Bottom line; "movement conservatism" in the US has become completely zero-sum and utterly irredentist. It, and the roughly 35-40% of the American public who support it, no longer see opposition to their beliefs as legitimate or transactional, but as dangerously illegal treason. If you look for a link between the sort of rhetoric (and policy) issuing from the Oval Office, the legislative agenda of the current majority in Congress, and the actions of the GOP in the various states they control you can see the connection; to modern movement conservatism there IS no legitimacy outside the "conservative" agenda. Opposition isn't simply politics, but betrayal of everything that the nation stands for - conservatism. That Trump emerged from this fever-swamp is no surprise, and neither is the reality that despite being obviously the least competent Chief Executive since Buchanan his popularity with the GOP voters is stratospheric.
It's no surprise that the base is in love. The base is consumed with...
"paranoia and conspiracy thinking; racism and other types of hostility toward entire groups; innuendos and incidents of violence. The new leader is like his authoritarian counterparts abroad: illiberal, demagogic, hostile to institutional checks, demanding and receiving complete acquiescence from the party, and enmeshed in the financial corruption that is integral to the political corruption of these regimes."The obvious problem here is that there is as currently constituted no rational alternative for someone who is hesitant to embrace the changes and challenges of a multipolar, multiethnic nation in an increasingly interconnected world. If people who see themselves as "traditionalists" don't see a way to organize around a reasonable opposition to things they fear they will be forced into choosing the unreasonable and irrational.
There will always be racists and lunatics who will embrace Naziism or bizarre nonsense like QAnon. The tragedy of US politics is that there is now nothing else for the non-racist and non-looney conservatives. It's Trump...or nothing. The reality of first-past-the-post voting is that if the Rockefeller Republicans were to organize and run someone against Trump in 2020 all it would do is hand electoral victory to the Democratic candidate.
This is not supportable. Not in the long term, and not really in the middle- or short-term, either. No nation can endure with almost two-fifths of its population 1) enmeshed in what amounts to a lunatic cult, and 2) unwilling to cede power and willing to accept any machinations to hold it.
Popular democracies and republics depend on the willingness of all parties to accept the legitimacy of their opponents. When in a republican system you have this:
"After Wisconsin Democrats swept statewide offices last month, Robin Vos, speaker of the assembly, explained why Republicans would have to get rid of the old rules (in order to emasculate the incoming Democratic executive): “We are going to have a very liberal governor who is going to enact policies that are in direct contrast to what many of us believe in.”you will very soon no longer have a republic.
The U.S. has already, in many ways, become an open oligarchy. The U.S. is, in many ways, not the democratic republic it pretends to be. The U.S. has and is already acting in many ways like any other Great Power, disregarding the good of its own populace and the welfare of those in the places outside its borders it acts, in order to maintain and expand that power.
But what if even the pretense of republican ideals breaks down? What if a plurality of the American public decides that power is better than comity, and that victory for their faction is preferable to the will of the majority? What if that faction prefers to become an open autocracy rather than compromise with their domestic enemies?
What will happen then?