How do you deal with the fact that all of the people leading the party you defend don’t even believe the ideas they are selling you?
This has been true since at least 1968. Lee Atwater, Reagan's campaign manager put it most succinctly:
Atwater: Y'all don't quote me on this. You start out in 1954 by saying, "Nigger, nigger, nigger". By 1968, you can't say "nigger"—that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me—because obviously sitting around saying, "We want to cut this", is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than "Nigger, nigger". So, any way you look at it, race is coming on the back-burner.
We still see this dynamic today. CRT and BLM are just abstract codes for Republican fear of Black people. Look at recent court arguments of Alex Jones, Tucker Carlson, Rudy Giuliani, Sydney Powell, etc. In public, they make all kinds of outrageous claims but in front of a judge they defend themselves by saying "no rational person would believe my outrageous claims." The very lawyers Trump hired to argue fraud in 2020 have testified under oath that they were just making shit up and still Trump requires candidates to claim fraud in 2020 before he'll back them. The Republican Party is not just a house built on lies, it is house that knows full well that it is built on lies, that counts on those lies being believed by the stupid and chooses to lie in exchange for power.
Jun 15, 2016
Ryan: “Russia is trying to turn Ukraine against itself.”
Rodgers: “Yes. And that’s...it’s sophisticated and it’s, uh...”
Ryan: “And guess, guess who’s the only one taking a strong stand up against it? We are.”
Rodgers: “We’re not…we’re not…but, we’re not.”
McCarthy [referring to DNC hacking]:“I’ll guarantee you that’s what it is...The Russians hacked the DNC and got the opp [opposition] research that they had on Trump.”
Ryan: “The Russians hacked the DNC...
McHenry: “...to get oppo...”
Ryan: “On Trump and like delivered it to...to who?”
McCarthy: “There’s... there’s two people, I think, Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump...Swear to God.”
Ryan: “This is an off the record...No leaks...alright?!. This is how we know we’re a real family here.”
Scalise: “That’s how you know that we’re tight.”
Ryan: “What’s said in the family stays in the family.”
There it is. Ryan doesn't say, 'that's wrong, you're nuts' he says 'don't let it get out.' The day after Russian Intel hacked the DNC, the core GOP leadership knew and believed that Russia and Trump were working together to take the White House and they decided to cover it up. When the National Security Advisor turns out to be a Russian spy, when Mueller reports 170 meets with Russian agents and 11 attempts to cover it up, when Trump threatens to leave Ukraine exposed if Zelensky won't make up some dirt about Hunter Biden, in all these obvious connections and thousands more, the Republican conscious is not shocked because Russian collusion was already well baked in to the GOP agenda, even before Trump was nominated to the presidency. Since Nixon, Republicans and the honest truth parted ways and have not been on speaking terms since.