The Republican Party is marching itself towards something between extinction and irrelevancy for all of the wrong reasons.
The United States works best under a thriving two party system; in modern times, the boom decades under Presidents Reagan and Clinton existed only because one party controlled the White House while the other controlled the congress and both parties were thriving and strong. Today, Democrats fight strong and dirty and Republicans either don’t fight at all or fight stupid, and all of that is bad for America.
Look no further than the developments of this week as the Presidential race for 2016 began to take shape and hold.
I transparently admit that I am right-of-center in general, and viciously conservative on issues of national security, fiscal policy and gun rights. I have never aligned myself with a political party because neither speaks to me. The Democratic party of 1962, JFK’s Democratic Party, would have been my party, but that is long since gone. The Republican Party of today is so out of touch with mainstream America while screaming at the top of its lungs about being the party of traditional America it is sad and pathetic to watch, as was the case this week.
This nation works in cycles. Rarely throughout American history has one party held the White House for more than 8 years consecutively. Our system demands that we sway back and forth like a pendulum, and after 8 years of Obama, it is time for a shift the other direction; sadly, the Republican Party is already behaving like a party of the past, unable to explain why it is once again time for its’ fiscal policy of lower and fewer taxes and a stronger and mightier military and American presence in the world, while also making a fool of its collective self on social issues.
Look no further than the comments this week of two people who have no chance of having anything to do with the Presidential Race a year from now, former Senator Rick Santorum and former Governor Mike Huckabee. While they will not be running for President, their words and positions and arguing points will resonate and echo throughout the months to come and may cost the Republicans, and perhaps the country, dearly come November 2016.
Many of you struggle with the sweeping changes which have occurred in American culture over the last 10 years, most notably the last 5. Many blame Obama and the Liberal left (for good reason in some cases). What few are capable of doing is acknowledging America’s acceptance and/or embrace of those changes. It is one thing to hold fervently to your personal beliefs; it is another thing entirely to claim that your beliefs reflect what the majority believes when that is provably and unequivocally untrue.
Last week during the Presidential Primary Debate Rick Santorum was asked about Gay Marriage and the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize it nationally, something a mean average of 66% of Americans either agree with or accept, meaning it is what we call “settled law.” You don’t have to like it, but you do have to acknowledge it is the law of the land and it won’t be changed. When a court speaks and a population capitulates, it is game over. Mike Huckabee called for civil disobedience, encouraging county clerks who disagree with the decision to refuse to process marriage licenses. Santorum said something even dumber, if you can imagine that.
In 1857, an African American man named Dred Scott went all the way to the United States Supreme Court only to be told that, “African Americans, whether enslaved or free, could not be American citizens and therefore had no standing to sue in federal court,” a decision that President Lincoln said “would not stand,” as he set out to encourage Congress to pass laws overriding the decision.
Last week, Both Santorum and Huckabee cast themselves as modern day “Lincolns,” by declaring that the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize gay marriage “would not stand,” and they would work tirelessly to restore America’s core values, both citing Lincoln’s reaction to Dred Scott. Oh, the irony of two men who want to be president using a moment in American history in which a President fought to GRANT civil rights to a group of citizens as a platform and comparison for their desire to remove and restrict a group of citizens from rights and/or privileges enjoyed by everyone else. Removing slavery from the decision, the Dred Scott decision also maintained the illegality of interracial relationships at a time when thousands of white women were having sex with black men and vice-versa (particularly in the case of our most notable founders and leaders at the time, ironically). On a very simple apples-to-apples scale, Lincoln fought to allow people to love and marry, while Santorum and Huckabee would fight to disallow it. Great comparison. #Sarcasm.
Worse than that is the overarching implications of the GOP in general to acknowledge the arc of the nation. America overwhelmingly supports gay marriage, whether those Americans have simply “given up,” or have actually evolved is of no relevance, which is why only Governor John Kasich of Ohio, who said it was “time to move on,” has this right so far.
Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana made a fool of himself on a different subject in the early debate when he declared that “all of America is outraged,” over the content of the recently leaked Planned Parenthood videos in which members of that organization are seen cavalierly referring to fetus and baby parts as though they were mufflers to Pontiacs as they discuss if and how they will crunch or crush the various parts of the body as it is aborted. You, and Mr. Jindal, may be as horrified as you like, but you don’t get to then claim that America is recoiling as well. In literally a dozen different polls, including those taken by conservative groups, the nation’s opinion, amongst those who HAVE SEEN the videos, is unchanged on Planned Parenthood and abortion. Even hotair.com, a very right-wing, conservative blog admitted that when you truly delve into the details of all of the surveys, these videos have had zero effect. Republicans on a national stage claiming otherwise look foolish, out of touch, and fall right back into the “war on women” trap they have fallen for before.
An extraordinary 24 million Americans tuned into last week’s primetime debate to see the “Donald Trump,” show but they were also then forced to listen to the other 9 men on stage as well. Anecdotal evidence as reported by multiple media outlets is that given a chance to highlight themselves as modern, in touch, serious people ready to move the nation forward, most people came away feeling as though the Republican Party, as a whole, is out of touch in its entirety. Some of that even came a result of one of the questions asked by Fox News; Social Media blew up in mockery and polls of others supported the notion that people “could not believe,” they asked the candidates a question as to whether or not God speaks to them. In a nation of the lowest rate of church attendance and the lowest number of Americans ever saying they believe in God, even asking such a question was devastatingly out of touch. The Republican Party did a great job of appealing to those that already agree with and love them; approximately 33% of the population. Correct me if I’m wrong, but that not only makes you a loser, it makes you irrelevant.
Whether you like it or not this nation, right now, in extraordinarily provable numbers is in favor of gay marriage and legalized abortion (with some restrictions). It is also not at all interested in God or religion.
If you truly want to change peoples’ hearts and minds you must first be elected; then you use your power to convince a nation to evolve. That is exactly what Barack Obama did, not matter how much many hate it. America in 2008 was against gays in the military, and against gay marriage and now support both in huge numbers. One outlying poll a month ago, which right wing whackos like Rush Limbaugh tried to use as proof of the nation’s desire to remain “traditional,” was immediately discredited by anyone who read the polling data. Every other poll and all evidence elsewhere shows that this nation cares about jobs, all things fiscal, the safety of our nation and immigration and education. Those are the things republicans should talk about, and they should put the rest away for another day, lest they don’t have many more days of relevance.