What is happening in this primary is just a distillation of what’s been happening inside their party for more than a decade. I mean, the reason that many of their voters are responding is because this is what’s been fed through the messages they’ve been sending for a long time — that you just make flat assertions that don’t comport with the facts. That you just deny the evidence of science. That compromise is a betrayal. That the other side isn’t simply wrong, or we just disagree, we want to take a different approach, but the other side is destroying the country, or treasonous. I mean, that’s — look it up. That’s what they’ve been saying.
Trump isn’t bringing them into the party. They were the party. They knew Trump because they were birthers. They knew Trump because he was a Fox talking head. They aren’t conservative because the party hasn’t been about conservatism for a long while. The party is about Fox News outrage, anger about political correctness and obsession with imaginary enemies.