The Need For A New Republican Party

I want to suggest to the many bloggers celebrating the end of eight years of Bush doctrine that they might set their sights a bit higher.  The conditions that enabled the Bush era to come into being and made it look very attractive to a majority of voters began with Ronald Reagan and GHWB.  That adds up not to eight years but twenty.  To be sure, we had eight years of Clinton as something of an intermission, but it’s well to recall that his own personal style encouraged the sort of wild, speculative risk taking that, in the end, proved to be the one added ingredient needed for certain disaster.   It’s going to take some time to get this mess straightened out, and part of that straightening has to do with a realignment of the Republican Party.

You might remember that Ralph Nader used to complain that there was no real difference between Republicans and Democrats, and that Americans deserved a better more clearly defined choice than that.  He was wrong.  When one majority party becomes and agent of the fringe it ceases to be effective as the loyal opposition to the other.  The political fringe has its place.  From the fringe we are made aware of our greatest weaknesses and most imminent threats.  From the fringe we are introduced to our greatest opportunities and most imaginative solutions.   But the political fringe is always divisive and often a source of real danger to our society.  The Republican Party has been steadily drifting toward the fringe of autocratic nationalism and corporate socialism.  

Either that has to change, or a new “conservative” party must emerge that is more able to operate toward the center, because it is only from a place near the center that the loyal opposition can effectively challenge policies they see as unwise.  

4 thoughts on “The Need For A New Republican Party”

  1. Yes, many thoughtful and actually conservative Republicans are now agreeing with your call for a new type Republican party, one truly a financially responsible and still traditional in its social values, but less allied to the extreme right religious groups and selfish and irresponsible \”malefactors of great wealth\” as Teddy Roosevelt called them. The radical (and corrupt) Louisiana dictator of the 1930s, Huey P. Long once said, \”The difference between the two major political parties is like Tweedledum and Tweedledee, no real difference at all\”. He also said, \”Roosevelt and me, we\’re just two politicians.\” But Long\’s \”Share the Wealth\” program was just fringe demagoguery, while he secretly took large pay-offs from the big oil companies that he attacked publicly!

  2. CP,Indeed, we need a new republican party, and indeed a new democratic party. But doesn\’t the problem really belong at the feet of the American people themselves? Haven\’t we replaced knowledge with sound bites? Ask most anybody what our form of government is, and their answer will be,,, a democracy! This is a quaint reduction of the truth used during tough times (war) to differentiate our selves form other forms of government, but it is not the truth. The truth is, more complex and requires some thought, the writers of our founding documents were quite crafty in avoiding the word \”democracy\”. but the sound bite, democracy, rolls off the tongue so much easier than \”democratically elected representative republic\”. We the people have been whole sale buyers of sound bites, from the pulpit to the propaganda from the wealthiest americans justifying their life style. In our lust, we accept these dumbing down of noble ideas. We the people have failed, as we are the parties, we have accepted, indeed desired the voice of the majority over the concepts of our founding documents. We the people believed Carter\’s call for responsible reduction of consumption, was too painful, and we the people believed, against all history, Reagan\’s give wealth to the wealthy and the wealthy will be good to us. We believed that we got where we are because we are more deserving in God\’s eyes, Calvinism to the extreme.We have had more than a generation of this claptrap and several generations of simplistic knowledge of who we are as a nation. We now have many citizens who will not like what our founders had to say, who will not be happy that our government was designed to move away from tyranny of any kind, including that of the people. including that of business, including that of religions. Both parties, and indeed we the people have a great deal to ask forgiveness, ignorance of not caring to know what the great experiment of our nation is, and not willing to protect it through education of our own people is not the least.

  3. Thanks Anon and Bruno. Since I now have two Anons who comment, I assume that this one is Dr. B. I think I wrote some time ago about my seven years teaching a course called management and society to MBA students. The sad thing about it was that few of these grad students had the slightest idea how our nation is organized to govern. So we started each semester with basic 9th grade civics. Bruno\’s point about having become sound bite driven does not point in the direction of progress since then. The recent Obama campaign seemed to touch the youth in a new and rewarding way, so perhaps we will have a more politically knowledgeable generation coming up. We shall see. In any case, I\’ve been asked to put together some little one session short courses for my fire fighters, and I think I might resurrect that old management and society stuff for them.

  4. CPTry the \”here are copies of our founding documents\” To the first one who finds where it states we are a democracy, I will buy a steak dinner.

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