I’d have assisted with this, but I left the Republican Party years (decades) ago. There was something about the distribution of the utterly debunked “None Dare Call It Treason” that was intrinsically repulsive. There’s no small amount of irony in the fact that the book alleged the Leftist Elite were sabotaging America for the benefit of the Soviet Union, and that now we’re looking at a situation in which some erstwhile cold-warriors are now espousing “better relations with Moscow.”
What made Moscow dangerous then as now is that it’s the capital of a second world nation with a first world arsenal, complete with nuclear weapons. It wants “respect,” translated to mean it wants a sphere of influence outsized in relation to its actual economic and political power. Since its notion of a counter-weight to NATO, the Warsaw Pact, has collapsed the replacement concept is the renewed Russian intrusion into former Warsaw Pact nations — witness those “soldiers on vacation” advancing into eastern Ukraine. Witness the cyber-assault of Estonia. Witness the efforts to undermine the NATO alliance.
It’s as much an adversary as ever, it’s just discovered a much more effective, and far cheaper way to attack the United States — bots and trolls and fake news and hacking; hacking into the data of at least 39 states. However, now the descendants of Sen. “Tailgunner” Joe McCarthy aren’t touting the anti-Soviet line, some are clutching ideas such as “the vote tallies weren’t actually violated,” or “this is an hysterical response from Democrats who lost an election that looked like a sure thing.” The Republican Party seems to have moved from the defender of free elections and the American Way to the cult of Personalities Without Principles — other than possibly self-aggrandizement and the controls of the apparatus of State.
The June 11 Gallup polling shows the presidential approval rating at 37%. To declare this a measure of the “Republican Base” might be a bit deceiving — it’s actually the measure of those who approve of what the president is doing and saying. The majority 63% no doubt contains a chunk of Republicans, many of whom would easily declare themselves as such. The Punditry has opined at length about the Democratic Party’s issues with primary elections and candidate selection — however, the larger problem appears to be with the Republican Party the central organization of which could not hold against an insurgency of primary voters who defied conventional party wisdom and leadership.
The party of William F. Buckley and Clare Booth Luce has become the party of Rush Limbaugh, Donald Trump, and the Shade of Theodore Bilbo. Bilbo would have fit right in with today’s vote suppressionists, perhaps with a bit more nuance, like advocating that “CrossCheck” flag everyone named Washington or Sanchez instead of promoting the use of whipping (Etoy Fletcher) with a wire cable.
How does the Republican Party deal with the elements associated with the Great White Whine? A party which once argued persuasively that prosperity for all was the way to achieve economic power has driveled into a cult like organization promoting platitudes not platforms. “Freedom” degenerates into a call for the deregulation of powerful institutions (especially financial) which define success in terms of quarterly earnings reports not national economic achievement. “Liberty” devolves into an expression of justified avarice, rather than the adoption of the idea that equal opportunity is the force behind that Rising Tide that Raises All Boats.
Where is the party of “Personal Responsibility” when excuses are made for members of local police forces who embarrass their cities and towns with unjustified behavior based on irrational fears — generally of young black men. Where are the calls for justice and responsibility when polluters are given permission to degrade local environments such that property values decline and development is all but impossible?
Where is the party of American Exceptionalism when industrial innovation and technological research, especially in regard to energy technologies, are blunted in favor of fossil fuels and late 19th century technologies like gas powered engines?
How did the party of progress become an amplifier for the dismal complaints of those who see victim-hood in a reduction of their sense of self worth, fueled by the funds from corporate interests which are primarily interested in analysts’ projections of corporate earnings in the next 90 days?
We have a two party system, which in many ways is far preferable to the European model of multi-party parliamentary systems. At what point does the broadcast punditry cease fretting over the relatively minor debates within the Democratic Party and begin to focus on the forces which are driving the Republican Party into the realm of a regional party promoting the imagined grievances of the selfish, the ignorant, and the bigots? It isn’t the Democratic Party that needs “saving.” They’ve had decades to perfect the art of internal combustion and national re-invention — it’s the Republicans who need the help.