The Future of the GOP – An Important Perspective

The Future of the GOP
In an essay, “Boycott the Republican Party” (The Atlantic, March, 2018), two
impressively credentialed, obstinately non-partisan political observers suggest
that, “If conservatives want to save the GOP from itself, they need to vote
mindlessly and mechanically against its nominees.” The reasoning behind this
thought-provoking essay by Jonathan Rauch and Benjamin Wittes is that the
Republican Party has essentially lost its way, become unhinged from its basis
in conservative democratic principles and that, until the public soundly rejects
the GOP at the polls, the party will continue to undermine and subvert our
democratic (small-d) foundation and pose a serious threat to the nation. They
argue that such a foundation is non-partisan and beyond all policy and
ideology. Rather, it is the bedrock upon which our country was established and
has maintained itself for the past 242 years.
As further evidence to support this notion, I would point out that, among those
bedrock principles of a healthy democratic society is the right of its citizens to
elect its leaders and representatives without interference from foreign intruders
and without domestic partisan thumbs on the scale. A party that must, in
order to win elections, resort to jury-rigging election laws, instituting voter ID
measures, closing polling places in ethnically diverse locales, and pretzel-
twisted gerrymandering of districts, is a party whose viability is obviously
unsustainable.
Racial and cultural demographic trends do not favor the GOP as it is currently
constituted. Our population is growing increasingly less European/Caucasian
and more non-European. The GOP’s answer to this trend has been not to favor
policies that appeal to this new demographic reality, but rather to labor at all
costs to impede immigration from non-white countries. Thus, they institute a
“travel ban” against Muslim countries and insist we build a wall. (Note that
they do not suggest that we build a wall along our northern border, only along
the southern one. When anyone suggests that such policies are racist, GOP
leaders throw up their collective hands in disingenuous protest. When the
constitutionality of such measures is questioned, the GOP remains stubbornly
willing to sacrifice constitutionality if only it will ensure their tenuous viability
for another season.
The US truly needs a strong and viable conservative party to balance a
progressive/liberal approach to social policy. We need reasonable controls on
the purse strings to ensure our government doesn’t overspend while trying to
become all things to all people. We need to encourage people to become as
personally responsible for their choices and their well-being as possible and,
where reasonable, to support them in that effort. Citizens are healthier and
happier when they feel thus empowered.
Lately, the GOP has failed to be that sound, conservative voice. They pass tax
policy giving $1.5 trillion to the wealthiest 1% and to corporations without any
means to pay for it. And so the government must now issue $1.5 trillion in
bonds to cover the cost. This is hardly conservative. Nor is it either viable or
sustainable.
I wholeheartedly agree that is time to teach the Republican Party a lesson at
the polls and then hope the party will finally come to its collective senses and
regain its principled place in our democracy.
Nancy Parker, Ashland

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//inserted by Sharon