The Republican Endgame: An America Where Big Ideas Are Dead

Republicans have become the party of “No we can’t” and Democrats have become the party of “Yes we can, but…”. Gone are the days of big ideas and big plans for the future. We no longer live in a country that is capable of shooting for the stars and solving big problems. Instead we are in a race to the bottom that has coincided with a political shift to the right that caters to rich and powerful interests.

The modern Democratic Party lacks the courage to stand up for what is right as it once did in the past. Bill Maher put it bluntly when he said, “We have a center-right party, and a crazy party. Democrats have moved to the right, and the right has moved into a mental hospital.”

There are no liberal Republicans in elected office, at least not at the federal level. That is big change from even 25 years ago when Reagan was president. The viewpoints that pass as Republican mainstream in 2012 do not reflect conservatism but instead more closely resemble radical right-wing ideology. It’s almost a cult. Just look at the “pledge” that nearly every Republican has signed saying they will never raise taxes. It is irresponsible for someone elected to represent the people to sign such a pledge. Why do moderate Republicans put up with this? Why do they still embrace the Republican party? If they truly are moderates or conservatives why can’t they stand up for what they believe and take back the Republican Party? They can’t possibly listen to the increasingly extreme right-wing rhetoric and believe nothing has changed, can they?

As for the Democratic Party, it needs to grow a spine. Yes, there are hints of courage, but far too often the Democratic Party backs down to the increasingly hostile right-wing radicals, otherwise known as Republicans. Democrats need to take a stand, even if it is at great political cost in the present. The long-term prospects for this country are much more important than short-term political gain. Left-leaning politicians need to be willing to sacrifice their temp jobs to stand for what is right on any number of issues like health care, women’s rights, the environment and gun control.

It would seem Republicans and “conservatives” are now in near unanimous agreement that the federal government is evil and that it can never be the solution to any of the problems we face as a nation. So what is the Republican endgame? What is the conservative vision for America? Where do we go from here when government is incapable of solving problems? What is the motivation of a conservative who votes for a politician for federal office if they believe the federal “government is the problem?”

Republicans have a neat little feedback loop built into their extreme right-wing ideology. They proclaim government is the problem and then they get elected to office and begin to tear government apart piece by piece so that it is indeed incapable of solving problems. Republicans are a cancer rotting away government to the core, and when they are through what will be left? If the American people choose Mitt Romney as the next president, what will be his prescription for America’s future? Tax cuts to the already wealthy and powerful while continuing to dismantle a government that once gave voice to the powerless?

Is this the America you want to live in?


photo by Steve Rhodes


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