Unfortunately for America, the Republican base seems to support racism, neo-nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, and white supremacists. We have to thank Donald Trump for at last exposing this. As a group, they believe whatever they want to believe, even if verifiable facts from different sources contradict what they believe: facts are irrelevant to them, because they have supplanted science, and verifiable fact, with a hierarchy based on belief and preconceived notions, which they constantly reinforce to each other through a network of news media that calls all other news “fake news.”
Their belief system, and methodology, are, in essence, tribal beliefs, and they are accompanied by all the trappings of tribalism: uniform dress, fascist salutes, symbolic shields, and constant references to other forms of such tribalism, like the Nazi movement in Germany, or totalitarian regimes elsewhere in the world today, such as Russia, or the Philippines, whose despotic leader has openly bragged about political murder.
They admire these strong men, because totalitarianism seems simpler, especially if you are amongst the groups that the strong man considers okay, without realizing that totalitarian governments never serve the needs of their people, except when they have no choice, or cannot use force, or intimidation, to suppress opposition. The people don’t matter in a totalitarian regime, as evidenced by Hitler’s desire that Germany should be destroyed at the end of World War Two, because the German people had failed him.
The Republican base remembers only the history they want to, ignoring anything that doesn’t reinforce their preconceptions, or fundamental beliefs that people are intrinsically superior because of nonsense elements, like skin color, or religious belief, or where they were born.
For example, they ignore the fact that the modern revision of American Civil War history is, in fact, a revision based on verifiable facts, drawn from the writings of Confederates themselves, and not some historians’ plot to rewrite history based on political whim, as they tell themselves. Confederates were, unfortunately, traitors to the country that let them, the now ex-Confederates, write Civil War histories for decades after the war, without challenge, simply because the Federals wanted reconciliation to move faster, so America could recover from its bloodiest conflict. That conflict was caused by the institution of slavery, and not the romantic lost cause of States Rights. This was an invention by southern writers as an explanation to the world of why they had plunged America into such a bloody conflict. Even they knew that the world would scratch their heads if they were told that the war was about slavery, an institution that the rest of the world dropped without bloodshed.
The Republican Party, if they are to continue to wield influence in the modern world, must somehow divorce themselves from this under-educated tribal base, even if it means surrendering power in the short term, while their more moderate people reorganize themselves into a new and viable party. Tribalism has no place in the modern world, and somehow, conservatives, and the Republican Party, have to accept that fact. Tribalism is the mindset of last two centuries, not the present one, and in the modern world, we can barely afford its narrow minded, ignorant pretensions.