Imagine in 1983, if you had told a Republican political operative that in 30 years:
(1) Crime will no longer be an important political issue;
(2) The USSR will have dissolved, and a Republican president will so botch a foreign war that the Democrats will have a clear public opinion advantage on foreign policy;
(3) That same Republican president will have presided over the beginning of the worst recession since the Great Depression;
(4) The Republican Party will favor cutting Medicare and privatizing Social Security, with Democrats almost uniformly opposed, while there has never been as many senior citizen voters;
(5) African Americans will vote even more Democratic than they do today, and the Asian American and Hispanic populations will be much larger and will also vote overwhelmingly Democratic;
(6) The evangelical wave of the 80s will have waned, and the number of non-religious, non-church-going voters will have tripled.
He would likely think the GOP would be virtually extinct. Instead, you tell him that the GOP controls 30 governorships, the House of Representatives, has a chance at taking the Senate in the next election, and, though it lost the last two presidential elections, surely can’t be written off for 2016. He stares at you in disbelief, no?