So the GOP has to go and it needs to be replaced by a real alternative to the Democratic Party, ideally based on a real alternative to liberalism (right now they represent a version of liberalism). The Democrats want the GOP as it exists to go. The Republican base wants the same and while the Democrats may want another liberal party, I think the time is long overdue to have a non-liberal party in the mix.
The alternative to liberalism through the last few centuries has not come from Capitalism -- Capitalism was invented and justified by Liberals long before so-called Conservatives took up that cause. In essence the problem with the Republican Party is that they are liberals when it comes to business, in the same way that Democrats are liberals when it comes to sexuality. The same rhetoric, the same view of humanity basically applies to both. The only difference is that what Protestant social conservatives actually try to conserve is the combination of Liberalism and Calvinism (it is worth noting that Liberalism arose from Calvinism).
The alternative to liberalism and the most conservative tradition in the US has long been agrarianism. Agrarians tend to vote Republican not because they agree with the party but because the Republicans tend to, on the surface, leave just a little more room for agrarianism in American society than the Democrats do. The Democratic Party prides itself on intellectualism, but it is one which systematically devalues rural America as poorly educated. In this regard Trump's comments following his win in Nevada were brilliant -- a way to bait Democrats and at the same time mobilize his base.
But Trump is no agrarian. Trump is a capitalist of the worst kind and no different, really, than Hillary. While he has proven quite politically adept, it is clear his heart isn't in the right place. Sanders is perhaps a little closer but he too is basically a conservative liberal.
Major (illiberal) premises of agrarianism would be:
- Growing food should no be an industrial-scale endeavor but the activity of small family farms
- The family is the basis of society and the rest of the levels exist to serve the family. The family should be restored to its rightful place as the seat of economic production, not relegated to consumption alone.
- Laws should favor small businesses over large ones.
- Free trade is bad, and self-employment is good.
- Employers have an obligation to ensure that capital is widely spread. The emphasis on a living wage is misguided.
- Culture and community matter and are not things to liberate people from.
- Marriage exists to protect and cultivate the next generation, not for the mere temporary fulfillment of the spouses. Decisions such as what forms of marriage are acceptable need to be subservient to that question.
- Participatory democracy is better than representative democracy
- Economic commons are more important than welfare payments.
Now this is by and large a platform that cuts across boundaries of right and left in this country, but it operates from a point of view that rejects liberalism. Many left-wingers in California, right wingers in Utah, and "liberals" in the NE may in fact be able to get behind much more than they do either main political party today. The only problem is funding....
Our political conversation in the US today is warped by our choices being limited to a party which believes liberalism is for business and religion is for the family, and the party that believes that liberalism is for the family and the state is for business. If we get a real alternative, we can better discuss and tackle our problems.