Nearly two weeks after the 2012 elections, all 30 members of the Republican Governors Association, meeting to examine what’s gone wrong with the party, admit that the Republican party is in bad shape. I have predicted the demise of the Republican party for many years because I knew that demographics, policy, tone and a weak grasp on reality would catch up to it. America is changing, and the Republican party has been stagnant since Ronald Reagan’s revamping of Richard Nixon’s Southern Strategy. I’ve been waiting for nearly a half century, knowing this moment would come. The party is on its deathbed, but it isn’t over yet; it’s a slow dying death that may take another 25 years. The party’s current condition is being diagnosed by practitioners from the different schools of Republican philosophy. They all want to save the party by their own methods and this wrangling between them to have the only successful approach will itself further endanger the patient.
Before the party was declared terminally ill at 11:12 on the evening of November 6, 2012, it suffered from a long illness that began in 1964 and steadily worsened for the next 48 years. During those years, the party had many victorious elections and at times seemed invincible; it survived a presidential resignation, a drugs for weapons scandal, numerous charges of corruption, several high profile sex scandals and its century-long tilt towards the rich, but it was the eight years between 2000 and 2008 that dealt the largest blow to the party’s relationship with much of the rest of the country.
The two Republican administrations of the first eight years of the twenty first century will forever be looked back on as the administrations which enabled the emergence of a diverse, aggressive progressivism. It was those years that led to the 2012 devastation of the Republican Party. The earlier victories only served to make the illness less detectable and thus allowed it to fester.
Now it has come to this: the party’s main source of strength, its base, is outnumbered by a coalition of groups the party has never courted. Many in the opposing coalition are objectionable to the Republican party’s main supporters. Too, the party has lost control of its ability to make reasonable compromises with the Democratic party to a small group of provocateurs within its structure, forcing it to assume a widely unappealing obstructionist role.
Some Republican officials who have been awakened to the new demographic reality are genuinely puzzled that they didn’t react to it sooner. These Republicans are talking fast about comprehensive immigration legislation that they think will draw Hispanic voters into the fold.
Whenever I have written in these pages, rather exuberantly, of the looming changes in America’s demographics and their effect on future elections, I have been branded a racist by some readers, who focused on my glee and ignored the truth in my message. Now, everyone is aware of the need to deal with the change in demographics. Now, some Republican office holders and operatives want to devise ways of negating the power of the new demographic, rather than developing policies that would help them to win their share of it. They want to nullify the minority vote through more sophisticated and stealthy means of voter suppression and greater effort to get out more of the white vote. They don’t see the need to expand the party beyond white men if they can suppress the vote of the rising minority. I say more power to them. Don’t wake them, let them sleep.
Many conservative Republicans recognize the need to moderate their party’s policies on female issues like abortion, equal pay, rape and birth control. While no Republican has yet announced a mandatory biology class with special emphasis on female bodily functions for future Republican candidates, this group seems to realize that women ought to control the discussion about their individual vagina and the legislative destiny of their vaginas as a group. Still, there are other conservative politicians and commentators (some of whom are female), whose biggest disappointment in the outcome of the election is that a Republican won’t be in the White House who, when the next Supreme Court vacancy comes would nominate a justice who would cast a vote to reverse Roe v Wade. Even after the election, the vanquished top of the ticket suggested that single women sold their votes for free condoms. He made this statement as he waded away from American political life forever, but the sentiment survives in many people of that stripe in Republican circles and in hard-right media. I say, don’t wake them, let them sleep.
There is a wide range of issues that Republicans need to re-examine. The Republican party’s policy on same sex marriage and everything about LGBT aspirations cost them a 76 to 24 percent share of the vote from that group, as well as support from progressives far beyond the LGBT community.
Polls show that 60 percent of Americans know that Republicans favor the super-rich over the middle class and the poor in all of their monetary policies. They hold 99 percent of America hostage to protect the wealth of the super-rich. With much of America watching and aware of it, Republicans’ support of the oligarchy against all others is aggressively expressed.
Not only do Republicans deny the science of climate change, but they reject science in general. The Republican party is openly split on all of these issues now and whether the party survives depends on who wins control of the party’s new direction. Before the election, the bottom feeders held sway. If they win control as is likely to happen, in 2016 they will field another losing candidate and someone will call for a priest to read the party its last rites. The small faction that drove the party’s direction over the last election cycle has the same old formula to revise the terminally ill Republican party. I say, don’t wake them, let them sleep.
Some top figures in the Republican Party and the conservative movement see that the rhetoric of their side in the opinion molding battle has been way over the top. For far too many years now, the conservative pseudo-political media informed the Republican masses and influenced the Republican political structure with bombastic language and exclusive ideas. Over the years they were all insulated in a cocoon of conservative Republican opinions out of step with the rest of the country. These Republican figures want to tone down the crazy talk that comes from Fox News, talk radio; the surviving Tea Party politicians and so-called conservative authors. It is this group that has built the wacky alternative universe that behaves with the uncertainty of quantum physics that red state voters live in. There are reports that a few people were so dissatisfied with the election results that they have taken their own lives. Discontented people in 20 states have petitioned to secede from the United States. There are groundless calls for the impeachment of the president. The big question here is this; can low information red state voters be weaned off reaffirming misinformation that gives comforts them with the illusion of 1952 America, and be brought to the reality and acceptance of what America is now?
Related to this are the discontentment pimps. The men in luxurious suits, polished shoes and striped ties (pimping clothes if you’re selling America to the oligarchy), hold extremely lucrative positions in political super-PACS and possess inordinate political influence. These men broker the discontentment of the American family, workers, the middle class and professional class; the American soul to the super wealthy for a healthy fee of hundreds of millions of dollars. They promise the oligarchy that they can deliver the controlling political apparatus to set policy and standards to suit their financial interest. The pimps and their donors took a beating two weeks ago but with so much to gain they will be back.
We progressive have found the winning coalition, an alliance that outnumbers the forces of conservative obstructionists, an alliance that is growing in numbers every day. We have many leaders who can solidify and command this same winning coalition in 2016. The Republicans don’t have a potential future candidate who can peel away from our coalition and their base is shrinking. I hereby predict that Hillary Clinton will be elected president in 2016, Andrew Cuomo in 2020, Cory Booker in 2028 and we will bury the Republican Party in the off-year election of 2030.