Since 1968 a racially-defined conservative populism – what Richard Nixon called the “Silent Majority” – has been a durable part of Republican political identity. Yet across this era the GOP has continued to move away from protecting the rights and livelihoods of the very middle and working-class whites through which they built the modern party. For decades these whites have been experiencing falling or stagnant wages, the deterioration of collective bargaining, and the largest wealth gap in US history – an economic reality that was made worse by the Great Recession of 2008. Today the Silent Majority that made the rise of modern conservatism possible over the last half century is no longer a reliable element of national Republicanism. A combination of downward economic pressure, demographic changes, and political abandonment by GOP elites has created deep rifts that have destabilized the Republican Party and left its future uncertain.