We are witnessing a unique phenomenon in U.S. political history repeating itself, and thanks to the ignorance of the American electorate, it will play itself out with the eventual demise of the Republican Party.

I refer to the 1845 founding of the Know-Nothing Party, whose platform was to purify America by eliminating immigration by Irish and German immigrants. Their argument was simple, and is being 100 percent parroted in this year’s Republican Party.

The political term for their platform is “nativism,” defined as “the political position of preserving status for certain established inhabitants of a nation as compared to claims of newcomers or immigrants.” And somehow the irony of immigrants opposing immigration was as completely lost on the 1845 Know-Nothing founders as it is on the 2015 Republican crowd.

The Know-Nothings drew support from the pro-slavery South and were the “split” that eventually caused the demise of the Whigs, with most members joining the nascent Republican Party (including Abraham Lincoln).

Today’s nativist screed – championed by Donald Trump – is identical to the 1844-1850 schism that destroyed the Whigs. If it plays out to its logical conclusion, this is the end of the Republican Party as a viable political party for presidential politics, simply because despite all the sound and fury, there are still about 20 percent to 25 percent of the party who are sane and will not fall for the new party line. (And 25 percent of 35 percent adds up to “lost elections in perpetuity.”)

So, in the spirit of supporting the demise of the “New Republican Party,” which bears no resemblance to the party of Ronald Reagan, Dwight Eisenhower or Lincoln, I support Donald Trump.

Nathaniel Parkinson