In 1981, Ronald Reagan declared that “illegal immigrants in considerable numbers have become productive members of our society and are a basic part of our work force. Those who have established equities in the United States should be recognized and accorded legal status.” In this regard, today’s Republican Party would be unrecognizable to the conservative icon. So we must ask: what changed, how, and why?
The 2016 US Presidential Election bucked years of politics-as-usual and marked a revolutionary shift in how Americans decide who is best fit to be the nation’s leader. Or did it? An inspection of the last forty years of American elections appears to uncover a far longer trend at work, one that can be traced from the modern day all the way back to the greatest political scandal in American history.