The fundamental problem of the Republican party has always been that, speaking economically, it has always been the party of the Rich, and there are a lot more poor and middle class people in the USA than there are rich people.
From the 1930s to the 1970s the party didn’t find a way of dealing with that problem, so the Democrats kept continuous control of Congress and elected most presidents. Then in 1980 Reagan was elected as a “change” candidate, in much the way Obama has been elected now.
Subsequently, the Republicans hit the jackpot by allying with the religious Right, and inaugurated an almost 40-year period in which they conclusively proved that people of modest means will vote against their own economic class interests in order to see their non-economic “values” in control of society. The more sophisticated Republican leaders, who couldn’t care less about religion and “values” but did care deeply about the economic interests of their wealthy patrons, then began to scheme to prevent Democrats from ever enacting any social programs, such as Europe has had for generations, that would so benefit people of modest means that they might outweigh the massive inertia of “values” voting and kick poor and middle class people back to the Democratic camp.
Usually right-wing theorists don’t talk a lot about this struggle of theirs in open forums, for obvious reasons.
But here is an exception to their usual reticence:
Think about it folks. Do you really want to hear constantly about how great That Old Time Religion is more than you want assured access to health care for yourself and your children?