Insurgency: How Republicans Lost Their Party and Got Everything They Ever Wanted (Hardcover)
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How did the party of Lincoln become the party of Trump? From a Washington reporter for The New York Times comes the definitive story of the mutiny that shattered American politics.
Jeremy Peters's epic narrative of the fracture and collapse of the Republican Party chronicles the once-in-a-lifetime self-destruction of a major political party through the dark and powerful forces that it wrought. Peters turns his incisive gaze toward the people whose shifting core ideas over the last twenty years have fundamentally changed the meaning of what it is to be a Republican. How, he asks, did the Republican Party cease to be the party of small government and fiscal responsibility and morph into a home for nativists, far-right social conservatives, and others whose views were traditionally relegated to the fringes?
The answer is a tale traced across two decades, born with the Tea Party revolution in 2009 and fueled by the shattering defeat of Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. Facing an existential crossroads, many in the party believed that the only way to save it was to expand, to embrace Hispanic voters and create a coalition that could build a new Republican majority. But those powers underestimated the energy and savvy of those who would pull the party in the opposite direction, tapping into and manipulating the discontent of millions of voters whom moderates had long taken for granted. And they did not understand the complicated moral framework by which many conservatives view Trump, leading to evangelicals and one-issue voters who were willing to shed Republican orthodoxy if it meant achieving their dream of a Supreme Court that would undo Roe v. Wade.
Moving through recent history, from the Ground Zero mosque to Brett Kavanaugh, from Sarah Palin to Donald Trump, Peters unfolds the story of a revolution that was not inevitable but engineered. Its architects had little interest in the America that was emerging in the new century, but they had a deep understanding of a political and electoral system that could be manipulated to serve the iron will of a shrinking minority. And ultimately, with Trump as their polestar, their gamble paid greater dividends than they'd ever imagined, extending the life of far-right conservatism in United States domestic policy into the next half century.
About the Author
Jeremy Peters is a reporter in the Washington bureau of The New York Times who covers politics.