Friday, January 24, 2014

Looking ahead at 2016.

I generally hate the tendency of the press to obsess about Presidential elections, especially as early as before the mid-term election even gets going good.  It just seems so... overeager?  Too anticipatory?  Crass?

Generally, it bothers me.

But today, Alternet had an article by Thom Hartmann, entitled, "A Rand Paul Presidential Campaign Would Teach Americans Just How Vicious and Anti-Social the Libertarian Agenda Is", and it perfectly illustrates my thoughts on how much in a pickle the Republican Party truly is.

I won't rehash the Hartmann article, because I linked to it and you should go read it.  You should, because he's right.

Oh, yeah, the GOP survived the debacle with Goldwater.  But, in the process, it had to remake itself.  In remaking itself, it bought into a partnership that has seemed to give it new life, but has brought this country to its knees in the process.   I speak, of course, of the partnership the GOP has with the Religious Right.

Oh, one can't really blame them for it.  From their perspective, they needed to restructure the party and bring it back from the extremism Goldwater had represented to many Americans.  The Religious Right (RR from now on) had what they needed, respectability and a high number of voters, especially in the South, where they badly needed to make inroads.  It was, to their point of view, a marriage made in heaven!  Literally!

And for decades, it has worked beautifully, bringing them back to power repeatedly and helping them to convert a lot of Southern Democrats to the GOP when the conservative points of view of the RR began to make itself felt at a time when the Democrats were moving decidedly to the left with such initiatives as the Voting Rights Act and so forth.  Today, the South is a stronghold of the GOP, allied with the RR, all the way from the Federal level to the locals.  A Conservative heaven, hostile to abortion, hippies, gays, libruls, and furriners.

A huge problem of the GOP and the RR is the immense echo chamber they've erected for themselves.  With the help of Fox News as a propaganda arm, modern Conservatives can sit back and revel in the wonderfulness that is their worldview of total domination of the American Dream where a majority of Americans are both Conservative and Religious!  Rarely does the outside world impinge itself into that well armored chamber to send uncomfortable vibrations tickling the foundations.

An uncomfortable truth that they have labored to ignore for decades is the fact that a Presidential nominee with impeccable Conservative creds cannot win a national election to gain the White House.  The only acknowledgement they've made to this is to work hard to ensure that a Presidential  nominee from the left has the same handicap.  So neither major party can gain enough votes to win  without enticing the inhabitants of the political center.  This has mollified the GOP and kept them from seeing what is becoming more and more obvious to the rest of us:

Their restructuring that was intended to eject the extremists has allowed a new generation of extremists to come to the fore.

A generation whose danger to the US is even greater than Goldwater ever dreamed of being.  Heck, and Goldwater really was a patriot.  He may have seemed extreme at the time, but he was a piker compared to the Dominionists.  These new guys are NOT patriots, they dream of overturning our Democracy.

And the GOP is, at least publicly, blissfully unaware of the danger, safely ensconced in that beautifully appointed echo chamber, armored from the leftist sounding vibrations of reality.

Repeatedly, in the last election, I posted predictions that if the GOP ignores the extremist positions of the RR, that they will suffer ignominious defeat, and should they continue to persist even after that defeat, the next one will be virtually permanent.

The sad truth for Conservatives is that this country is slowly becoming more liberal.  Witness the rapid acceptance of marriage equality and the slower acceptance of the legalization of pot.  I would add in here the evidence of more and more polls showing a rapid rise of the number of Americans who are either unchurched, identify as "none" regarding religion, or simply call themselves atheists or agnostic.  There is evidence that organized Christianity is becoming less and less popular and is, in fact, liable to disappear altogether before the end of this century, at least as an organized force.

A tremendous part of the restructuring of the American political environment is a rapid growth of traditional immigrant ethnic groups.  Asians and Hispanics especially are on the rise as a percentage of the American population, and have already surpassed White Americans as the majority of live births here.  By mid century, whites will simply fade into history as just another ethnic group among many, instead of being a majority.

This will blow the GOP out of the water unless they come to their senses and completely dump the old Conservative ideals of misogyny and racism - and soon!  Already, those groups, especially the Hispanics, threaten to turn Texas back into a reliably Blue State, which is why the GOP has enacted draconian laws restricting the ability of women and minorities' access to the polls there.

The growing popularity of Wendy Davis is further throwing the GOP in that State into a panicked frenzy.

But, still, one hears members of the GOP making such absurd statements as the one recently made by Mike Huckaby regarding what he claims is the inability of women to control their libido!  I won't bother to link to it, surely you've already read about it.  Or, perhaps the recent statement by another GOPer that if he were over 50, he wouldn't need the services of an obstetrician!

Continuing to insult one half of the voting public has never been a winning strategy, and I'll bet it won't begin to be in 2014.

In short, without an immediate and complete structuring of the ideals and principles of the GOP, it will soon begin the slide into obscurity, if hasn't already.

Rand Paul, as a Presidential Nominee, will not arrest that slide, he will grease the skids!

No comments: