On Knowing When to Leave the Party
Now that the election is over and Barack Obama has been elected for a second term, Republicans need to take a long, hard, much needed, much dreaded, look in the proverbial mirror.
If elections were relationships Republicans would be the ones asking, “Is it me?” The idea that Republicans can center themselves in society that is (hopefully) becoming gradually more progressive is quite frankly, laughable.
Bobby Jindal recently spoke out on the need for his party to appeal to a more intellectual base. Well thank you Bobby, for reminding us yet again, that Republicans are the anti-intellectual party. I find optimism from moderates like Jindal disparaging. A Republican asking other Republicans to try to appeal to a broader base seems futile.
Why would you want to associate yourself with a party that you feel is not appealing to intellects, even if you may align yourself with some of their policies?
That is like being part of a school club devoted mostly to a racist agenda…but also to say, watercolors. Now correct me if I’m wrong, but wouldn’t you, or the average person, say, LEAVE this club rather than try to reason with crazy?
Unfortunately for people like Bobby Jindal and even the love(like)-able, seemingly more moderate Republicans like Chris Christie, the notion that trying for more centered fiscally responsible views and a lighter iron fist when it comes to social issues can save the party is simply impossible. An esteemed professor once told my mother, there is no such thing as trying.
As a young girl while laboring over homework, which entailed mostly procrastinating, I would often whine “I’m tryingggg…,” “No such thing,” my Mother would retort, “Try to pick up that fork…See you either do something or you don’t, trying doesn’t exist.”
Therein lies the true roadblock for the Republican Party.
They can go on TV, radio, sit down for newspaper and magazine articles and flaunt their efforts to saying that they are trying to recuperate what is clearly a dying party. But the truth of the matter is the true base of the Republican party, those who will stand by them through thick and thin, those who provide them with financial support, and who campaign for them, the majority of Republican voters, aren’t reflected in the new, moderate, more centered face for the party.
These are people like the CEO of Papa John’s and the Koch Brothers, whose finances carry the Republican party. Or they are bible-thumpers, living in through and through red-states, vehemently opposed to abortion and gay rights, and of course socialism, but who also drain the majority of the government aid programs they (their party, rather, which they only associate with for social reasons) so strongly oppose.
Yes, are there reasonable people who may call themselves Republican? Sure. Are there enough of them to carry the party? To run a presidential campaign with booming finances and appease from the ever expanding Tea Party, the billionaire money hoarders, and the ‘God Hates Fags’ people? The answer is no.
They may say they’re ‘trying’, but they’re not doing. If republicans really wanted to appeal to a more reasonable crowd they would make concerted efforts to condemn big players in their party, like the waste receptacle that is Rush Limbaugh, and Fox News. And they would make an effort to appear on reasonable non-partisan news outlets like Brian Williams, and condemn the disrespectful, outlandish behavior of party members like Jan Brewer.
Most importantly they would call on top ranking Republicans John Boehner and Mitch McConnell to put aside their differences and reason with the President for the better of the country, rather than pushing them to stick to their guns.
But Republicans can’t do this. Beyond their outdated social policies, and ineffective self-serving financial polices, the Republican party’s demise will eventually result in one aspect of their party that they must cling to; their constituency. They’re in too deep with crazy welfare receiving anti-socialist Tea Partiers (Baggers), and Bible-belt residents, who they only receive votes from because most of them do not realize they are receiving government aid, and are largely uneducated. And they rely too heavily on the money from the few cinnamon-sprinkle-of-the-constituency-latte donors. Why else would the once pillar-of-reasonable-governing, Rudy Giuliani, who pulled his state through what were the most tragic and tumultuous years it has arguably ever known, stand alongside Mitt Romney while campaigning calling for Obama’s resignation?
For the Republicans to center themselves they would have to cut themselves off from the majority of the people who carry their votes. They’ve got, essentially, two large interest groups keeping them afloat. One who votes for them based on social issues, and the other to keep their wallets fat. Distancing themselves from the Planned Parenthood bombers and grotesque greedy billionaires, would be like democrats disassociating themselves with women, and cool celebrities who donated and called on their fans to vote, like Jon Hamm, Scarlett Johansson, Jay-Z, Bill Maher etc.
Sure there were plenty other people who voted for Obama, but in this election we saw the largest gender gap in history with women favoring Obama in record numbers. And while the average donation the Obama Campaign received was $47, that dinner at Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick’s house certainly didn’t hurt either.
The bottom line is the Republican Party is not sustainable, and they’ve done it to themselves. Maybe if they took some time to learn what that word meant, it could’ve save them, but it looks quite frankly like it’s too late.