In the wake of the ass-kicking that his party took in 2012, Louisiana Gov. Jindal made headlines when he said his party needed to stop being the “stupid party.” At first glance, this is an amazing revelation from a GOP insider. He gets it! He totally understands how easy it is for people to dismiss his party when idiots within it are saying that women have anti-rape sperm ninjas in their vaginae that can attack and prevent rape pregnancies. Or how easy it is to think of them all as Luddites since they can’t even admit to climate change, much less that mankind has a hand in it.
But that’s not what’s really at play in Jindal’s world. Jindal may say he wants Republicans to be smarter, but he does so while trying to get his state’s income tax completely repealed, preferring instead to go with a sales tax approach. I haven’t read all the specifics of Jindal’s tax plans, so I’m sure that there are other commerce and property taxes, but it’s the emphasis on sales taxes that shows Jindal’s claims to be wanting of a smarter GOP are empty. Sales taxes are the worst and most regressive taxes on the books, disproportionately hammering lower-income earners no matter what state and what tax rate is at stake.
So maybe they need some help, the GOP, and with that in mind, I’ve come up with five ways they can actually stop being the “Stupid Party.”
#5. Buy A Time Machine
What’s very clear from the last four years is that the Republican Party is in dire need of a fresh coat of paint. Well, they’re in dire need of a lot of things, and most of them stem from the fact that they are trying to uphold ideals that have either been debunked (raising taxes kills the economy) or are simply relics of a bygone era that should be relegated to the refuse heap of past incorrect beliefs about humanity. Being anti-marriage equality in this day and age is proof of willful ignorance, for instance. It’s widely known and accepted for instance that gay people aren’t all child molesting miscreants who are just choosing to be attracted to members of the same sex. But that’s the belief held steadfast by the right-wing in this country.
So they need to buy a time machine and either go back two hundred years so they can live in a landscape free of the reforms and equality we’ve extended to those who were missing from action when the Constitution was written, or they need to strap their ideologies into the time machine and advance them a couple hundred years. Same sex marriage is legal in a handful of states as of right now, and none of those states have spontaneously burst in a fiery hell-scape. Some things just are bullshit, no matter how you slice them, and most of the Republican social policies look and smell like they’ve passed through the colon of several steers.
#4. Stop Pretending To Like Women & Minorities
Here’s a novel concept for the GOP — instead of trotting out Kelly Ayotte, Bobby Jindal, or one of their other “nods” to equality that they love to project as being the tolerant face of their party, perhaps they should actually examine their policies for clues as to why minorities and women generally hate their guts. Maybe if they introduced a few hundred fewer bills aimed at reducing the amount of say that a woman has over her reproductive health, or if they stopped pretending as if millions upon millions of immigrants are streaming over our borders, or God forbid supported a path to citizenship regardless, maybe they could repair their image.
But the fact remains that once you scrape away the pleasantries and lip service, there has not been one substantive policy change that the Republicans have made in terms of their social or economic visions for the country. They’ve posited absolutely nothing that would give anyone paying attention even a modicum of reassurance that the GOP isn’t truly focused solely on protecting the rich in the country. Basically, until they’re willing to walk the walk, they’re just talking the talk, and the words are coming out of a very small, dark and putrid place on their bodies…their brains.
#3. Embrace Their Actual Ideology
You know, growing up I was always told that there is just one thing that Republicans value more than anything else in the world: Freedom. And yet, as I look at my former party, I can see a complete and total abandonment of freedom in so many of the laws they’ve proposed or passed. Nothing says freedom more than being given choices. Choices imply that there is no forced outcome, that the government is not telling you one way or the other how to behave. Of course we can’t have freedom of choice in every aspect of life, otherwise we’d live in a world devoid of actual negative consequences for negative actions or behaviors.
But in terms of something as simple as who we’re allowed to marry, or what we’re allowed to do with our own bodies, Republicans run about as far away from “freedom” as you can possibly get. In both the case of marriage equality and abortion, conservative Republicans would tell you that the government’s duty is to protect the so-called “traditional” family, which is one daddy and one mommy who cannot do anything with her vagina unless the Federal government tells her she can.
The bottom line? Maybe we’d think the GOP wasn’t so stupid if they didn’t blatantly contradict nearly everything they claim to stand for every goddamned chance they get.
#2. Embrace That Which Makes Us Less Stupid
This one’s really easy. Stop demagogueing universities and colleges. It’s not hard to understand why so many Republicans don’t “believe” in evolution, despite it not being something that you can ascribe “belief” to being scientific fact and all, when you consider that over and over again the loudmouths on the right treat education like shit. Teachers are overpaid union thugs who are only trying to indoctrinate more kids as liberal zombies. Colleges are just breeding grounds for Marxists and Communists. These things sound ridiculous to smart and educated people…and that pretty much sums it up, doesn’t it?
#1. Leave the Republican Party
Honestly, it’s hard to think of a faster way for a Republican to become smarter than to just leave the party altogether. I’m not suggesting that the GOP will never smarten-up. I’m just suggesting that for the foreseeable future, all the party does right now is serve very local red state issues while managing to alienate just about every moderate or liberal-minded person in the country. There are no signs of actually getting with the times, so why bother? My suggestion to anyone in the GOP who feels like their party really has become the stupid party and they just can’t take it anymore? Leave. Leave now, and bring all your smart friends with you. You don’t have to join the Democrats. You don’t have to join anyone else. But if you’re really wanting the GOP to change its tune, you need to make it as powerless as possible.
But let’s face it, when learning in general is demagogued to oblivion, what gives us any right to believe Republicans are capable of learning anything, much less a lesson?