Splitsville

Some of the country club Republicans are getting off the Trump Train. See above. House Minority Leader, Representative Kevin McWeathervane, is twisting slowly, slowly in the wind. The online wingnuts are being forced underground. As I predicted a long time ago, American politics is being trifurcated.

Per Jim VanDerHei of Axios, two days ago:

Insurrection and misinformation tears the country into three Americas

The United States, torn apart by insurrection and mass misinformation, is witnessing a political and social realignment unfold in real time: We’re splitting into three Americas.

Why it matters: America, in its modern foundational components, is breaking into blue America, red America, and Trump America — all with distinct politics, social networks and media channels. 

The existential question for Republicans, and perhaps for America, is whether Trump America — animated by the likes of Newsmax + Rush Limbaugh + Tucker Carlson + Parler (or whatever replaces it) — eclipses the traditional Red America in power in the coming years. 

    • The danger: Parts of Trump America, canceled by Twitter and so many others, are severing their ties to the realities of the other Americas, and basically going underground. There will be less awareness and perhaps scrutiny of what’s being said and done. 
    • Axios’ Sara Fischer reports that Apptopia shows a surge in downloads for conservative-friendly social networks — Parler, MeWe and Rumble — in the past two days, following Trump bans by mainstream social media and tech.

The big picture: The Republican Party is splitting into two, starting with the relatively small Never Trumpers breaking off in 2016 and joined four years later by a new slice of establishment Republicans repulsed by President Trump’s post-election actions. 

    • We have no clue how big this faction will grow. But it seems clear that the Trump vs. them saga will dominate the coming months, and maybe years.

There’s no hard evidence yet that Trump America has shrunk significantly, despite the lies about the election and mob assault on the U.S. Capitol. 

    • There is hard evidence Trumpers are flocking to social media groups and hard-right outlets like Newsmax to get and share news that reinforces their views. 
    • It’ll take a while to determine if voters share the anti-Trump views of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell or Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).
    • Twitter’s decision to permanently suspend Trump forces this faction further underground. 

Blue America is ascendant in almost every area: 

    • It won control of the House, Senate and White House; dominates traditional media; owns, controls and lives on the dominant social platforms; and has the employee-level power at Big Tech companies to force corporate decisions. 

The bottom line: Now, more than ever, is the time to read and reflect: Our nation is rethinking politics, free speech, the definition of truth and the price of lies. This moment — and our decisions — will be studied by our kid’s grandkids.