At MSNBC, aka The Joe Scarborough Rest Home For Retired Serious Republicans, there is much serious intoning about the Trump "cult of personality" and how Republicans "don't stand for conservative values anymore."
The only difference between the old Republican Party and the new one is that Trump refuses to meekly use the right language, the soothing cover story. You know, the one where they talk about "small government" and "free enterprise," blah blah blah. Because no one will admit that the small government mantra was actually never more than an rationale to cut taxes.
Republicans use ideology to hide their policies. This isn't just my opinion; any historian knows the soaring language was a ruse Republicans used to cover their real agenda.
I pay attention to what they do. Every single thing you see any Republican do, at least in my lifetime, is built around a simple concept: Give me back my money.
There is no "fair" amount of taxes to be paid -- they want to keep all of it. And so they deeply resent the government programs that require them to pay taxes. They deeply resent any regulation that gets in the way of their profits. This is why they always talk about "balanced budgets" -- except when there's a Republican president.
And that leads me to the other thing they stand for: Cheap, disposable labor with no legal protections for workers.
GOP leaders don't actually care about gay marriage, abortion, or drugs. (Look closely at Don Jr. or Jerry Falwell.) These issues are merely what they happily use to entice the people who do to give them money, turn out to vote and "save the courts." But culture issues aren't the actual point. (Look closely: Show me one Republican judicial nominee who consistently rules for plaintiffs against corporations.)
They want the courts because they want to stack the deck in favor of corporations -- who are, after all, their primary source of support. And they want the courts to help them steal elections. None of this is new. They will do anything to stay in power, and they always have.
The Southern strategy? They've raised institutional racism to an art form. They don't miss a chance to elevate it.
So we have racism.
Those are your eternal Republican values.
Since Donald Trump was elected*, he has handed right-wing Republicans almost every single item on their Christmas wish list. You don't think he came up with all those policies, do you? He's transactional. He simply implemented what they asked him for. All those far-fetched ideas, lying dusty on the shelves of Republican think tanks? He embraced them all.
So when you hear the Joe Scarboroughs and Michael Steeles of the Republican Party cry crocodile tears over the death of "conservative" values, they're not being honest.
Donald Trump is conservative values on steroids.