Why has the GOP changed its identity so drastically in the last 5 years?

I always knew conservatives were susceptible to "group think," but I never realized the problem was this bad. In the course of just a few years conservatives have abandoned traditional principles of free trade, small government and fiscal restraint. Instead, we now have tariff wars, regulation of... show more I always knew conservatives were susceptible to "group think," but I never realized the problem was this bad. In the course of just a few years conservatives have abandoned traditional principles of free trade, small government and fiscal restraint. Instead, we now have tariff wars, regulation of pregnancy, and massive deficit spending.

And Trump doesn't even have Obama's excuse of an economic recession. In fact, Trump has spent more than Obama during the comparable periods of the presidency, and it's happening during a time of economic growth.
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