John Liming examines the state of a broken and divided political party. My own thoughts on the question John asks in the heading of this post is: maybe…but if the Republican party is fixable, it will not be happening anytime soon. It would take a major overhaul of the party’s guiding principles and for the time being, there are few people of influence within the Republican party who fully appreciate how disconnected the GOP has become from reality.
The ever-widening divide between an evolving nation of people and ideas, and the antiquated tenets of conservatism which no longer find favor in modern America, might be unbridgeable.
John’s thoughts follow…
I guess my first question . . . to myself . . . would be “Should it be fixed?” I sometimes think the whole thing has outlived it’s usefulness. Of course I am a Democrat!
Some who call themselves “conservatives” and who dwell a long way over on the farthest reaches of what I like to think of as radical right-ism seem to me to think – for whatever the reason – that they are some kind of front-line troops in some kind of ongoing “fight” for Freedom in The United States.
To hear some of them talk, you might think the American Revolution – with all the Red Coats and Minutemen – was still in full operation.
I get the impression sometime that some of them don’t realize they are living in the freest nation on the face of the earth and that they have been living like that for quite some time now. There is no need for another “Revolution” or another “Civil War” regardless of the rhetoric coming from some in the gun crowd or from the tea-mucking realm of rightist imagineering. What is needed, in my opinion, is simply a willingness on everybody’s part to let everybody live out their lives in that old pursuit of happiness that the Constitution talks about and for folks to stop trying to infringe each other’s God-Given rights to live as they please as long as they don’t hurt anybody else. That’s what I think is needed to fix whatever the mess is that people think we have gotten ourselves into as a country.
You know what I mean – let the gay people get married if they want to and let the gun nuts alone with their personal arsenals . . . quit trying to disenfranchise voters with gerrymander – there is a whole laundry list of things that could be done if people would only do them.
But there are a lot of good, decent, ordinary average everyday folks who, for whatever the reason, I think have taken too many “paranoid pills” and are suffering some kind of delusions about imagined threats that exist only in their fertile and over-active imaginations. The idea that the government is planning to mount a massive attack to collect individually owned firearms is one such fallacy that really needs to be put to rest before some real damage is done to our democratic republic by what I can only describe as a horde of crackpot paranoids. (My opinion.)
The notion that our president is not “one of us” but is some kind of “outsider” and is some kind of villainous character with a terribly negative vision for America’s future is another one of these far radical right wing nightmares being perpetrated from the far right radicalism and they go to the extremes of making wild claims about the president, the administration and “Liberals” being “frauds” or “criminals” or “Inepts” and all kinds of gross and nasty accusatory things they can dream up from their slop buckets of intellectual insufficiency – – – and is it any reason that “Real” America has stopped listening to them – – or listens to them with a finger in one ear? Do they really have anything to complain about having brought their problems ( whatever those problems may be) onto themselves by their own childish, immature or juvenile ways?
The way some of them talk sounds to me like they would rather be out back with their little toy guns playing war games or something than actually doing the “grown-up” job of governing a nation from Washington. And then there are the nut cases I often refer to as the ” obsessive conspiracy reporters.” These are a kind of rightie that isn’t apparently happy unless they are running off at the mouth about all kinds of dreadful tyrannical things they have suspicions ( usually unfounded) that their government is planning and which, in the estimation of a lot of them, will happen “almost anytime now and without warning, so be prepared! Get that house and that garage and that pit beneath the swimming pool filled up with thousands of rounds of armor-piercing ammo and a few hundred assault weapons and – be ready for that Gubmint invasion that everyone knows is coming to take your Free-dumbs away.”
Some of the wild and what I see as mindless ravings of some “true believers” on the extreme right about imagined potential threats from their government are both challenges to the art of common Reasoning or are gastrointestinal nightmares depending on what time of day it is or what mood someone happens to be in at the time of encounter. That is not a statement of irrefutable fact, but is my opinion of some of the mind-numbing madness I have been listening to lately from people who are supposed to be grown up and who should know better. I am sure there are plenty of other people out there with a different slant on things.
A lot of the nimrods on the radical right seem to me to talk a lot about how the “Mainstream” media misses the point and either mis-reports, fails to report or under-reports essential facts needed for the population to get on with their daily lives.
What some of the righties who complain about the inefficiencies of the “Mainstream” does not understand is that the “entity” they describe as “Mainstream” is really the place where most of America dwells every day of their lives. The farthest-to-the-right have allowed themselves to be dumbed down through more than 40 years of propaganda from an alternate media and I think they are totally unaware of how out of touch with reality they have become.
Some of the brightest stars in the rather dim firmament of the far radical right political world complain sometimes that the “Mainstream” harbors more or less a constant prejudice against their ideology and their outlook and opinions on things that matter to the rest of the world.
I think the point they miss when they complain like this is that the reason they perceive some kind of bias being directed at their ideological machinations is because no one buys their crap. This can be demonstrated by observing who wins elections. If what they had to offer was all that damned valuable, original, creative and forward-looking, perhaps someone else besides their own ilk would be willing to get on board their train. But they offer nothing except the same old failed policies, often dressed up in new packaging – and no one outside their own well- protected and private little self-constructed fantasy world is buying it and they are complaining that their ideas are being made the object of “mainstream” bias and prejudice.
And for that group of far-to-the-righties who seem to think that no one takes what they have to say seriously, let me suggest that if they ever said anything seriously sensible or even the least bit useful or workable . . . or credible . . . it might be a whole different story.
But right now I do not think the problem with the right wing conservative agenda has anything at all to do with an idea as simple as mere rejection by the “Mainstream” because of some kind of imagined “bias.”
The problem with the current Rightie agenda as I see it is that (1) Most of what is presented has been tried before and has failed, (2) Much of what is being presented is being presented because of some kind of un-reasoned, un-reasonable and perhaps even un-hinged hatred of a president, an administration and Liberals, Progressives and Democrats – and the American People have sensed the tone and temper of these rages and reject them out of hand.
That’s where I think the real problem lies with acceptance or rejection of the ideological right wing agenda in America today and until and unless some of them wake up and address the real issues that seem to be hindering them, they will be stuck in the same old quagmire they have been in for at least the past 8 years . . . a situation that I do not personally see as all that bad really because I am an incorrigible Liberal Democrat and whatever political damage they can do to themselves is fine with me.
I guess I will always think that way until some of them show me they are willing to stop their obstructionist intransigence and play nice for a change.
John Liming publishes the American Liberal Times.