The Republican Party is so divided right now, it makes One Direction seem like one cohesive unit.
Whether the brokered convention scenario pans out or not, Donald Trump's effect on the GOP will undoubtedly be profound and potentially lasting. What we're witnessing is a cleavage moment within the party, and many are calling these disagreements an identity crisis. To find out just how splintered the GOP is, Vox went to this year's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), the right's heralded annual gathering. What we found was a surprising amount of unity — in these conservatives' unflinching contempt for Trump.
Most of the people we spoke to didn't even believe Trump fit the definition of a true conservative. In a way, they are right. Ideological conservatism, by strict definition, is rooted in small government, traditional values, and the free market. Generally, Trump's opponents, Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. John Kasich, follow these principles.
Trump's stances, however, are rooted in populist nationalism, a brand of conservatism that is about protecting the country from foreign interests (that's why you hear him go on about China) and the threat of outsiders (hence the infamous "wall") or the elite (that's why he insists he's not a politician). So in many ways, Trump's platform isn't aligned with the traditional conservative ideology.
We definitely sensed that when the same look of disgust repeatedly took over the faces of CPAC attendees asked who they would vote for in a general election between Trump and Hillary Clinton. Like this guy:
But it's not like CPAC represents all conservatives. The people who go to the conference are more likely to align with traditional and establishment Republican values. However, Trump's massive support across different regions and demographics shows that his fan base cannot be discounted or ignored.
The Republicans can stand with Trump or force a brokered convention, but either way, this election will undoubtedly be a defining moment for the history of the party.