OK, I was right, sad to say.
Some thoughts on the Republican Party.
My thoughts are based on the need for a libertarian future, much as was envisioned by Jefferson, Madison and their followers. Today these Founders would be considered to be libertarians (Classical Liberals). They would not recognize the current Republican Party as representing anything akin to their foundational philosphy of limited government, individual liberty, property rights, and free enterprise. They would see the Democrats as the feared masses who would usurp the rights originally granted under the Constitution. They would see the Republicans as being not much different than the Democrats, really a matter of degree.
The Founders would see our presidency as being more akin to the thing they feared: the concentration of power into a single person. We really have an “imperial” presidency. The President can declare war, secretly violate our civil rights, grant patronage, direct the largesse of a powerful central government to his supporters, and he controls a large and powerful bureaucracy to his benefit.
How do we turn this thing around?—
The Republicans have sacrificed principle for the expediency of power. Like Mitt Romney, they will say almost anything to be elected. This didn’t happen overnight, nor am I naive enough to believe that Republican politicians were pure of heart in the good old days. They say they believe in free markets and limited government, but like Romney, that’s not what they do when they are in power.
The Republicans buried the remnants of their Old Right soul with Carl Rove and George Bush’s southern strategy. Like good politicians they realized they could win by harnessing the electoral power of the South’s social conservatives. It worked pretty well because W. Bush managed to stay in power for two disastrous terms. While the Religious Right talk about free markets and the Constitution, they really don’t have a firm grasp on the ideas, and subordinate them to whatever they think the Bible directs them to do.
Poll after poll have told Republicans that such ideas aren’t at all in the mainstream, but they ignored that. Poll after poll, even during this election, say that most Americans believe in individualism and free markets, at least they believe in the words. They believe that government needs to shrink and spend less. They also agree that the government needs to help them retire and pay for their medical care. The point being here that most Americans aren’t putting their trust in the Bible as a treatise on economics or government.
Until the Republicans can find common ground on our founding principles of freedom and free markets, and ditch the crazy talk of the social conservatives, they will continue to lose. Mourdoch and Akin proved that point tonight.
The Republicans had terrible candidates for this presidential election. There are good reasons why the cream doesn’t rise to the top in politics and Romney is an exemplar of that concept. He looked presidential but who knows what he really thought or what his core philosophy was. If the Republicans couldn’t beat a weak sister like Obama during a bad economy, they need only look at themselves. (I am a big Ron Paul fan, but frankly he comes off as a crank.)
There will be a fight for the soul of the Republican Party after this loss. Will libertarians dominate the discussion? We should fight hard and be heard. If we do not turn this country away from welfare/warfare-statism, then we will lose our American Exceptionalism and fit in with the rest of the world as a sluggish, dying, welfare state.