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What's Wrong With The GOP, and How To Make it Right

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#1 RebuildtheGOP

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 07:25 AM

http://www.scribd.co...lok2h6eypt916tf

This is my thesis on how out of touch the Republicans are with their own ideology, and what to do to (hopefully) stop politicians from pandering to fear, ignorance, and racial resentment in order to win votes. I wasn't sure how to embed this properly, so I've provided a link to it above.

Comments and criticisms are most welcome!
"One is elected by one’s positions, and if he tries to be something other than what he is, in the long run, disaster befalls him."

"Political action committees and moneyed interests are setting the nation's political agenda. Are we saying that only the rich have brains in this country? Or only people who have influential friends who have money can be in the Senate?"

"I would like to see us do away with all nuclear weapons. I just want to make sure they're all gone."

"A conservative is a person who wants to apply the proven values of the past to the problems and challenges of today. It's a dynamic living philosophy, just as our Constitution is a living document subject to new interpretations in view of changing circumstances."

"We Republicans define government's role where needed at many, many levels, preferably through the one closest to the people involved ... Our towns and our cities, then our counties, then our states..."

-Barry Goldwater

#2 Baron Siegfried

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:01 AM

The GOP has, sadly, stopped being a political party and has become a tribe. I don't think, at this late stage, they can be saved, their disease is now terminal. I don't know what will replace them - this seems to be a watershed moment. There are still rational, intelligent, principled conservatives out there, but they dare not speak up lest they be torn to shreds by the mob. My strong suspicion is that the Republicans are going to get hammered as badly in '12 as the Dems were in '10.

The question is, though, whether the republicans will step back and say "Hmmm . . . this isn't working, our message isn't getting through to the populace, and we just got our clocks cleaned. Maybe we should re-think this." or decide that "the problem was that we weren't conservative enough, and we need to be even purer and confrontational to win". Historically, this has been answered - every time the republicans lose, they decide to double down on crazy for the next election. The Dem losses in '10 were to be expected - the party in power always gets clobbered when times are bad. But to be quite honest, I thought the Dems got off lightly; they could have easily lost the Senate. Largely thanks to GOP overreach and batboop insanity, they spared the Dems such a fate. Had the Republican run fewer crazy people, they could have taken the Senate. But they didn't and are committed to being even crazier with each campaign.

I think that the conservatives have tainted the very concept of conservatism as espoused by Goldwater, Rockefeller, and Buckley. All of these people, BTW, were shining intellectuals, something which is totally absent in the GOP at the moment. Gingrich's intellect is vastly overrated; he has broad knowledge, but a walk through the ocean of his soul wouldn't get your ankles wet.

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#3 RebuildtheGOP

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 06:10 AM

Sigh, 110 views, yet virtually no criticisms/comments. I start wondering what the point of writing these articles is...
"One is elected by one’s positions, and if he tries to be something other than what he is, in the long run, disaster befalls him."

"Political action committees and moneyed interests are setting the nation's political agenda. Are we saying that only the rich have brains in this country? Or only people who have influential friends who have money can be in the Senate?"

"I would like to see us do away with all nuclear weapons. I just want to make sure they're all gone."

"A conservative is a person who wants to apply the proven values of the past to the problems and challenges of today. It's a dynamic living philosophy, just as our Constitution is a living document subject to new interpretations in view of changing circumstances."

"We Republicans define government's role where needed at many, many levels, preferably through the one closest to the people involved ... Our towns and our cities, then our counties, then our states..."

-Barry Goldwater

#4 andydp

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 07:07 AM

The lack of comments only shows how much in agreement this audience is with your thesis. (I didn't read it all but I can guess the rest) I think you would get quite a few more responses if you posted this on Red State.

The GOP has gone off the deep end of a pool with no water in it. They are truly poised to get slammed in the next election unless Gov Romney can show he has "moderate" leanings. BUT if he does, he will excoriated by every conservative entertainer with a microphone. to balance his ticket he'll have to get a conservative VP. If its Santorum its going to be a cake walk for Pres Obama.

One only has to look at the general elections of 1968 and 1972 to see what happens when "loonies" take over a party. Mc Govern even lost his home state. How bad is a candidate when he loses to a sitting President under suspicion of criminal acts ? In a small way the 2010 showed what happens when a Tea party Candidate is selected.

I'll give a personal example: I have a good friend who constantly sends me the "garbage e mails" we all get. When I point out the falsehoods or the mistakes in them, he defends them. Almost nothing I say will get through to this person. Coupled with the "Obama Derangement Syndrome" a lot of GOP is suffering, its impossible to change his mind. I may add I have other very well educated friends who are almost in the same boat. Some will admit their mistakes, others just keep on sending.

Bottom line: NOTHING but NOTHING will change the current GOP until they get "destroyed" in the general elections. Even then, they will just say "we weren't "conservative" enough.

REALITY CHECK: There are about 10 months to the election, lots of things can happen. The GOP is in a very hard place. If they try to stimie Democratic efforts on the economy they will look like they are trying to undemine the economy to gain an election. (Waiting to see what happens with the tax cut this month) The status of the economy is under the control of outside forces; if it tanks or gets worse it will be a major setback for the Obama Administration

Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

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#5 balconesfault

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:51 AM

I really think that the only pathway forward is for the GOP to self-immolate.

I wouldn't worry too much about giving the Dems too much power during the short period it takes before the Blue Dogs merge with the few remaining sane Republicans to form a new Center Right Party that marginalizes the neo-Confedrates. During the healthcare debate, during the battles over climate change legislation, during the Wall Street Finance Reform Bill, etc, they showed that there is enough dissention within the Democratic Party that differing views do get a serious airing.

#6 cmk

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:52 AM

View PostRebuildtheGOP, on 09 February 2012 - 06:10 AM, said:

Sigh, 110 views, yet virtually no criticisms/comments. I start wondering what the point of writing these articles is...

Sorry, I was quite impressed with the effort, just haven't been able to do much writing or posting this week.

And yes, I think you're preaching to the choir to some extent. :)
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#7 Traveler

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:56 AM

One reason why so many views and so few comments is that few of us have time to read such an exhaustive dissertation. The little I read indicated a remarkable depth of scholarship and breadth; so much so that I can not even begin to comment intelligently. May I suggest you try to put together a 2-3 page executive summary? Great piece of work, but like the Mormonism thread, if I read every post to the extent they merit, I would never get anything done! (Has to be one of the most penetrating theological discussions ever held in a political forum.)

At the end of the day, I do think Baron and andy have it right, them POGers are just plain crazy. See my post about fear and the conservative mind. No amount of parsing politics will get over the fact that these are primitive fearful people with very ungenerous perspectives. Stupid too. We just have to let themselves fully self destruct. Sorry, but I personally don't see the GOP ever rebuilding. It is doomed by this contingent.

(addendum) Notwithstanding this, Balcones might have a point. The supposed independents make up a good part of the electorate. However, most of them are either even more batshit crazy, or just plain spineless. It is conceivable that the few blue dogs left could merge with sane GOP remnants and some independents, but I see that as just being another marginal sector. Fact is most dems are already pretty much GOP already, so all we're talking about is an even bigger party dem party. I don't see the progressives splitting off on the left. My two cents.
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
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#8 Tom

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 10:35 AM

To get through to the end I had to skip a lot of the middle section about Goldwater vs. today's POG, it is great stuff but really long! At the end, I agree that campaign finance reform is crucial.

#9 Ari

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 10:44 AM

View PostRebuildtheGOP, on 09 February 2012 - 06:10 AM, said:

Sigh, 110 views, yet virtually no criticisms/comments. I start wondering what the point of writing these articles is...

I was sure I posted a reply. Not sure what happened.

I think it is well written, but (and I mean this as constructively as possible) I think it suffers from the comparison between how objective and well-researched the Goldwater positions are and how subjective and unsupported the "Today's Republicans" positions are. The today's republican positions seemed a bit like a charicature. It felt like you were picking out the worst features and attributing them more broadly than is really fair. Just for instance: Rick Perry did say once that he would send troops back to Iraq, but he was roundly ridiculed for it and it is far from a common position. Or another: No personhood amendment that I am aware of would effectively criminalize miscarriages and I have never heard anyone, ever, suggest that would be a good thing. The uneven treatment makes the article feel biased and unfair, which is too bad because there are a lot of good points in it and it obviously took a lot of work.

#10 RebuildtheGOP

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 03:30 AM

Sounds like your friend is suffering from epistemic closure.
"One is elected by one’s positions, and if he tries to be something other than what he is, in the long run, disaster befalls him."

"Political action committees and moneyed interests are setting the nation's political agenda. Are we saying that only the rich have brains in this country? Or only people who have influential friends who have money can be in the Senate?"

"I would like to see us do away with all nuclear weapons. I just want to make sure they're all gone."

"A conservative is a person who wants to apply the proven values of the past to the problems and challenges of today. It's a dynamic living philosophy, just as our Constitution is a living document subject to new interpretations in view of changing circumstances."

"We Republicans define government's role where needed at many, many levels, preferably through the one closest to the people involved ... Our towns and our cities, then our counties, then our states..."

-Barry Goldwater

#11 RebuildtheGOP

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 03:34 AM

Oh, OK, thanks man. I was considering making the sections on each issue where Goldwater and today's GOP would differ into hyperlinks, so people would basically see the intro, a bunch of links, and then the conclusion on campaign finance reform. I should probably do that, perhaps in the next day or two.

View PostTraveler, on 09 February 2012 - 09:56 AM, said:

One reason why so many views and so few comments is that few of us have time to read such an exhaustive dissertation. The little I read indicated a remarkable depth of scholarship and breadth; so much so that I can not even begin to comment intelligently. May I suggest you try to put together a 2-3 page executive summary? Great piece of work, but like the Mormonism thread, if I read every post to the extent they merit, I would never get anything done! (Has to be one of the most penetrating theological discussions ever held in a political forum.)

At the end of the day, I do think Baron and andy have it right, them POGers are just plain crazy. See my post about fear and the conservative mind. No amount of parsing politics will get over the fact that these are primitive fearful people with very ungenerous perspectives. Stupid too. We just have to let themselves fully self destruct. Sorry, but I personally don't see the GOP ever rebuilding. It is doomed by this contingent.

(addendum) Notwithstanding this, Balcones might have a point. The supposed independents make up a good part of the electorate. However, most of them are either even more batshit crazy, or just plain spineless. It is conceivable that the few blue dogs left could merge with sane GOP remnants and some independents, but I see that as just being another marginal sector. Fact is most dems are already pretty much GOP already, so all we're talking about is an even bigger party dem party. I don't see the progressives splitting off on the left. My two cents.

"One is elected by one’s positions, and if he tries to be something other than what he is, in the long run, disaster befalls him."

"Political action committees and moneyed interests are setting the nation's political agenda. Are we saying that only the rich have brains in this country? Or only people who have influential friends who have money can be in the Senate?"

"I would like to see us do away with all nuclear weapons. I just want to make sure they're all gone."

"A conservative is a person who wants to apply the proven values of the past to the problems and challenges of today. It's a dynamic living philosophy, just as our Constitution is a living document subject to new interpretations in view of changing circumstances."

"We Republicans define government's role where needed at many, many levels, preferably through the one closest to the people involved ... Our towns and our cities, then our counties, then our states..."

-Barry Goldwater

#12 RebuildtheGOP

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 03:38 AM

View Postcmk, on 09 February 2012 - 09:52 AM, said:

Sorry, I was quite impressed with the effort, just haven't been able to do much writing or posting this week.

And yes, I think you're preaching to the choir to some extent. :)

The problem is, the people that most need to read this piece won't, because it's not from Newsmax, Drudge, FOX, or talk radio. I seriously doubt that I could get this posted at RedState even if I rewrote parts of it to not sound biased towards the GOP's degeneracy - these people would not be able to cope with the fact that the guy that made their party "conservative" in the first place was pro-choice, pro-gay rights, pro-environment, and pro-compromise with the Democrats.
"One is elected by one’s positions, and if he tries to be something other than what he is, in the long run, disaster befalls him."

"Political action committees and moneyed interests are setting the nation's political agenda. Are we saying that only the rich have brains in this country? Or only people who have influential friends who have money can be in the Senate?"

"I would like to see us do away with all nuclear weapons. I just want to make sure they're all gone."

"A conservative is a person who wants to apply the proven values of the past to the problems and challenges of today. It's a dynamic living philosophy, just as our Constitution is a living document subject to new interpretations in view of changing circumstances."

"We Republicans define government's role where needed at many, many levels, preferably through the one closest to the people involved ... Our towns and our cities, then our counties, then our states..."

-Barry Goldwater

#13 RebuildtheGOP

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 03:41 AM

View PostTom, on 09 February 2012 - 10:35 AM, said:

To get through to the end I had to skip a lot of the middle section about Goldwater vs. today's POG, it is great stuff but really long! At the end, I agree that campaign finance reform is crucial.

Thanks - I think I will make that middle section into hyperlinks or something.
"One is elected by one’s positions, and if he tries to be something other than what he is, in the long run, disaster befalls him."

"Political action committees and moneyed interests are setting the nation's political agenda. Are we saying that only the rich have brains in this country? Or only people who have influential friends who have money can be in the Senate?"

"I would like to see us do away with all nuclear weapons. I just want to make sure they're all gone."

"A conservative is a person who wants to apply the proven values of the past to the problems and challenges of today. It's a dynamic living philosophy, just as our Constitution is a living document subject to new interpretations in view of changing circumstances."

"We Republicans define government's role where needed at many, many levels, preferably through the one closest to the people involved ... Our towns and our cities, then our counties, then our states..."

-Barry Goldwater

#14 RebuildtheGOP

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 03:48 AM

View PostAri, on 09 February 2012 - 10:44 AM, said:

I was sure I posted a reply. Not sure what happened.

I think it is well written, but (and I mean this as constructively as possible) I think it suffers from the comparison between how objective and well-researched the Goldwater positions are and how subjective and unsupported the "Today's Republicans" positions are. The today's republican positions seemed a bit like a charicature. It felt like you were picking out the worst features and attributing them more broadly than is really fair. Just for instance: Rick Perry did say once that he would send troops back to Iraq, but he was roundly ridiculed for it and it is far from a common position. Or another: No personhood amendment that I am aware of would effectively criminalize miscarriages and I have never heard anyone, ever, suggest that would be a good thing. The uneven treatment makes the article feel biased and unfair, which is too bad because there are a lot of good points in it and it obviously took a lot of work.


Thanks for pointing that out. You definitely make a good point that the piece does sound biased/unfair if I simply generalize what "today's Republicans" believe. Originally, I was going to compare Goldwater's positions on the issues to what today's GOP presidential candidates were saying, but perhaps because I am so sick of hearing ridiculous things coming out of Republicans' mouths these days that I resorted to generalizing. I will consider rewriting that section to make it more fair, thanks again.
"One is elected by one’s positions, and if he tries to be something other than what he is, in the long run, disaster befalls him."

"Political action committees and moneyed interests are setting the nation's political agenda. Are we saying that only the rich have brains in this country? Or only people who have influential friends who have money can be in the Senate?"

"I would like to see us do away with all nuclear weapons. I just want to make sure they're all gone."

"A conservative is a person who wants to apply the proven values of the past to the problems and challenges of today. It's a dynamic living philosophy, just as our Constitution is a living document subject to new interpretations in view of changing circumstances."

"We Republicans define government's role where needed at many, many levels, preferably through the one closest to the people involved ... Our towns and our cities, then our counties, then our states..."

-Barry Goldwater

#15 Baron Siegfried

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 08:40 AM

Republicans believe what they're told to believe. This has been painfully demonstrated over and over, and the worst part is that they actually take pride in the fact that THEY are the only ones who REALLY know what's going on because Fox (& Friends) told them so! Sadly, most are quite literally incapable of independent thought and perfer to have their opinions spoon fed them.

As for how to make the GOP better, I recommend a series of high colonics . . .
Ye Truthe Schalle Set Ye Free,
Erst Shalt It Pisse Thee Offe

#16 davisss13

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 12:20 PM

I have voted GOP many times in the past. Of course our Republicans are like Bob Michael and Ray LaHood, hardly fire-breathers.

Quote

What's Wrong With The GOP

Torture is one of my main problems with the GOP. I supported Bush after 9/11 until Iraq.

Abu Grahib and the 'program' sicken me. The GOP act like it's a US tradition when it's an aberration that quickly turns into a poisonous, sick atmosphere at all levels. Who would imagine they would be in favor of legitimizing the torture of suspects, contrary to one of Reagan's signature treaties with the UN?

Quote

How To Make it Right

Nearly impossible. It has been accepted at almost all levels of the GOP, except for a few like McCain and isolated faith-based folks who refuse to change their values because of politics or war.

A cleansing from the bottom to the top is in order, good luck with that.





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