The GOP is history. What about the country?
 The GOP is history. What about the country?
 After the election, the United States must fight to recover from Donald 
Trump’s toxic campaign.
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 The GOP is history. What about the country? 


Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump. (Mike Segar/Reuters) By Fareed Zakaria Opinion writer October 13 
at 5:23 PM


 Politics is an enduring feature of human life, but political parties are 
mortal. This week we watched the beginning of the end of one of the United 
States’ great, illustrious parties. The Republican Party, as we knew it, is 
 The death of a party is not so unusual. Scholars divide U.S. history according 
to six distinct party systems, each responding to a particular political era. 
Sometimes parties retain their names but morph ideologically, like the 
Democratic Party, which went from being Southern, pro-slavery and pro-Jim Crow 
to the opposite. On other occasions, parties collapse entirely, as did the Whig 
Party in the mid-19th century, torn apart by divisions over slavery. (In fact, 
in an interesting parallel, the fall of the Whigs was hastened by the rise of a 
party called the Know-Nothings, dedicated to stopping what was then seen as 
uncontrolled immigration.) Whatever the form of the Republican Party’s 
collapse, it will be messy.
 Sunday’s debate may have been the watershed moment. As many commentators and 
some of his own strategists noted, it was pretty obvious what Donald Trump 
needed to do — apologize, be contrite, and then strike broad themes of change, 
bringing back jobs and putting the nation first. Ideally, he would have reached 
out to women — the group of voters he desperately needs to win the election.
 Instead, Trump did the opposite. He minimized his behavior 
“locker-room banter,” accused Bill Clinton of much worse and paraded the former 
president’s accusers at a news conference
 Since then, things have spiraled downward. Trump’s strange, self-defeating 
strategy has led to speculation
 his real ambitions lie beyond the election, when he may set up a conservative 
media network to rival Fox News.
 It’s quite possible. But in any event, what it means for the Republican Party 
is simple: Donald Trump is not going away. Many Republicans have nurtured a 
fantasy that their party has been briefly taken over by a strange historical 
aberration who will lose the election, and then somehow things will go back to 
normal. Trump has now made it clear that he will not go gently into the night.
 In fact, he has declared war on the GOP establishment. His goal is surely to 
take over the Republican Party and remake it into a populist, protectionist, 
nationalist party, the kind that his Breitbart-oriented advisers have been 
dreaming about for years.
 There will be a fight for the soul of what’s left of the Republican Party. We 
can see the battle lines. People such as House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (Wis.), 
backed by most serious conservative intellectuals, will try to restore the 
party to its Reaganesque ideology — with free markets, limited government, 
entitlement reform and an assertive foreign policy. Others, such as Trump’s 
running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, backed by Christian conservatives, will 
try to bridge divides and keep everyone in a big tent. But then there is Trump, 
who has — for now, at least — the crowds, the energy and a powerful message. 
Political scientist Justin Gest
 surveyed white Americans on whether they would support a party committed to 
“stopping mass immigration, providing American jobs to American workers, 
preserving America’s Christian heritage, and stopping the threat of Islam.” 
Sixty-five percent said yes.
 The Republican establishment could have stopped Trump but instead surrendered 
to him months, perhaps years, ago. When they want to criticize opponents for 
being weak-kneed, Republicans often recall Neville Chamberlain and his policy 
of appeasing Adolf Hitler. And yet that is exactly the approach that the 
party’s senior leaders took with Trump — appeasing him in the hope that doing 
so would satisfy his appetites. They tolerated, excused and covered up for 
Trump as he began his political career with “birther” racism, launched his 
presidential campaign with anti-Mexican slurs and heightened it with 
anti-Muslim bigotry, and thrilled crowds with policies that would be 
unconstitutional or amount to war crimes — all while demeaning and objectifying 
women. Winston Churchill
 said of appeasers: “Each one hopes that if he feeds the crocodile enough, the 
crocodile will eat him last.”
 Trump will lose the election. Forget his dismal polls
 week. He has almost never been ahead of Hillary Clintons for a single week 
since they were both nominated. The major models predicting
 election have only once or twice put his chances over 40 percent.
 But Trump will not sit in loyal opposition to Clinton. He tells his legions 
that the election will be rigged
 He says that the media are lying 
that reporting cannot be believed. He warns that the country will be utterly 
 Clinton wins. He is fueling a toxic movement of protest and insurgency.
 Trump will lose. And he will destroy the Republican Party. The frightening 
question is what he will do to the country in the process.
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