Friday, November 9, 2012

Re-articulating the Conservative Party

On election night, Meghan McCain, tweeted, "my party has to evolve or it is going to die."

 That turned out to be the most popular tweet in the two year history of her account. I agree with Ms. McCain on this issue, the Republican party must evolve or it will die. The country has changed, demographics have changed, and no matter what - they need votes to win elections.

 Sixty-six percent of single women voters voted for Obama. Think about that number for a moment. Now, think about the rhetoric we have been hearing Republicans lately. Rape, homosexuals, abortion, welfare, and social policies that are not the governments business.

The fact is that most Americans are not on the Republican side when it comes to social policies.  They have been discussing gay sex, abortion, birth control, 'legitimate'rape vs 'illegitimate' rape. They call women whores, they call Obama a foreign born Muslim. Then, Republicans pundits insult the voter by saying only reason voters turn to the Democrat party is because they want free stuff. They say Obama just gives away free stuff to people, and we are all a bunch of lazy moochers.

Let me put it that way, as long as voters hear that rhetoric, the Republican party should not expect to win elections anytime soon. Their party must evolve, and speak to the people if they want to get votes. If the Republican party does not evolve, they will be replaced by the Libertarian party. They must decide if they want to be the Republican party of Abraham Lincoln or Republican party of Glenn Beck.

It is all fine and dandy to advocate for an ideology, after all, diverse opinions and challenging perspectives are the stuff that make people smarter. The problem is that they are on the wrong side. Americans are not on their side anymore. As time goes on, the Republicans will have fewer and fewer people on their side. Voters are not crusty old white men that smell like Old Spice and BenGay. The face of voters are women, Hispanics and African Americans.  Slowly but surely, the crusty old men will die off. The red necks will be here to replace them, but minorities are having more babies than whites. The face of the American voter has changed. They need to stop talking about rape babies, abortion, and entitled brats who want handouts from the government. They need to stop pandering to the church, because guess what, in the last ten years the atheist population grew from six to fifteen percent. Republicans will have to get it, change, or evolve into a new party.

One of my Facebook friends said that Republicans were never serious about winning, if they were they would have nominated Libertarian Ron Paul or Gary Johnson. Mitt Romney tried to please too many people, as a result, we never knew where he was on issues. He came across as insincere and untrustworthy. As Moliere once wrote in Le Misanthrope, "to esteem everything is to esteem nothing." When I think about it, I must ponder the fact that my Facebook friend might be right, the people would prefer a Libertarian candidate who stands en terra firma, over a Republican candidate who is not clear on the issues he represents.

I understand that the Republican party feel very upset right now. Rather than feeling upset by the defeat, they should start thinking about why Democrats speak to the voters. They should face the cold hard reality that to win elections, they must speak to single women, Hispanics and African Americans. This means, their politics must really speak to them, not treating them like little tokens or playing cards.

What I see as being the root problem, is that the American Republican party is based upon a strict father-model world view. Since the 1980's, the party is increasingly high on the social dominance orientation scale. They are a fear based party, preferring hierarchy, and desire to maintain differences between social status and classes. They often believe in a dog-eat-dog world. Their way of 'caring'about another person, if that is what you want to call it, is about throwing the person into a swimming pool and say, "sink or swim motha-fucka".

The "sink or swin motha-fucka" attitude will not speak to single women, it will not speak to Hispanics, it will not speak to African Americans, and it will not speak to any caring person who wants his fellow human being to be prosperous. The New York Times published a Sunday Review Article explaining why conservatives are happier than liberals. The article reads, "Liberals may be less happy than conservatives because they are less ideologically prepared to rationalize (or explain away) the degree of inequality in society." Translation - Conservatives are inattentive to the suffering of others and quick to rationalize it. Pretty damn cold if you ask me.

The real kicker here, is that the article went on to prove that extremists are happier than moderates. (about as meaningful as saying a drunk person is happier than a sober person) And guess who the happiest people are? Guess. Come on...you will never guess??? The extreme conservative with forty-eight percent happy. Extremists have the whole world figured out, and sorted into bad guys and good guys. They live in a black and white world, a hierarchical world, and do not have to spend too much time thinking about anything.

Finally, they have to stop disagreeing with every liberal idea. Sometimes, they disagree with the idea before even knowing what it is! They would disagree with any Supreme Court nomination made by the president before even knowing who the nominee is. No matter what idea a liberal has, the conservative automatically brands it evil, or stupid, and must be fought with the fervor of a rabid wolverine.

Example:
  • Obama said that Americans need to get more higher education, they need to go to a community college, they  need to challenge themselves academically.

  • Republican Santorum calls him a snob. Umm...okay....Just in case that ding-dong didn't know this...education is a good thing???

  • When Michelle Obama encourages Americans to eat more fresh fruit and vegetables, Republicans start shoving their faces with double bacon burgers, french fries, and wash it down with a double malt milk shake.


These guys are actually shocked that they keep losing elections? Really...it is that hard to understand. If they want to win elections they need to get back into the think tank. They need to think about how they are going to attract women, Hispanics and Blacks to their party. They have to be willing to change as the culture changes, this means accepting gay marriage, decriminalizing marijuana, allowing abortion on demand, and for the love of Pete, they need to stop talking about rape babies. It is not about moving more center - it is about revamping their entire ideology, becoming something new and fresh.

But as I write this, I realize that revamping their ideology is something that goes against the very definition of the word conservative. Maybe it is time to shut down the Republican Party, and replace it with the Libertarian Party





2 comments:

  1. Red in the following map means the county vote for Romney; blue means that it voted for Obama.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:2012_General_Election_Results_by_County.png

    The vast part of the land area of the USA was for Romney. But a clear majority of voters were for Obama.

    There are two Americas. One is small town and rural, and has a high rate of real estate and business ownership. In this America, many people work for a small business they founded or inherited. This world has a high rate of church attendance, and a low divorce rate. This America did not experience a real estate boom last decade, and hence has had relatively few foreclosures. This America has benefited from high prices of foodstuffs and natural resources.

    The other America is made up of urban employees, who seldom see themselves as entrepreneurs. It has a lower rate of church membership and a higher divorce rate. Here the Jews and Roman Catholics live. House prices boomed, and an orgy of foreclosures followed the ensuing bust. This America pays the high prices of food and energy, instead of benefiting from them. This is where the unemployment is.

    To me, the economic and cultural reasons why the two Americas vote differently are blatantly obvious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I define "conservatism" as follows. In the UK,Ireland, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, a conservative is a person who sees society as grounded in four facts:

      1. Private property, preferably diffusely held. A capitalist economy is one where a substantial fraction of that private property consists of stockholding. A conservative society does not have to be capitalist, but can be made up of closely held proprietorships and partnerships. Nor does its economic policy have to be libertarian, as long as private property is respected. Aspects of the economy can be regulated, with regulations subjected to the test of experience.

      2. Marriage and child rearing. Same sex marriage is an amendment to be evaluated pragmatically. Easy divorce when minor children are involved is a social experiment that began under Ronald Reagan in California 45 years ago. It is not at all clear whether this institutional change passes the pragmatic test.

      3. Representative democracy. The specifics can vary across nations, and will inevitably evolve over time. Trial and error should prevail here, not dogmatism.

      4. Religious faith. None of the following are required: unanimity of belief, an established church, church membership. Principles of faith and morals, and religious rituals, will necessarily evolve over time. People are also be free to practice as adults a faith different to the one in which they were raised.

      Thus the epoxy glue that holds a conservative society together. This is not George Bush's or Rush Limbaugh's conservatism, but that of Edmund Burke (1727-1797).

      I submit that the USA has been a deeply conservative society since its founding. The three great mistakes in American history, slavery and the Civil War, Prohibition (including the drug prohibition Reagan started) and the ensuing gangsterism, and the Depression (which would have been avoided if the USA had repudiated the gold exchange standard and floated the dollar when the Bank of England had done the same to the pound, and if the Fed had, right after the 1929 Crash, increased the monetary base at least 50%), were all caused by conservative dogmatism, when pragmatism should have prevailed.

      The great American conservative Russell Kirk wrote that greed and smug selfishness are the defining vices of conservatism, and I can only agree.

      Delete

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