It’s now almost a week since the election. When I voted, if anyone had been staring at my ballot when I hit the red vote button in the voting booth, they probably would have thought I was schizophrenic or on drugs. My ballot covered a democrat, a republican (I know, you’re shocked) and 2 independents. That’s they way I roll, despite some people’s thoughts that I’m a crazy liberal, which I’m not.
Since the election, I have done a lot of reading, watching and listening as I’m very interested to hear what folks had to say. Obviously the die-hard republicans are very disappointed, have many theories as to what went wrong and even more theories an what to do next. One theory that I have found especially interesting stated that the Republicans needed to take a lesson from the Whig Party, which was very powerful during the mid 1800s. Ultimately a deep division on how to handle slavery destroyed the Whig Party and many of their members went onto join a new party in American politics…the Republican Party.
Maybe now it’s the time for the same thing to happen to the Republicans. As previously, stated I (the self-professed died in the wool moderate) did vote for a Republican in this election, as I have voted for Republicans in the past. At this point (and unfortunately for them IMHO), the Republicans have lost me. Just like the Whigs were severely divided by slavery, today’s Republican Party is severely divided by the growing extremism on the far right of the party. As much as many Americans did not want to vote for our current President, the Republican Party is losing it’s credibility, especially with independents and moderates, such as myself.
Many of us perceive that the Republicans have been taken over by the lunatic fringe (and some of those ran for the republican nomination for president) and they don’t realize the changes going on in our country. Any shot the Republicans had at gaining more of my votes this year was lost 2 years ago when Mitch McConnell, the minority leader in the Senate, publicly stated that his party’s one and only goal for the next 2 years was to make sure that President Obama wasn’t re-elected. He would see to it that not one pass of legislation that made the President look good would get through the Senate. Toss out compromise, toss out sacrifice and toss out common sense.
Another issue the Republicans have is the perception of who is leading the party. Take your pick of loons that the party needs to muzzle – Rush, Donald, Michelle, Sarah, Grover. I don’t think the Republican Party should be giving a voice to folks who question the President’s place of birth, who make bizarre statements about “legitimate” rape, who reject the separation of church and state, and a group that make them take a “no new taxes under any circumstance” pledge.
Going to say it again and again that this country was built on sacrifice and compromise. If you are going to make our elected officials sign a pledge that they won’t raise taxes no matter (and it is no matter what), than the person making that demand and the officials who sign that pledge don’t know the first about being an American. Listen, I don’t want to pay more taxes (does anyone?) but sometimes you just have to bite the bullet.
So, to the Republican Party I say this. If you want moderates and independents like me to consider your candidates in the future, you better start whistling a different tune. If you don’t, you will soon find yourself with less influence, less power and less money. The final word you will hear as you ride off into the sunset with the new American political landscape shrinking in the rearview mirror is “adios!”