You are an expert on ethnic conflict. It would seem that conservatives/Republicans act like a threatened ethnic group. What does the literature predicts will happen if Trump is impeached?— OPA (@ObservatoireUS) August 28, 2018
To be clear, of course, I don't think impeachment is going to happen. But the question is important anyway. Since it was put in the context of my expertise on ethnic conflict (which is, to be honest, a bit dated lately since I am focused on other stuff, but I plan to get back to), I re-cast the question to fit the literature: when a homogeneous party has an outbidding process that leads to capture by extremists, what happens when the extremists are toppled?
My short answer: damned if I know. I never studied that, and what I read tended to focus on the development of competition for members of a single group, which leads to more and more extreme promises to "defend" it against the Others. This ultimately leads to marginalization of the Other group and that leads to violence. But what happens when the extremists are pushed out? I don't really know.
I think this is an excellent research idea for someone else to study.
In terms of what happens in 2020 if Trump loses, or if he gets 25th Amendmented (also not going to happen), I would imagine that a small portion of the white supremacists will see themselves being pushed back under the rocks from whence they came and fight back. Yes, violence. We already have white supremacist violence now, and we had more organized white supremacist violence in the 1990s, so, yeah, I would expect attacks by the suddenly disappointed white supremacists against both their usual targets (Sikhs who they think are Muslims, Latinx, the LGBTQ community, African-Americans, etc) but also Republicans who let them down. But, as we learned in 2016, I suck at predictions. So, take all of this with a grain of salt. The only thing I can guarantee is that this would be an excellent dissertation question.
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