We are witnessing the death of the Republican Party – Independent UK

We are witnessing the death of the Republican Party

GOP logoNo one who cherishes the American ideal of ‘government of the people, by the people, for the people’ could fail to be horrified by what has become of the GOP- Republican Party

Editorial  – Independent UK

Once upon a time in America, the Republican Party was the most intellectually exciting and effective political organisation on the planet.

In fact, this happened not merely once upon a time, but repeatedly: at various stages since the 18th century revolution that threw off those dastardly Hanoverians and created the most enterprising and exciting country our planet has known. It was the Republican Party – also known as the Grand Old Party, or GOP – that was on the right side of history, that emancipated the enslaved and made friends of strangers, and forced back the boundaries of knowledge and human potential. 

Opponents of today’s Republican Party ought to be generous enough to grant the likes of Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan their due as men who defined their eras. Lincoln led America through the Civil War, preserving the union, abolishing slavery and, in the Gettysburg Address, putting political philosophy and rhetoric into a debt to him that will never be serviced.

Roosevelt took on robber barons, built massive infrastructure and advanced the cause of the poor and judiciary. Reagan, though he became ideologically wedded to the free market, was a pragmatist whose leadership during the Cold War was invaluable, and whose championing of liberty and migration has stood the test of time.

What chance, if any, that the party of today could achieve these sorts of victories? None whatsoever, alas, though “alas” is something of an understatement. Nobody who cherishes the American ideal, immortalised by Lincoln, of “government of the people, by the people, for the people”, could fail to be horrified by what has become of the GOP today. Moreover, the hope that Lincoln expressed at Gettysburg, that such government “shall not perish from the earth”, is precisely the outcome that would attend the election of a Republican leader today. Such a result would be bad for democracy, bad for the GOP, bad for America, and bad for the world.

How did we get here? The causes of the Republican malaise are both long and short term. America’s two-party system, always needlessly restrictive, ought not to be long for this world. It used to encourage centrism in candidates, who know they have to court swing voters to get to the White House. And yet recently the Republicans leadership at national level has been captured by the Tea Party tendency.

This renegade movement – spawned by a nasty, nationalist opposition to Barack Obama’s pragmatic presidency – demanded ideological purity from rising stars, forcing them to adopt ever more extreme and at times ludicrous positions from which they couldn’t unwind. Sensible, smart politicians like Marco Rubio have been forced to say stupid things – and then defend them, lest they seem ideologically impure.

Partly fuelled by the anger and energy of the Tea Party, together with mighty broadcasters like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, a right-wing and highly theocratic media has captured the party. Mainly this means Fox News, run by the supremely eminent Roger Ailes and, ultimately, Rupert Murdoch. This has created an echo chamber in which American conservatives can have their prejudices tickled, with limited original thinking or challenge to prevailing orthodoxies, long before modern social media compounded the problem.

And then there was The Donald. The most pungent Presidential campaign since Barry Goldwater’s run in 1964 has shocked America and the world, forcing the complacent elites against which he has, without a hint of irony, railed to realise the frustration in their midst. He may yet enter the White House. While his campaign has been a phenomenal success, the manner in which senior Republican figures like John McCain and Paul Ryan have fallen into line, despite their obvious horror at everything Trump stands for, has been depressing.

In Britain, the divisions between our main political parties no longer make any sense, but the forces stopping the creation of a new party – principally our disgracefully unjust electoral system – have proved insurmountable. In America, such forces don’t exist, at least not to the same degree. If Trump wins in November, all bets are off.

If he loses, which is still just about the more likely outcome, moderate Republicans – who do exist – will have to go all out for the capture of their party, or rather the recapture from the loons currently in charge. If they lose the inevitable, coming power struggle, the honourable course of action may be to admit they have lost, and start over.

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Comments

  • Clyde Duncan  On June 10, 2016 at 12:27 am

    Elizabeth Warren Speaks:

  • Clyde Duncan  On June 10, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    Stephen King said in an interview for Rolling Stone magazine:
    “I am very disappointed in the country. I think that Donald Trump is the sort of last stand of a sort of American male who feels like women have gotten out of their place and they’re letting in all these people that have the wrong skin colours. He speaks to those people. Trump is extremely popular because people would like to have a world where you just didn’t question that the white American was at the top of the pecking order.”

    Another source suggested that Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren would make a good team for President and Vice-President of the USA.

    Of course, some Americans still believe it is a man’s job to be President and Vice-President of the USA – by that they mean “a white man’s job”.

    Another asked “Do you think the USA is ready to be led by two women?”

    Which begs the question: “When did anyone ever ask if the USA is ready to be led by two white men?”

    Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren have two Presidents in their corner: President Barack Obama and President Bill Clinton.

    [While I have the Joe Stalin question swirling around in my noggin – “How many divisions does the Pope have?”]

    I ask you, “How many Presidents does Donald Trump have in his corner?”

    People of the USA [and the world]: Run Scared – Donald Trump might win!

  • Clyde Duncan  On June 11, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    Catholic Nun Explains Pro-Life In A Way That Will Stun Many

    by Leslie Salzillo – Daily Kos

    In one simple quote, Sister Joan Chittister, O.S.B. sums up the hypocrisy of many in the ‘pro-life’ movement:

    “I do not believe that just because you’re opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don’t? Because you don’t want any tax money to go there. That’s not pro-life. That’s pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is.”

    This quote applies well to many Republican lawmakers who continue to introduce and pass restrictive misogynist laws against woman’s reproductive rights. At the same time, the GOP works to shut down women’s health clinics, with a special vengeance towards Planned Parenthood (#StandWithPP).

    You don’t hear of these Right Wing anti-choice extremists adopting children from unplanned pregnancies or putting funds into sex education. But you do see Republican lawmakers cut access to birth control, which prevents abortions. You do see the GOP’s 54 attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and their $24 Billion Government Shutdown both to destroy universal health reform which protects the needs of millions of American children.

    And you do see Republican lawmakers cut government programs like school lunches for children and block government financial aid to families who are homeless and/or in need. No, the goals of these so-called anti-choice/’pro-life’ hypocrites are not about foetuses, or children once born, their agenda is about controlling women’s bodies and women’s futures.

    How great to hear Sister Joan Chittister, a Benedictine nun, define the pro-life / anti-choice GOP double talk so well. An outspoken advocate for women, Sister Joan Chittister is a lecturer and author of 50 books. Holding a Ph.D. from Penn State University, she is also a research associate in a division of Cambridge University. Other subjects of her writing include women in the church and society, human rights, peace and justice, religious life and spirituality. She has appeared in the media on numerous shows including Meet the Press, 60 Minutes, Bill Moyers, BBC, NPR, and Oprah Winfrey. You can visit Joan Chittister’s website at – http://www.joanchittister.org/

  • Gigi  On June 11, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    I’ll bite and play along with the whole song and dance obfuscation that is the US elections. The Donald is who the people want for their “government of the people, by the people, for the people.” How else did he beat out all the others to get to the top? When over 70% of eligible US voters don’t vote because of their dissatisfaction with this toxic mess, the show still has to go on. Those who stand to make big bucks – advertising, printing, jobs, clothes/wardrobe, venue rentals, travel, manicurists, stylists, food, hotels, planning, organizing – off the whole charade ain’t gonna give up their share of the spoils either. Elections in the US is all part and parcel of the capitalistic business model – a shameless and debased money making spectacle. Bernie was sent out to create buzz and hype-up the democrat side, likewise Donald was sent to do the same on the republican side. Maybe the song and dance was not suppose to go on for so long or last. Who knows except the elites pulling the strings. And Donald does happen to be one of of them, and old money to boot. He ingeniously uses self deprecating humor to mock his own people. He is no stuff shirt putting on airs. He doesn’t have to. And this is what galls the stuff shirts who have to put on airs and live a life of pretense to feel important. Besides, everything the Donald says he will do the democrats have done tenfold. So why IS the lesser of the two evils? The one who says what he will do IF elected or the one who has already done all of those plus more and hasn’t been elected yet?

    Immigration – Carter, Clinton and Obama have deported AND imprisoned more immigrants than republican presidents have, including Muslims.

    Build a wall to keep out immigrants – border patrol agents under Obama have killed more immigrants in cold blood than Trump’s wall ever will.

    Muslim terrorists – are the result of the Clintons and Obama’s foreign policy, one that Obama escalated and made worse when he took over from Bush. For the innocent people who are victims of Obama drone wars, there is no difference between nuclear war and Obama’s “double-tap” drone strikes.

    Sexist and misogynist – having an intern young enough to be your daughter gyrate on a cigar for your pleasure is what? Not to mention his numerous other women and what they did to entertain him. Hillary cursing them out and calling them all sort of nasty names is not feminist rather, it makes her typical Stepford wife material – in more ways than one. Yet she demands and feels entitled to the female vote? Who exactly is the overblown, obnoxious narcissist?

  • Gigi  On June 11, 2016 at 8:17 pm

    Should have capitalize the word MAY instead of “IF” since MAY is the operative word. We don’t know for sure if Trump MAY do the things/enact the policies he says he will do. He MAY decide that shooting and killing immigrants crossing the border is cheaper and more efficient than building a wall – like the democrats figured out. He has also stated that he will engage in discussions with Putin, so no nuclear war will occur between these two. Hillary is cackling with glee and can’t wait to pull the trigger.

    As for his sexism – well, he IS FROM THE NORTH and is a product of his environment. From my personal experience living in New York versus the South, I find their men crass and crude. In the south, if a guy give you the look, he does it with slight smile and a nod. In the north they are downright loathsome and crude like salivating hogs.

    I can see why liberal men prefer Hillary though, she is the Stepford wife on steroids. The floor mop kinda wife who also dutifully brings in the bacon for him to have a sweet, easy and lazy do nothing life. Which spineless excuse for a man is going to say no to that! And that’s my opinion of the Hillary aspiring-to-be-a-kept-man lazy ass no good man creature supporter.

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