By Tom Kando
There are many discussions in the media (Meet the Press, even the liberal MSNBC, etc.) about how to preserve the GOP. “Reasonable” Republicans (as opposed to Tea Party extremists) like Bobby Jindal are quoted by pundits. Everyone agrees that the party must heed the country’s growing demographic diversity, court Hispanics, etc. Even multiple loser Karl Rove is on this bandwagon. The consensus is that otherwise, the Republican Party will become a regional, primarily Southern, white, male, non-urban, upper middle-class party, increasingly irrelevant to national politics.
First, I’d like to remind you that all the talk about the GOP’s demise is, like Mark Twain’s death, premature: Nationally, Republicans control the Supreme Court and the House. And at the state level they control more governorships and legislatures than do Democrats. Furthermore, they are clever and successful cheaters, as more and more states pass voter disenfranchisement laws and gerrymander their districts in such a way as to perpetuate rule by the affluent, white, conservative minority of the population.
A few months ago, Frank Rich wrote a New York Times article “The Tea Party Will Win in the End” (Oct. 14, 2012), which I reviewed on this blog: 'The Tea Party Will Win and America Will Lose'.
Rich is a progressive, but he is also a pessimist. He shows the tremendous resilience of conservatives in America. Like cockroaches, they always come back and survive. Obama’s election has produced a temporary euphoria among liberals and temporary hand wringing among conservatives. But liberals are counting their chickens before they hatch, and republicans’ tears about their party’s weakness are crocodile tears. The GOP is far from moribund!
But here is my main point: Why does everyone accept it as axiomatic that the GOP must be preserved? If your family, your country, your culture or your alma mater school are in jeopardy, of course you’ll want to do whatever you can to help it survive. But what is a political party? It is a power bloc advocating a point-of-view, an ideology. If that point of view and ideology are obsolete and noxious, then the party should disappear.
Those who talk about “turning the GOP around” and saving it from the Tea Party crazies are proposing remedies. These boil down to making the GOP demographically more appealing (to Hispanics, primarily). But isn’t the only real way that the Republican Party could become more popular a total change in its TUNE, its message, its ideology, its principles? In other words, to become a second Democratic Party? We already have a democratic party, so what’s the point? The problem with the GOP is that it is WRONG on most issues. The solution, then, is for it to disappear.
Do I advocate a one-party system for the US? No. We are in dire need of new parties, alternatives to the Democratic Party. But the GOP isn’t one of them. The GOP is a has-been. Unlike a family, a country, a culture, or a school, there is nothing inherently lovable about a political party, any political party. A political party only needs to survive as long as it achieves good things for the people. Once it no longer does that, it’s time for it to go.
Should a country try, through reform, to save the royalist party, the Tories, the Whigs, the Nazi Party, the Communist Party or any other obsolete and dysfunctional party just because it has a history? The GOP could only survive if it ceased to be itself. What’s the point? I suggest that anyone who is currently a republican and is at the same time reasonably progressive stop being a Republican. leave comment here
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
By Tom Kando