My two cents: The problem(s) with the Republican Party

Shield-Two-Cents-ReverseNever before has a political party been so primed to gain so much during the mid-term election cycle and has the politically determined to squander it away. In this important mid-term election, the statistics indicate that the Republican Party can increase its hold on the House of Representatives and gain control of the Senate. In fact, the same polls indicate that the Republican Party could even continue the political sweep and increase its governorships, state legislative margins, and even the presidency in the 2014-2016 election cycle. History indicates there are several reasons why this could easily happen, beginning with the publicly displayed dissatisfaction that the American public has towards the Obama administration. This dissatisfaction comes from apparent failures in both domestic and foreign policy.

The next two elections should be as close to a cakewalk as politics can get for the Republican Party; however, the party will not have any of it. It appears to suffer from the desire to remain forever the underdog and a second class party in the nation’s political affairs. There are several areas where the Republicans could be openly campaigning as a party with ideas and solutions to America’s current ills but instead is afraid that challenging the administration and the Democratic Party would open up accusations of racism towards America’s first black president. The problem with the Republicans’ logic is that the party, since the end of the Reagan presidency, has been branded and marketed by the Democratic Party as just that – the party of the old white bigoted and sexist male. In the absence of a Republican defense, this image, although quite untrue, is the image that resonates with the American voter. Since the end of the George W. Bush presidency, the Republican Party’s leadership has been content to allow itself to be painted and branded by its political adversaries. If this trend continues and in spite of the low poll numbers facing the president and the Democratic Party, there will not be the landslide victory and the Senate might remain in the hands of the Democratic Party and the hyper-partisan leadership of Senator Harry Reid.

Over the last few months, there have been pundits that have suggested ways that the Republican leadership should begin this mid-term political discussion. At the heart of the so-called “political issues” that many say that the Republicans must reexamine their party platform and become more “centrist” in their views are the issues of amnesty for illegal immigrants and immigration reform, gay marriage/civil rights protections for GLBTQ persons, and increased social spending. These same pundits also claim that the Republican Party needs to abandon certain other key platform issues such as traditional capitalism, reduction in personal and corporate taxes, and abortion. Their justification is that the nation’s voting public no longer are passionate about these issues and abortion has universally been accepted as a woman’s right. What’s sad is that the Republican Party leadership currently seems to buy into the Left telling them what the American voter wants and threatening that if the Republican Party does not move further towards the center, then it will continue to lose elections.

The problem with this “logic” is that since the days of the Clinton presidency, the Democratic Party has moved further to the left. While they claim the Republican Party is losing its base or that its base is becoming more radical right leaning, it is their party that has moved off its traditional base. No longer is the Democratic Party run for the “little man” or “common man” in our nation. If one remembers back to the 2012 Democratic National Convention, the chair had to rig a floor vote to have Jerusalem recognized as the capital of Israel, God and the acknowledgement of God placed back within the National Democratic Party platform. What is very telling about this is that the party’s own platform is in its haste not to alienate the blue-collar, union member, loyal Democratic voter, the National Convention chair and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa called for three separate floor votes – and when he announces the “majority” had approved the changing of the language, the floor erupts in boos. Without that blue-collar, union member voter safely within the folds of the Democratic Party, the party would not only not be able to raise its giant political war chest, but would not have the support of a majority of hard-working Americans.

Until the mid-term elections in November (2014), I am going to show how it is possible for the Republican Party to change its image and attract not only the college age demographic, but appeal to women, minorities, and even the traditional blue-collar-union-member American worker. It is time that the Republican Party fight for the heart and soul of this nation like never before and challenge political ideology that threatens to transform the nation from a land of liberty for the citizen into a land where the citizen is regarded as state property. Yes, I believe that if the political course of this nation is not changed we are heading to a society where there will be three classes of people – 1) the politico class, which will be a permanent class of politicians and bureaucrats, 2) the media class, which includes performers, athletes, and others within the sports, entertainment, news, and related industries, and 3) the citizen class – although citizen in name only where the federal government exercises total control over the lives of those not in the other two classes.

Simple issues and beginning the discussion on why “Republican” 

If the Republican Party wants to become the political voice of reason and alternative ideas for the improvement of American society, there are some fairly simple issues that the party could immediately campaign on that would not only allow the American public to see the differences within the two parties but would also offer real solutions that are explained, defined, and sold as alternatives to current domestic policies. There are five simple issues that if the Republican Party would actively market  them and offer a strong appeal to the public, the results would not only be more Republican victories but more people who would identify themselves as Republicans. Right now, these issues are being openly discussed, polling data indicates that the public does not approve the actions taken by the administration or Congress on these issues, yet no alternative except the “we must throw more money at it to solve it” rhetoric from the Democratic Party is being aired. This is the exact time that the Republican Party needs to come out with a strong plan to handle each of these issues and begin to campaign on a basic Republican plan ahead of the primaries. This would not only generate interest in the Republican message but allow plenty of time for tweaking of the message once a presidential candidate has been chosen.

Continued on next page.

Alan Simmons

Alan Simmons is an adjunct instructor of history at Henderson Community College. He has been teaching at the college/university level since 2004. Within the scope of his degrees, his areas of emphasis are U.S. foreign policy, public policy history, political history, and U.S. history.

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