For years, the Republican Party has been home to the social conservative and evangelical elements of American society.
However, these groups have seen their power greatly diminished. The left has won the culture war from gay marriage and marijuana to gays in the military and abortion.
The Christian right is in retreat and hasn’t won a major battle in years. Their champions in the recent Republican Primary, Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee, were barely blips on electoral radar. Ted Cruz fared better, but in the end he lost because millions of Christians abandoned him for a decidedly not non-evangelical named Donald Trump.
And now the Pulse nightclub shooting has further marginalized them as the nation as a whole shows unwavering solidarity for the victims of this heinous attack. The socially liberal, gay and libertarian wings of the party smell an opportunity, as Politico reports…
Republican gay rights advocates, long sidelined by the party’s socially conservative core, suddenly see an opening to move the GOP away from its hardline opposition to same-sex marriage. And they think Donald Trump is the candidate to help them do it.
The Democrats seem to be choosing radical Islam over gay rights and it hasn’t gone unnoticed.
Trump buoyed Republican LGBT activists with his defense of the gay community in the wake of Sunday’s mass murder at a gay nightclub. “Ask yourself, who is really the friend of women and the LGBT community. Donald Trump with his actions, or Hillary Clinton with her words?”
Not that the Christian Right, at least some of it, is going to go down without a fight.
[The] effort faces fierce opposition from social conservatives, who are looking to preserve the party’s position that regards same-sex marriage as an affront to social order and call for a Constitutional amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman. But the more centrist elements in the party say Trump’s welcoming tone toward LGBT Americans and a sudden outpouring of national support for the gay community could move the debate in their direction.
Politics is a matter of addition, not subtraction. The old Republican coalition is shattered and divided. There are simply not enough Christian conservatives left to build a winning national coalition anymore. Without new blood, the GOP is doomed. Donald Trump realizes it, and increasingly so do many Republicans.