While the Republican Party continues to devolve into the party of white supremacists, authoritarian fascists, and conspiracy theorists, they are losing their grip on many of the voting blocs they have always counted on to keep them in power. Several demographic groups are moving away from the Republicans, such as older voters and suburbanites. Other blocs, like Asian Americans, have been slowly moving away for two decades. The GOP’s acceptance of anti-Asian racism—in everything from COVID-19 discussions to children’s books—ensures that the trend likely isn’t going to reverse anytime soon.
However, in most discussions, there isn’t much talk about one voting bloc that is getting very sick of being used and abused by the new Republican Party—especially during the past several years. For decades, the GOP has simply counted on the military vote as a guaranteed win for their column. So sure are they of their loyalty that poll watchers used a large number of military ballots for Joe Biden as proof of election fraud. That’s because, for years, military members leaned right, either due to the GOP’s proclivity for high defense spending or for wrapping themselves in patriotic displays.
Yet the fact is that the Republican’s record on military and veterans’ issues is extremely shameful, not to mention the vast insults and lies hurled toward them by the predominantly Trump/Tucker wing of the party. A much more educated and diverse service population has been rethinking the military’s rightward lean as they turn to progressives to tackle the issues many of them are facing in uniform. There is a real chance for progressives to make inroads with this community, and we can start by undoing the damage caused by the right-wing officials who always claimed to be their biggest supporters.