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Published on September 18th, 2012 | by James Schlarmann

10

The Death of the Republican Party…Maybe

I think I’m ready to make my first extremely bold political prediction. As a general rule I tend to avoid doing things that would make people think I’m trying to cast myself as having any kind of deeper knowledge or understanding about politics and politicians as they do. Honestly, I always look at my work here on this site as being one person’s point-of-view and that hopefully there are others out there who share it with me. I believe I’ve found that shared connection with many of you, and I’m grateful for it.


abe_WTFBut I think now’s the time to make one bold prediction. Oh, not about the outcome of the Presidential race, because frankly there’s just too much time and money involved for me to think we’ve seen the end of Romney’s campaign. Though, to be honest, I don’t really know how many more of these foot-in-mouth moments he can have, or many more lies he and his running mate can be caught in before it does actually cost them the election. No, I’m going to make a bold prediction about the Republican party itself.

Within the next five years, the Republican party will no longer exist, unless solely in name.

I’ve been hinting at it, and I’ve been playing with idea for a long time now. Really, it’s not like the same observation hasn’t been made many, many times before, but what we’re seeing within the GOP now is sort of the thing that has caused other political parties to go extinct. There is so much internal separation and strife between Neocons, Old Guard Republicans and Mouth Breathers, oh wait I’m sorry, Tea Party Members, that I think there’s no possible way these three groups can stick together. Right now the biggest thing keeping them under the same tent is the one issue that they all can agree on completely: they hate Barack Obama. Outside of that, the hairs start splitting.

Just among those who consider themselves “Social Conservatives” you have major schisms. There’s the faction who thinks there are varying degrees of rape. There’s the faction that believes in allowing gay marriage. There’s a faction that’s pretty Progressive and wants the war on drugs ended. And while the same can be said about Democrats, the divides within the Democratic party aren’t so pronounced, and nor is there a faction within the Democrats right now that compares to the Tea Party, which I feel will be not just the gasoline on the fire that will consume the Republican party, but also the wood and the matches.

They are unyielding. They are relentless. They armed themselves with the kind of sycophantic belief in an alternate reality that they could have easily been re-cast as religious crusaders, trying to find the Holy Grail. They view the obstructionism that Congressional Republicans have been playing at for the last two years is not only acceptable, it’s patriotic. They are radicals, despite trying to be viewed as a grassroots organization that just wants to return to a simpler time.

They believe in the most extreme forms of Conservatism. No rape or incest exceptions for abortion. All government spending is evil and should be curtailed. Poor people should be income taxed before we ask rich people to kick in a nickel more. This kind of extremism wasn’t welcome in Lincoln’s party, but it’s certainly alive and well in today’s Republican party. But how long can a group sustain itself when one faction is so completely cloistered in the most extreme of the group’s views? How long can they remain together, working toward the same outcome?

If Ron Paul’s candidacy teaches us anything, it’s that the divide within the party is very real. Ron Paul supporters barely tolerate the Republican infrastructure as it is, and now that they’ve been cast out from their party in favor of a guy who may look the part, but who is proving time and again he’s got foot-in-mouth disease, who knows how long Paul supporters will be able to stomach being in the party that wants nothing to do with them outside of their vote.

When you create a party whose motto could easily be misconstrued as “White, Christian, Heterosexuals Born In The Country Only” it’s sort of hard to see a future where Latinos, for instance, who are the fastest growing group in this country, would feel truly invited.  Or how welcome to the party do you really think homosexuals are? I know there are so-called “log cabin” Republicans, but there are self-haters among every group, and is there even a statistically significant percentage of gay people in the GOP? How about Muslims, Atheists, or any other group of people who don’t call The Bible the most important book ever written? It’s one thing to stand up for your morals and principles, but becoming an exclusionary group, especially when it starts excluding people inside said group, is never a recipe for political stability.

Then there’s the anti-intellectuals. The folks who have been brainwashed, ironically enough, into thinking that higher-learning institutions are nothing but bastions of Liberal thought, determined to reprogram little Johnny or little Susie into God hating, bra burning heathens. How can the party stay intact when there are those who literally hate higher education, and want critical thinking removed from curriculum

Abe Lincoln would not recognize this party. Barry Goldwater would certainly not recognize this party. Dwight D. Eisenhower and Teddy Roosevelt (who stepped outside the GOP in his own political career anyway) would not recognize this party today. I dare say even their patron saint, Ronald Ignacius Peter Assisi Reagan would not recognize what has happened to the Republican party. I should know; I used to be one after all. But neocons and my own discovery that all along I had been far too Progressive to claim the Conservative flag as my own anyway forced me out, and I know I’m not the only one.

The Bush II administration broke a lot of things. It broke the world’s trust of America. It broke the economy. But perhaps most tellingly, it broke the Republican party. There was absolutely no mention of the Bush Administration during the Republican Convention in Tampa this year. They ran as far away from that group as they could. And yet, there are several key Bush-Cheney people advising Romney on policy issues. But by and large, I do believe most Republicans know in their hearts that Bush II will go down as one of the worst Presidents, and he’s left the party in a true identity crisis, which explains all the focus at the convention on Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio, the up and coming generation of Republicans. They’re neocons, and they’re Tea Party favorites. The Republican party is moving harder right every day. Within five years there will be a third-party in this country made up from cast-off Libertarians and Old Guard Republicans. Then the fun really begins.

I guess the point is that whether or not the Republican party truly does cease to exist or just splits off into splinter cells, the GOP as we know it is in fact dead. They’ve embraced lies and propaganda in favor of truth and policy. They know that thirty years of data completely disproves any thread of truth to Supply Side Economics actually working, but they continue to push it to advance the agenda of the super wealthy. They’ve taken to attacking a sitting president even while an on-going crisis is in the works.

Their soul has already died, and now we just have to wait to see if the body follows suit.

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About the Author

James is the founding contributor and editor-in-chief of The Political Garbage Chute, a left-leaning satire and commentary site, which can be found on Facebook as well. You definitely should not give that much a shit about his opinions.



  • http://www.facebook.com/CurtNaeve Curt Naeve

    James, I certainly hope you are right about about a real legitimate third party that will draw from the centrist people that have been left behind by the current GOP. One of the more insidious factors that you have not mentioned is the secret Gestapo vein being led by Karl Rove and whatever uber-rich that is funding it and it’s drive to eliminate all taxes everywhere. There is much of in the Obama administration I can find fault with, but it sickens me to realize that the Romney / Ryan ticket is the best the GOP can offer me [a choice I will refuse to make]. Thanks for your well crafted article and the chance to vent.
    C

    • http://www.facebook.com/pages/James-Schlarmann/210389595660963 James Schlarmann

      Thanks for reading Curt! I agree that Rove is a dangerous sycophant and the fact that he can dump all kinds of opaque funds into American politics is egregious. Something has to be done, and with there being at least two vulnerable Supreme Court seats, it’s important to put someone in power who will try install a much more moderate judge who can help overturn that terrible, terrible decision.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Jaybird413 Jay Gelfand

    I keep telling everyone I can about Dr. Jill Stein and the Green Party platform! I really believe it could make a huge difference, although it also amazes me how many haven’t even heard about her or know that she is running for the Presidency …

  • Ginger Nelles

    I left the Republican Party over 25 years ago due to their untenable abortion policies — and it’s only gotten worse. Plus, moving to NC and coming face-to-face with the Republican Party of Jesse Helms was a real eye-opener after my Midwestern Charles Percy type of Republicans I had grown up around.

  • Jill

    We should also acknowledge that our world is becoming more and more complicated and diverse. There are people who may not/do not believe in each item of their party’s platform. In fact, as diverse and divided as the Republican party has become, can’t you make the same argument that something similar will happen to the Democrats? I am a fiscal conservative but a social moderate and a liberal in some cases. I believe I’m like others in that I choose my party based on the values that I have that are priority, but will vote outside of my party when candidates won’t compromise or listen to other viewpoints.
    In fact, I think we’ll find that people will get frustrated by having to choose between two, draw-a-line-in-the-sand parties. Something must change.

  • Chris

    Count me in… Republicans have no future thinking. They will destroy all space exploration because they can’t profit from it. LOSERS…They would have destroyed Apollo!!! If you hate science, vote Republican….

    • http://www.facebook.com/pages/James-Schlarmann/210389595660963 James Schlarmann

      This is one of the worst aspects of Republicanism right now. The almost complete shunning of science.

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  • Monty

    I’d like to be so cautiously optimistic of the death of the Republican Party as you, but let’s not count any chickens here. Many of these very same prognoses were made in the wake of Democrats’ victories in 2008 (and Obama’s victory in particular).

    …Then the midterm elections happened.

    The Grand Old Party won’t go quietly nor without a fight. Their party ideologues (and complicit voices in the media) are already plotting the next move. Should Romney lose this evening (not as foregone a conclusion as many would hope–and as such, that the race has been so close even with the whole of Romney’s incompetence on display is rather telling), the rationalizations and excuses will be brought to bear: He’s not ideologically pure. His religious affiliation lost the evangelical vote. He’s not relatable. He’s not even likeable.

    Romney in particular–like McCain before him–is a sacrificial lamb, win or lose. Should he win, his predilection for bungling anything political will almost assuredly have him out in 2016 (if not sooner, pending the results of ongoing investigations into his financials). Both a one-term Romney Presidency or a Romney defeat tonight are nothing if a pretext for the Republicans to align themselves even further to the right, made all the more tenable by the reality of certifiably insane Republican incumbents maintaining close races if not outright leads in their respective constituencies; a pretext with which they will trot out the “new-and-improved” candidate in 2016.

    Splinter group or not, the Tea Party isn’t going away anytime soon. In just two years, that particular faction has managed to co-opt the whole of the Republican platform and dominate the political narrative. Another Obama victory is only going to embolden them further.

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