Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Death of the Republican Party

Robert Reich. (photo: Richard Morgenstein)
Robert Reich. (photo: Richard Morgenstein)

By Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Blog
16 February 16
’m writing to you today to announce the death of the Republican Party. It is no longer a living, vital, animate organization.

It died in 2016. RIP.

It has been replaced by warring tribes:

Evangelicals opposed to abortion, gay marriage, and science.

Libertarians opposed to any government constraint on private behavior.

Market fundamentalists convinced the “free market” can do no wrong.

Corporate and Wall Street titans seeking bailouts, subsidies, special tax loopholes, and other forms of crony capitalism.

Billionaires craving even more of the nation’s wealth than they already own.

And white working-class Trumpoids who love Donald. and are becoming convinced the greatest threats to their wellbeing are Muslims, blacks, and Mexicans.

Each of these tribes has its own separate political organization, its own distinct sources of campaign funding, its own unique ideology – and its own candidate.

What’s left is a lifeless shell called the Republican Party. But the Grand Old Party inside the shell is no more.

I, for one, regret its passing. Our nation needs political parties to connect up different groups of Americans, sift through prospective candidates, deliberate over priorities, identify common principles, and forge a platform.

The Republican Party used to do these things. Sometimes it did them easily, as when it came together behind William McKinley and Teddy Roosevelt in 1900, Calvin Coolidge in 1924, and Ronald Reagan in 1980.

Sometimes it did them with difficulty, as when it strained to choose Abraham Lincoln in 1860, Barry Goldwater in 1964, and Mitt Romney in 2012.

But there was always enough of a Republican Party to do these important tasks – to span the divides, give force and expression to a set of core beliefs, and come up with a candidate around whom Party regulars could enthusiastically rally.

No longer. And that’s a huge problem for the rest of us.

Without a Republican Party, nothing stands between us and a veritable Star Wars barroom of self-proclaimed wanna-be’s.

Without a Party, anyone runs who’s able to raise (or already possesses) the requisite money – even if he happens to be a pathological narcissist who has never before held public office, even if he’s a knave detested by all his Republican colleagues.

Without a Republican Party, it’s just us and them. And one of them could even become the next President of the United States.

+31 # indian weaver 2016-02-16 13:04
RIP what was, somewhat, a "democracy", many years ago (or just a better disguised fascist terrorist regime than now - thanks to the free internet). We are only seeing the last gasp of a dying war machine, thank goodness. The stinking rotting corpses still sucking air and blood in congress and the administration (and among all of the GOP presidential candidates, many governors, many state legislators, and Hillary), are gruesome Zombies - groping for yet more blood on the tracks.
+10 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2016-02-16 15:04
Think I'll wait to see how the elections turn out before I decide if the GOP is dead. But, good article.
+5 # bobbygoode 2016-02-16 15:53
Quoting Eldon J. Bloedorn:
Think I'll wait to see how the elections turn out before I decide if the GOP is dead. But, good article.

That's right. They control state legislatures, which gerrymander and suppress voting so whatever is left of this party win elections, and do the bidding of the Kochs et al.
+16 # Anonymot 2016-02-16 15:12
Hillary is just Cruz Lite and Debbie is a zombie. The national parties are what you describe.
+18 # PeacefulGarden 2016-02-16 13:54
There once was a man named Donald Trump,
Whose voice was all thunder and thump;
"His" people came to see him,
Their brains filled with whim,
What a vain bird is he they call Trump.
+2 # economagic 2016-02-16 15:50
TERRIBLE verse, but good socio-political analysis!
+32 # danireland46 2016-02-16 14:13
Robert - what about the DFL?
It used to be the party of the people vs the GOP money party. Now it serves the interests of big money as well. Just look at the DNC's treatment of the Sander's campaign. HRC is not a DFL leader, she's a right-wing neo-con, well paid by WS and strong MIC backer. She is also strongly supportive of Israel no matter how fascist they have become. Let's face it, we need a revolution.
+27 # Bernforward 2016-02-16 14:24
You're right indian weaver. "Zombies-gropin g for yet more blood on the tracks". These are the "me" people. There are a lot of us out here who are "we" people. "We" have somehow learned that if one of us fails, all of the species fails a little. "We" understand that our greatest resource for the species are the individuals of that species. The "me" people see only the trees and not the forest. It's comforting to have someone like Robert Reich who sees the trees and the forest.
+40 # donaldmead 2016-02-16 14:30
Senator Sanders is not perfect, but he is the best person for president, running this election cycle. I believe that he will be motivated by the people to change his ways if we insist he do so. He will owe his position to us, not big money. But, just as he says, WE must make him and the rest of our elected officials "toe the line". FEEL THE BERN! Vote for Bernie in your caucus or primary! Vote for Bernie for president of the U.S.A.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If you believe either ""party"" will represent ALL Americans or do what is in America's best interest you are either naive or just plain ignorant......Two piles of sh*t that both smell the same!!!!......They both are breaking the backbone of America with the debt, social programs and wars!!!