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How to Resurrect the Republican Party

The Republican Part is in shambles. They are now a minority in congress, and more importantly, they’re regarded as far-right fundamentalists by many Americans. They’ve allowed the fundies to take over the party, and the results have been disastrous.

They’ve abandoned their core principles. They claim to be the party of small government, but Bush grew the government more than any other president in history. They’re supposed to stand for strict adherence to the constitution, but Bush was openly contemptuous of the very concept of civil rights. He attacked them and removed them at every opportunity. The GOP has gone from conservatism to fascism, and the American people finally said “enough.”

The proof is in the way the numbers shifted during the presidential campaign. McCain and Obama were neck and neck until McCain selected Palin, a picture perfect fundy Republican, as his running mate. His numbers got a quick, short boost, but then she opened her mouth and people started looking at her record. His numbers started dropping and never stopped. While we don’t know if he would have won without her, it’s pretty obvious she cost him the election.

Everything she wanted, from pipelines to policies, was also, conveniently, God’s Will. Her own daughter is living proof that abstinence based sex ed is worthless, but she remains incapable of accepting that fact. While the US is rapidly losing its lead in science and technology, she wants to teach creationism in schools. She believes that if a woman or young girl gets pregnant as the result of a rape, the government should force her to bear the rapist’s child. The very real possibility of her becoming president may have won McCain a few votes, but it cost him many more.

Most Americans are religious, but far right fundies, the ones who want a theocracy, are maybe 10% of the population. Atheists are another 10% minority, and we have no one to vote for. Committing the party to rationality could get many of us on board, perhaps enough to make up for the loss of the fundy vote. And that loss would be minimal. Who are they going to vote for, Democrats? Yeah, right.

Other Republicans are coming to the same conclusion, finally. They are, of course, being attacked by the fundies, but they need to grow some balls and stand up to them. It is their only hope.

A substantial number of Americans are socially liberal and fiscally conservative. They are small L Libertarians, although they may not identify themselves as such. This matches up nicely with the politics of the original Republican Party, the one formed to fight slavery. The Libertarian Party is a joke, so adopting the ideas and ideals of the small Ls would build their base significantly.

The best approach would be to create a faction in the party, The Rational Republicans, and gradually (but not too gradually) take over the party.

Here are a few winning planks for their platform:

  • Admit that Bush was a rotten president, apologize for the damage he’s done, and announce plans to undo it.
  • Abandon religion inspired policies.
    • 70% of Americans want to keep abortion safe and legal. Give it up.
    • Adopt the position of most Americans and stop trying to prevent embryonic stem cell research.
    • Condemn those trying to teach creationism in science classes. Make them liable for the costs associated with fighting their nonsense.
  • Stop talking about being the party of small government, and actually become the party of small government.
    • Shut down unnecessary government agencies, like the DOE and EEOC.
    • Cut the budget of every other government agency by at least 25%, to start. Then look for further reductions. For instance, reduce the Department of Agriculture to the branch that inspects food, and get rid of the rest of it.
    • Eliminate farm subsidies.
    • Eliminate most foreign aid.
    • Reduce DOD expenses by closing unnecessary bases. We currently have bases in 120 different countries. That’s about 100 too many. Shut down the unnecessary ones and concentrate on defending our borders, instead everyone else’s.
  • Admit that the war in Iraq was a horrible mistake, and get out. Obama wants to do this – help him.
  • Clean up the mess in Afghanistan, and if that includes going into Pakistan to eradicate terrorists, do it.
  • Return to a rational money policy by eliminating the Federal Reserve and returning to the gold standard.
  • Repeal the PATRIOT acts and FISA. Restore Habeas Corpus.
  • Repeal Real ID.
  • End the War on Some Drugs. Admit that a lot of Americans want to get high, and turn that from an expense to a profit center. Allow marijuana to be sold over the counter, and make more dangerous drugs available with an easy to get prescription. This will put drug dealers out of business, cut our prison population by half, and reduce violent crime and police corruption. Reasonable taxes on the stuff would bring in an enormous amount of money, enough to start paying down our national debt.
  • Pass the Read The Bills Act and the One Subject At a Time act.
  • Make it much easier to start a business. Allow small business people to put half of their SS self-employment tax into their own 401ks. Eliminate the requirement to file taxes quarterly. Reduce licensing and other restrictions that impede small businesses.

That’s enough to get started, but of course there is a lot more they could to do return to their former prominence.

So how about it, Republicans? Do you have the courage to make the change, to become what you could be, and should be? Or are you going to keep catering to the far-far right, and remain a marginalized party whose only accomplishment is to provide a source of derision for most Americans?

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12 Comment(s)

  1. “The Rational Republicans” Boy is that an oxymoron these days. I agree with a lot of your suggestions but I’m not on board with all the government agency cuts. I still don’t have a clear picture of how things would run without them.

    Also, I have never understood the idea of legalizing drugs. I do agree that war on drugs is doing it wrong, but I can’t support legalized drugs.

    Fortunately for the Democrats, unfortunately for the The Rational Republicans, your suggestions will likely never happen. The Republican Fundamentalists will try to rally the faithful and become even more extremist in their views as they begin to slip from this reality.

    Maybe a “True Republican” “Party can emerge from the left of the current Republican Party.

    Bryan | Nov 20, 2008 | Reply

  2. Bryan, you don’t like the War on Drugs but can’t support legalization?

    So basically, you don’t want to prosecute drug dealers but you will still “allow” them to kill each others over turf wars because there is no safer and cheaper white market for what they are selling?

    So money is a problem, but drug-deaths, meh.
    Think. This. Through.

    Olivier | Nov 21, 2008 | Reply

  3. I think the GOP should just break up in to its logical factions:

    * Those who are to the far right, often aligned with the **Constitution Party.**

    * A new party called “The Rabid Bible Thumpers (RBT)”

    * The AWEE Party: Assault Weapons for Everyone Everywhere

    * Witch Burners for Ultra-Low Taxation of The Rich

    * Old Style Republicans (GOP)

    * **Racists** (GOP II)

    * **Libertarians** (GOP III)

    * Panhandling Former Republican Wall Street Executives

    * The coalition of Mormons and KKK Members (MKKKM)

    * The Over-60 crowd of old-style, self-hating gays who will help root out the commies!

    * Mindless Flag-Waver Against Jesus

    * THE RPTC (**Ron Paul** and his Two Cousins)

    Please feel free to copy and re-post the above.

    Douglas Marzilla | Nov 21, 2008 | Reply

  4. Doug: I like it. At least one of these groups already exists, though:

    The Over-60 crowd of old-style, self-hating gays who will help root out the commies!

    They’re called the Log Cabin Republicans, although they’re not all over 60. This strikes me as both moronic and oxymoronic. It’s like Atheists For Christ or The Black Klansmen.

    Hittman | Nov 22, 2008 | Reply

  5. Right on. Socially liberal, fiscally conservative. Although I am socially conservative, it is the conservative viewpoint to let others be as socially liberal as they want. To not impose our views on them.

    Your points at the end are right on. The abortion issue is done with. Sorry but if a woman wants to kill her unborn, I am glad that child does not have to come into this world and be raised by someone who never wanted them. That is not a REP vs DEM issue.

    tj | Nov 22, 2008 | Reply

  6. Why not just abandon the Republican Party all together and push the Libertarian Party. It seems like all or most of the points you made belong to that(Libertarian) party already.
    It time we ditched the Republican Party anyway since most of the media and non-educated Obamanauts already have been trained from birth to think of it as the party of hate and racists.
    At least Libertarians aren’t afraid to say what they really stand for.
    I just wish the Libertarian Party would take advantage of the small vacuum that has been created and fill it before it is too late and New Republicans(Old Democrats) fill it.

    Tom | Nov 24, 2008 | Reply

  7. Why not just abandon the Republican Party all together and push the Libertarian Party. It seems like all or most of the points you made belong to that(Libertarian) party already.

    Three reasons.

    1) The Libertarian Party is a joke. They’ve been around for 30+ years and have accomplished approximately nothing. Big L Libertarianism is often impractical. When it isn’t, it’s an impossible sell to general public. Small L libertarianism, which is eschewed by the Big Ls, is both practical and something the general public can get behind.

    2) The existing parties have made it virtually impossible for any third party to get any traction. Taking over an existing party has a chance for success. Creating a viable third party doesn’t.

    3) The mass media, who loves the status quo (the laws and restrictions protect them from much competition) refuse to pay serious attention to third parties. A takeover of an existing party, though, would generate lots of media attention.

    Hittman | Nov 24, 2008 | Reply

  8. Oliver,

    I am not for legalizing drugs because they are inherently harmful and dangerous. I don’t believe in the term “recreational drug use”. How you got the false impression that I don’t want to prosecute drug dealers.

    However, it’s not inconsistent to disagree with the way we are running the “war on drugs”. I think there needs to be more emphasis on rehab not jail time for users. There should be more targeting of the manufacturing and distribution of the drugs.

    If it really is a “war on drugs” why isn’t it being handled like the “war on terror”? Take the fight to the countries that produce the drugs. Reduce the supply of drugs.

    Bryan | Nov 24, 2008 | Reply

  9. Many people aren’t aware of the flip side of supply and demand. If there is a demand, there WILL be a supply. Cut out the suppliers and more will take their place, especially when it’s such a profitable business. This is why “the war” can never be won.

    Yes, drug use can be damaging to individuals. But the War on Some Drugs is far more damaging to our entire society. It has been used to nullify the fourth amendment, resulted in innocents being murdered (often by the police), made corruption endemic, and in the whole process, done nothing to reduce the supply of drugs. It can’t, because the laws of economics are as immutable as the laws of physics, and they say there will always be a supply.

    Hittman | Nov 25, 2008 | Reply

  10. Hittman,

    Well we had a Republican during the last round of elections that fit the bill almost perfectly and the media made him into a joke. Funny how they refer to him now that most of his predictions come true. I swear I see more of Ron Paul now than I did during the election. If given the chance he could have achieved similar cult status like Obama has. Too bad the media, the real problem here, has too much influence in the election process.

    I have agree with your 3 points but I don’t see the Republican party moving in the “right” direction due to specifically the religious right. The religious right has moved the Republican party in a direction similar to the way the Far Left has moved the democratic party but their message seems to appeal more to the common uneducated American.

    I think the real priority is to figure out a way to re-educate and educate people to see the truth behind the democrat/socialist party. How do you convince people that the path of least resistance is not the best way to flow in this circumstance and that freedom is a constant uphill battle that needs to have constant attention.

    Ultimately there is now a large hole in the republican party that needs to be filled but I am afraid that the religious right has more power and money to fill that up before anybody else can. I guess this is why I cling to the Libertarian Party even though I know it is a lost cause.

    To your 2nd point though I think this is a fight that should be fought and needs to be addressed. Somehow someway there needs to be a way to remove these barriers that have been put up to block 3rd party candidates.

    Tom | Nov 25, 2008 | Reply

  11. Dave,

    I know I don’t have the full solution, just some ideas. I think rehab, rather than jail could help reduce the demand.

    I have to take issue with your statement that drugs are harmful to individuals. I believe this is a gross understatement. Drugs are harmful to society. People don’t do drugs in the privacy of their home and then wait for the high to wear off before going out into the general population.

    Alcohol is a drug that can be safely used in moderation by most people. Some people have a problem with it and put others in danger in the process, but most don’t.

    Can the same be said of cocaine, marijuana, speed, acid, meth, etc? I don’t think so. Then, those people put the rest of us in danger when they are in their drug altered state.

    Bryan | Nov 26, 2008 | Reply

  12. I have agree with your 3 points but I don’t see the Republican party moving in the “right” direction due to specifically the religious right. The religious right has moved the Republican party in a direction similar to the way the Far Left has moved the democratic party but their message seems to appeal more to the common uneducated American.

    And that’s why they’re ripe for reform. They currently have their nose so far up the ass of the religious right they can’t remove it without losing face. But if they have the courage to do so, if they have the balls to return to the solid principles of the original Republican party, and if they can adopt a small L libertarian approach to government, they can be bigger than ever. If not, they’re just going to languish.

    Somehow someway there needs to be a way to remove these barriers that have been put up to block 3rd party candidates.

    That’s never going to happen. The only people who can remove those barriers are the same ones who put them up, and they have no incentive to make it a more fair fight.

    Can the same be said of cocaine, marijuana, speed, acid, meth, etc?

    Yes. Millions of people live full, productive lives and occasionally dabble in illegal drugs. I’d much rather deal with someone on pot or acid than a belligerent drunk. As the great philosopher Bill Hicks said, ” I have never seen two people on pot get in a fight because it is fucking IMPOSSIBLE.” Same with someone on acid. Coke heads and speed freaks are merely annoying, unless they combine it with booze. The amount of damage they cause “society” is minuscule compared to the damage done by the War on Some Drugs. And it would be even less if they were legal, because most of the trouble comes from their illegality.

    Nothing causes more social problems than the drug alcohol. Nothing even comes close. But when was the last time you heard of a wino killing someone to take their wallet? They don’t have to, because it’s cheap. When was the last time you heard of screaming police breaking down someone’s door and shooting innocent people because they got an anonymous tip that someone had a bottle of Jack Daniels in there? It doesn’t happen, because it’s legal.

    As for people who do go out whacked enough to be a danger, that happens now, with it being illegal. Why would it happen any more if it were legal? Most people would be happy to get quietly high at home, and for the few who don’t, we have legal remedies to deal with them.

    I suspect you may have bought into the idea that if drugs were legal a huge percentage of the population would instantly become druggies. But if heroin were to suddenly be available over the counter, in clean needles pre-filled with the unadulterated drug, available for just a few bucks, would you buy it, and use it? How about cocaine? Would you?

    Me neither. Neither would most people. The people who would are already getting the stuff illegally. They will continue to get it illegally, putting themselves, and innocent bystanders like you and me, in far greater danger than if they could just get their fix without hassle or enormous expense. We might have to ignore a few more panhandlers, but I’d rather have that then a SWAT team mistakenly breaking down my door, or your door, shooting our dogs (they always shoot the dogs) and possibly killing one of us.

    The drug war is destroying our freedom, jamming our prisons, getting innocent people killed, and after fifty years the government is still losing. How much longer are we going to be this insane about it?

    Hittman | Nov 26, 2008 | Reply

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