There has been a lot of commentary regarding the death of the Republican Party since President Obama's election. Personally, I think this is just the ebb and flow of politics. Republicans get to be in power for a while and then the Democrats do and then back to the Republicans. Except, this time, I don't think many of us will be flowing back to the Republicans any time soon.
I should note that I used to be a Republican. I know a lot of people will find it hard to believe, but I was a Reagan supporter; however, by the time Reagan left office in 1989, I was a Democrat. One of the reasons for the switch was the AIDS epidemic. Reagan completely ignored AIDS almost until the end of his presidency when he finally uttered the word in a speech in 1987. By that time, the whole country had already uttered the word. That was it; when Bush the First ran for President, I voted for Dukakis.
Now the ebb and tide have flowed and the Democrats have full power in all three branches of government and the Republicans are digging themselves a deeper grave. Instead of reaching out and saying "What can we do to help?" the Republicans are moving farther to the right, allowing lie spreaders such as Betsy McCaughey and Sarah Palin to speak for them and bowing down to that windbag, Russ Limbaugh, whenever he speaks. It is almost as if they don't care about the future of their own political party.
But I care and so I'm offering a few tips – free of charge – to the Republicans to help them get back on the right track.
1. Stop spreading lies. Allowing the lies to continue doesn't help your cause. Do you want a party of complainers or do you want a political party that will grow? Hold an honest debate on healthcare. In fact, hold honest debates on everything. Stop holding invitation-only talks on healthcare, such as Senators John McCain and Mitch McConnell held in Miami. Must be nice not to see the protesters, but this is no way to fully get the ball rolling on a debate.
2. Quit the attacks on the intellectuals. Somewhere along the line, smart people became the enemy. Intellectual became a bad word. The GOP has become the party of the non-thinkers. In fact, quit attacking everything and start working on ideas. Not everything that comes from the left is wrong, just like not every conservative idea is right. By constantly attacking you never build a consensus and you never stand for anything. And, like the old saying goes: You've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything.
3. You don't want the president to fail, so quit bowing down to the man who keeps saying it – Rush Limbaugh. Quit apologizing to him when you say something he doesn't like. He doesn't run the Republican Party and, let's just say he does, kick him out. He isn't helping your cause.
4. The time for small government isn't now. Yes, there are times when the government needs to take a back seat, but in the worst economic crisis the nation has seen since the Great Depression, now is not the time to call for smaller government. Nor is it the time to call for deficit reduction. Besides, it is a little hypocritical to call for deficit reduction under a Democratic President, when you allowed the deficit to rise like a hot air balloon under a Republican President. And, remember, Theodore Roosevelt supported a strong government. (For those who don't know, he was a Republican President.)
I think the idea that the Republican Party is dead and should be laid to rest is a bit extreme, but they could be in for a long Democratic era if they continue the path they are currently on. Gun-toting, Bible banging voters can only carry you so far; then you have to learn to get along with the rest of us.
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