Waiting for the Republican Reckoning

Why some NeverTrumpers tell themselves the GOP needs a spanking.

Dennis Sanders


Photo by Santiago Lacarta on Unsplash

The work of politics always contains some form of lies.

This isn’t a cynical take on politics. Politics in democratic societies are not all about lies, but it will stretch the truth in order to tell their constituents what they want to hear.

One of the reasons, Donald Trump is such a disturbing aspect to American society and democracy is because he goes far beyond stretching the truth to outright falsehoods and fabrications. His lies are numerous in order to exhaust the public and destroy the truth.

But I’m not interested in Trump’s lies in this case. I’m interested in the lies that forces opposed to Trump believe in.

The lie in question here is this: the Republican party is so far to the right and so far removed from normal politics, that they will lose an election. In fact, that loss is necessary because once the party loses a number of times, it will wise up and change its trajectory.

I’ve heard this reasoning from Trump-critical conservatives many times over the years. To be honest, I’ve heard this take even before Trump came on the scene.

These people keep believing that somewhere down the road there will be a loss so big that it will cause the party to change and move back towards the center-right and reality.

But are people telling themselves this story because they believe it or because it makes them feel better?

I used to take people at their word; they were waiting for some kind of reckoning that would allow for some kind of Republican restoration. But when I really thought about it, none of this made sense. You have to look at recent American electoral history to understand why this won’t happen unless the Democrats make some big changes.

The hope is the Democrats will have a number of massive wins. Historically, there have been periods where one party won over the other again and again and again. Nearly a century ago, the Democrats won a string of wins in both Congress and the White House throughout the 1930s starting with Franklin Roosevelt’s win in 1932.



Dennis Sanders

Middle-aged Midwesterner. I write about religion, politics and culture. Podcast: churchandmain.org newsletter: https://churchandmain.substack.com/