Monday, August 15, 2016

Republican Rebirth: Is It That Simple?

Jon Gabriel is the guy with the evergreen tweet: "My favorite part about the Obama era is all the racial healing." He's head of Ricochet.

Now he has written that the Republican base has burned the party down and given it to a guy that isn't a conservative, let alone a Republican.

OK, pal, but what do you propose?
It will take an army of forward-thinking leaders to build a party that welcomes conservatives — an army motivated by clear ideas and concrete action. Unlike the recommendations of the 2012 autopsy, what’s needed is not a Beltway-centric push for round 932 of comprehensive immigration reform, but a full-spectrum return to the small-R republican ideals this nation was founded upon.
Now, I would say that the problem Republicans and conservatives have faced over the 25 years since the end of Reagan is that there just aren't enough people in America that believe in the small-R republican ideals this country was founded upon.

I'd say that the Republican debacle occurred because party leaders understood that small-government politics only gets you so far. Until you start talking about reforming Social Security around people that have been paying payroll taxes for the past 30 years. Until you start talking to sixtyish women with end-of-life mothers. Until you start talking to parents getting "free" education for their children. Then you are out to lunch because people are not ready to give up on Social Security, Medicare, and government education.

People will not give up on their Precious. Not yet.

On the other hand far too many people think about politics as a rational discussion of the issues. It is not. Modern politics is about the anger of the dispossessed against the power of the ruling class.

When the dispossessed get angry about the injustice they experience (real or imagined, it doesn't matter) they act on their anger. So the white working class is burning down the Republican Party. Just as Black Lives Matter is burning down the cities. Both groups are mad as hell and they are not going to take it any more.

Now you can say to the white working class: Sorry chum, but the good old days of good jobs at good wages are over. Today you have to hustle for a buck. It's a global world and you have to figure out how to thrive in it. On. Your. Own. Your problem ain't gonna be solved by some chap promising to bring jobs to you, or to punish the Chinese or evil corporations outsourcing. But a politician cannot get votes by telling people the facts of life. He gets votes by telling people what they want to hear.

Now you can say to African Americans: sorry homeys, but the First Black President ain't gonna solve your problems. In fact all the civil rights and diversity in the world is not going to do it for you, not after the blatant Jim Crow laws have been washed away. It's a cold hard whiteboy world out there, whether the white boys are actual white racist cops killing homeboys or South Asians pouring into Amazon or East Asians taking all the places at Caltech. But a politician cannot get votes by telling people the facts of life. He gets votes by telling people what they want to know.

And so on.

That is why the world doesn't go from sensible reform to sensible reform, but lurches instead from revolution to conquest to disaster. People get angry and decide to burn the place down rather than compose their differences.

But usually burning the place down doesn't help, except by hastening the end. So the Ghost Shirt movement in the western plains didn't save the Plains Indians. So the Boxers didn't save China from the western imperialists. So the Bolsheviks didn't make a better Russia.

The Maoists burned down China, just to make it fair. But now China is exploding with economic growth, now that the Commies are permitting consensual capitalist acts between adults. Hmm, what a concept.

I don't like this. I don't think it ought to be that the way to solve the problems of a nation is to burn the old ways to the ground and then start to build, and finally succeed after a couple of failed tries.

Nobody wants to hear that, least of all voters at election time.

So, assuming that Donald Trump goes down to defeat, as "everyone" expects, we won't rebuild the party with a bunch of "forward-looking thinkers." It ain't gonna be that easy.

Before a new party can be built on the ruins of the old many conceits and hopes will have to be ground into dust. Only when people give up keeping their Precious will we be ready for a rebirth of freedom.

And frankly I don't have a clue what the new Republican Party will look like.

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