Jane Coaston at Voxhad an article on Monday explaining how scared the GOP is of the increasing number of white nationalists, Nazis, and Holocaust deniers running as Republicans:
As Democrats try to hold onto a polling lead in advance of this fall’s midterm elections, they have and will tie racist and far-right leaning Republican candidates to other Republicans running for office or already serving, forcing Republicans to either disavow them or risk appearing soft on anti-Semitic racism.
Racist rhetoric, after all, doesn’t typically serve Republicans well electorally. In Virginia’s 2017 governor’s race, for example, Republican Ed Gillespie rode hard on NFL protests and keeping Confederate statues in place — and lost, as Democratic and independent voters were motivated to turn out in part by Gillespie’s strategy.
The argument Coaston makes is that all of these openly racist "fringe" candidates (they're not really the fringe anymore) makes it harder for the GOP to shed the label of "The Party of Racism." And this is true. But it's not the entire picture. There's an entirely different reason establishment Republicans are terrified of openly white nationalist candidates running.
Sooner or later (and almost certainly sooner), they're going to start winning.
Republicans are not just worried that these candidates are going to make the party look like monsters, they're worried that their voters are. Let's be honest here. If a neo-Nazi ran as a Democrat, no one would seriously believe they represented any aspect of the party. But that's not at all true for the GOP and Republicans know it. There is a strong constituency for white nationalism among white Republican voters and they're going to elect Nazis in the near future.
The Trump Problem
As Charles Blow so perfectly explained when he wrote about Trump's rage junkies, the GOP's base is filled with rabid racists. They crave the hatred of white nationalism because it's the greatest high they've ever had. They will never go back to the dog whistles of white supremacy again. This is like asking a meth addict to smoke marijuana instead.
When Trump is gone by 2021, the Republican base will be howling for its fix. Trump may still be around holding rallies but he won't be running for office. He won't be able to make policy and without that, he's of no use to the right. He's an empty high that won't last long. Instead, the base will be looking to new candidates to feed them the hatred they need. That means electing white nationalists.
Trump didn't so much change the base as give it an overdose of what it's always wanted. Now it's hardwired to support the absolute worst of the worst as long as they promise to punish brown skin.
The Future of the GOP is bleak
Over the next several years, the GOP is going to take gerrymandering, voter suppression, and election rigging to new heights. Emboldened by an extremist Supreme Court that will rubber stamp every dirty trick they can think of, Republicans will go hog wild. But that's only going to last so long. Elected Republicans bragging about how they love Hitler is going to be the end of them.
There are roughly 70 million people in America who didn't vote in the last election. How long do you think they're going to sit on the sidelines when actual Nazis are elected to office. Especially when it's by one, and only one, party? And it's not like Republicans haven't shown a willingness to accept any piece of trash into their ranks. They backed a pedophile to the hilt and actually started defending pedophilia.
If they can stand by an attempted child rapist, they will absolutely stand by a Nazi. And when they do, there will be no more denying that the GOP is the party of hate and intolerance. After that, all the gerrymandering and voter suppression in the world won't stop them from being wiped out by a fully engaged electorate.
And that is the full reason the GOP is terrified of a handful of assholes running as Republicans. They're just the beginning. White nationalists are ready to take their place in Trump's GOP and the base is going to welcome them with open arms.