This is not exactly what I had planned on writing about.
No, this week’s article was supposed to revolve around the tragic story of Arthur E. Teele, a powerful South Florida politician who could have had it all — and then some. He took his own life in the lobby of the Miami Herald building exactly five years ago after the local media dragged his name through the mud with an 18-wheeler on the basis of corruption allegations. Posthumously, all of the charges filed against him were dropped and he remains a revered figure in most of Metropolitan Miami’s African American and Republican Party circles to this day.
As much as I would like to further elaborate on Teele’s spectacular rise to and fall from power, I cannot. There is a far more pressing issue facing America and, more specifically, its center-right political movement today. Last Sunday, I wrote about a study conducted by the American Enterprise Institute which found that, on average, liberals are smarter than conservatives so long as economical issues are not brought into the equation. This did not surprise me as those who seek to control the lives of others — namely social ultraconservatives and leftists — cannot be amongst the smartest members of society as only fools believe that they can possibly have absolute power over the actions of their peers.
Since the GOP was successively booted from power on Capitol Hill in the 2006 and 2008 election cycles, a particularly radical faction of social ultraconservatives has discovered an opportunity in the Party’s electoral malaise. Its members believe that they have the chance of a lifetime — the chance to recreate the GOP in their own image. What does this image consist of, exactly? Well, let us see; a healthy dosage of hypocritical self-righteousness, a smattering of state theocracy, a sliver of birtherism, a dab of anti-intellectualism, and, to top it all off, the unyielding and unquestionable worship of The Woman Who Would (Never) Be President, Sarah Palin.
It would take a list that would be, at the very least, a mile long to name every single last one of the kooks propagating this madness. Therefore, allow me to give a short rundown of the top three people who, in my opinion, are destroying the Republican Party. The first is Glenn Beck, the self-proclaimed libertarian talk show host who was caught ripping off one of his top radio competitors on an almost daily basis. Not long after, in an interview with Forbes Magazine, he could not help but brag about being nothing more than an entertainer who “could give a flying crap about the political process”. Nonetheless, he has an extremely loyal fan base and is thus unlikely to decline in popularity anytime soon.
Coming in second is Erick Erickson, the editor-in-chief of Red State, a very poor far-right imitation of the left wing mother-of-all-blogs Daily Kos. He recently wrote about one of his fantasies in which Ordinary Folks converged on their state legislator’s home, “pull him outside, and beat him to a bloody pulp”. That’s not all, though. He also described how he might “clean his gun” in order to protect his property from, amongst other things, “government apparatchiks coming to enforce nonsensical legislation”. The scariest thing of all about Erickson, though, is that he is actually a public officeholder. Apparently, the citizens of Macon, Georgia feel that he is an asset to them on their city’s Board of Councillors. If, as a politician, he is anything like he is as a pundit, well — then that says quite a bit about the place that has come to be known as the Detroit of the South.
Rounding out the list in third place is Jim Robinson, the so-crazy-he-cannot-be-serious founder and publisher of Free Republic, a far-out-on-the-right-wing-fringe discussion forum which has an unfortunately heavy clout with certain demographic groups inside the GOP. He considers John McCain, one of America’s most indisputably conservative and honorable politicians, to be a “treasonous bastard” and “two-bit political hack”. He and the participants in his FReakshow tend to despise moderate, sensible Republicans even more than they do leftist Democrats, as evidenced by their efforts to elect fellow fringe activists during primary season, even when this creates a scenario in which the Democrat will almost certainly be victorious in the autumn. Though he does not realize it, Robinson is a gift that keeps on giving to the Left, as he and his cohorts often make their job much easier than it should be.
If the Republican Party wishes to make a comeback in both Houses of Congress this November, then these extremists, their organizations, and their allies must be completely and totally repudiated. The Silent Majority will never go along with their antics and either be repulsed into voting for the Democrats or fall into submission and not vote at all. Success for the GOP lies not with knee-jerk socially ultraconservative ideologues, but with centrist pragmatists such as Mark Kirk and Mike Castle. The Party desperately needs candidates who have no interest in shoving their personal agendas or beliefs down the throats of others and recognize that politics, while most certainly a sport, does not have to be a brutish one. If done correctly — in the Rockefeller/Eisenhower mold — it can be a non-combative sport in which good ideas are taken from members of both parties and implemented in a manner which is plausible and realistic.
Let us hope that, in the coming months, cooler heads prevail amongst the leadership and electorate of the Republican Party. America’s future depends on it.Powered by Sidelines