THE FUTURE OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY
The Pew Research Center informs us that, on key issues, the Republican party has lost traction with the American people. On education, health care, the economy, foreign affairs, the war on terror, and taxes, the citizenry tend to prefer what the Democrats are saying and doing over that of the Republicans. In an article featured in the latest issue of Time, entitled "Is the Party Over?, Michael Grunwald asks whether "the Republicans are going extinct . . . [a]nd can the death march be stopped?" It is an interesting question.
But it's not as if it hasn't been asked before. From a historical perspective, the projected demise of the Republican party is nothing new. In 1964, for example, after Barry Goldwater had been chewed up and spat out by Lyndon Johnson, there were many who thought the Republican party had been dealt a death blow. But the obituary announcement was premature. In 1968, along came Tricky Dick and, thereafter, the Gipper.
LBJ's foreign policy did him in, and the country continues to labor under the yoke of his recklessly conceived domestic policies, which he hoped in vain would immortalize him and make his name synonymous with the presidency itself. They haven't.
History sometimes, for better or worse, repeats itself. Barack Obama's foreign policy is every bit as simplistic about the war on terror as Johnson's was about the war in Vietnam. Additionally, the current president is inclined to spend profusely in order to solve problems and is, remarkably enough, more ambitious in that way than Johnson ever was. Yet, please remember, after Lyndon had been in office five years, people were ready to shout "good riddance to bad rubbish."
There is no arcane philosophical meaning in all this, although there is a rather commonplace observation to be made. It is that political figures sometimes have a way of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, causing the populace to look once again to the loyal opposition for a solution. Politics is a volatile business. It indulges a bubble popularity.
Now is the time for the Republican party to re-read the Constitution, along with the formative documents of American history, and to reacquaint itself with works by Adam Smith, Friedrich Hayek, and Milton Friedman. Republicans should return to basic "blocking and tackling" and other foundational principles of the game. It should stand in resolute opposition to current administration policies. These policies are bound to fail, at which moment there must be a team willing and ready to take the field, true to their game plan. A quarterback must stand ready to marshall the team's forces.
Newt Gingrich is a brilliant scholar and a thoroughly seasoned politician. He understands the nasty politics played in Washington. He combines Kantian ends with Machiavellian means. What is more, he comprehends, respects, and values traditional American culture. He towers, head and shoulders, above every other Republican leader in the country in virtually every respect. In a debate with Barack Obama, Gingrich will win, and win handily – particularly on the facts, if not on their presentation.
In the meantime, with 2012 in view, I suspect that Mr. Obama will attempt to stack the deck as best he can to his electoral advantage. ACORN, or some rogue group like it, will be hard at work registering "voters" and polluting (with impunity of course) the electoral process. Renewed attempts will be made in Congress to extend amnesty to between 10 and 20 million impoverished Third World illegals, and to do the same for the burgeoning population of felons and ex-felons. Both groups will, needless to say, lean markedly toward the Democrats. (Who else would you expect with their unending list of "freebies"?) The corrupt and unconscionable media will continue to propagandize the citizenry with nonstop coverage of how "downtrodden" and "bereft" illegals and felons are and why, in the name of democracy and all that is dear, their voices should be heard. That beat is sure to continue.
There is no hyperbole intended here. If Republicans can simply hold their own for a few years and make it past electoral and media manipulation, the American people may again have a viable social and political option available to them, whether or not they now realize it.
The truths that polling provides are vaporous. It would be a mistake to put much stock in them over the long run. Americans are, at this moment in their history, like sheep without a shepherd. They have little idea where they are going, nor is that their primary concern. Most see themselves as simply trying to survive from paycheck to paycheck, if they are fortunate enough to have one.
Mr. Obama will wreak profound damage upon the country in the office he holds. He will continue promoting aggressive secularism, divisive multiculturalism, callous policies militating against life, incentive-zapping socialist programs resembling those in Europe, the sickening homosexual agenda (complete with a lesbian justice on the Supreme Court, if possible), and a berserkly contrite foreign policy totally naïve and dangerous in its assumptions about human nature.
The point is that, in the aftermath of the last two national elections apparently disastrous for Republicans, there is and will be an enormous opportunity for them. The question will be whether the party exploits it to rebuild so as to offer a choice rather than an echo to the electorate, or whether the party will simply cry in its beer. The big elephant must decide.
May 13, 2009