indeed.
Remember: John Hinckley, Jr. was the original Reagan Democrat. But that was 35 years ago, and today there are plenty more of that guy. Republicans know this, and they're going to act accordingly.
2016 should be interesting.
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