I think this article by David Graham in the Atlantic is on to something huge and fundamentally insightful. One seemingly persistent belief that has not been born out by actual politics is that women are somehow more liberal in terms of politics. In general, women have tended to vote for Republicans more than men–without white women’s votes, Romney would not have done as well as he did in 2012, even if he lost, for example. Republicans have produced as many elected women officials as Democrats have. In a sense, Phyllis Schlafly, notwithstanding her opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment, is a giant of American political feminism, possibly greater than anyone since Susan B. Anthony–which, apparently, is recognized by Susan B. Anthony List.
If Trump candidacy breaks the Republican Party, it won’t be because of racism–Republicans already lost vast majority of minority votes. It will be because they lost much of their credibility to women, who make up a majority of the voting public and among whom Republicans had always done rather well. What is more there is no good reason that Republican should lose these votes, except for the fact that Trump is exactly the wrong kind of candidate who would offend many of the people who were already more or less in the Republican camp even if he could draw out voters who were not there. In a sense, I think this is a tragedy: God knows that there are many people who have been left behind that needed a champion inside the Beltway, and they were already split by difficult-to-reconcile worldviews–Sanders supporters and Trump supporters. The former already lost and the latter will lose with near certainty, and worse, having a crazy loon as the standard bearer will certainly discredit the fact that they are being seriously underserved. I don’t see much, if any, good coming out of denying their existence–but it will be too easy to do so. But, as the Langston Hughes poem implies, a dream deferred too much explodes. (irony intentional–the logic of the poem has gone intersectional, sadly–it applies multiracially now.)