If ever there was a textbook example of a one trick pony, it was the GOP of 1973-2022. Because for almost 50 years the GOP was able to motivate its far right Evangelical base by one issue and one issue only. Abortion.
The reason their ploy worked at all was because they got in right at the start. Starting the day after the original Roe v Wade decision the GOP, the official home of right wing loonies, started revving up their Evangelical base. And for almost 50 years, they fundraised and dragged out Evangelical voter turnout on a pledge they already knew they had no judicial ability to deliver. Man, talk about a pleasant one-way-street.
Because they were monolithic, the GOP was able to keep it going. The 40+ original Evangelical followers went to meet their maker without ever seeing their dream realized. But that’s OK because the GOP suckered in first their children, and then their grandchildren. And the road show continues.
And then the most amoral, fundamentally non Christians, hedonist slob in history made their dreams come true. Traitor Tot lucked his way into three SCOTUS picks in four years, and the runaway train Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade. In an orgy of ecstasy GOP controlled legislatures went on a feeding frenzy to pass more and more restrictive anti abortion laws. But there was a problem there.
Because the far right Evangelicals, for almost three generations were motivated by one issue, Roe v Wade. Those three words symbolized the entire abortion issue for Evangelicals. Once it was overturned, their lifelong goal was finally accomplished. Despite GOP excesses in abortion rights restrictions in the states, far right, anti abortion voting was down 18% in the 2022 midterms. They don’t care about the mechanics, they wanted the antichrist of Roe gone. And once it was, they tuned out, at least 1% of them.
And that’s a serious problem for the GOP. After all, keeping their far right base motivated is the sole reason for their culture war agenda. And hell, you can always rile up the goose steppers and bedsheet banditos with illusions of the black and brown masses aligned against them, but it turns out that the Evangelicals are turning out to be a little more tricky.
The new and improved GOP motivator for the Evangelicals was supposed to be Teh Icky Gays, and deviant trans people! Just one problem. The GOP hooked the Evangelicals on abortion on day one. And it fed into their already existing beliefs, so it was a natural fit. But LGBTQ and Trans people have been open and amongst us for more than 20 years now. The aging Evangelicals didn’t/don’t really understand the gay/trans issue, and besides, they were laser focused on the abortion issue. And besides, from what I’ve read and seen, there is quite the split in the Evangelical movement when it comes to the LGBTQ and Trans issue. Hell, even the Pope says that LGBTQ and Trans people are All God’s children. And there are Evangelical leaders that agree with him.
This is shaping up to be a major issue for the GOP heading into 2024. Under the best of circumstances, the GOP couldn’t afford to lose 20% of the far right Evangelical vote in 2024, With the Godsmack mosh pit the GOP has turned into, it could be catastrophic. But the LGBTQ issue is not blowing up the Evangelicals skirts the way the GOP hoped it would. And since the Evangelical mathematical formula was simple, Roe v Wade abortion, if the GOP can’t find a different motivator most riki-tik, they’re in the hurt locker.