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GOP Elites Choose to Deny 21st Century Reality…At Their Risk!

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GOP elites at Republican National Committee meeting

Politico reported on the Republican National Committee members meeting this week. The apparent consensus of opinion among the Republican party elite is that the their policies are absolutely correct for a rapidly changing 21st Century and all they need to do is update their IT and change how they communicate (i.e., don’t talk about rape).

Those party elites, I fear, fail to understand that the world has changed over the last 30 years, as has the U.S. economy.

As many in the so-called “liberal media” have said, the GOP needs its own version of the Democratic Leadership Committee. For nearly 20 years Democrats wandered in the electoral wilderness because of bad policies which the public didn’t buy into. Now, the GOP’s policies have become so stale and old that the public at large no longer buys into them. The world has changed – economic globalization, rise of minority populations, well educated women in the workforce, the decline of middle income groups and growing poverty among formerly middle income groups, income inequality, and a growing central belief that a small plutocracy owns legislators and legislation to the detriment of everyone else – yet, those running the GOP hierarchy refuse to see these problems and challenges that everyone beyond the beltway and well outside of the boardrooms do see.

That’s why when I see article like this one, it’s very difficult for me to read the entire piece. I want the GOP to survive, if for no other reason that it restrains the worst simplistic idealism of the Dems and keeps them grounded in reality. However, the GOP appears to be doing the very best to make themselves philosophically obsolete. Sure, they can play numbers games to gerrymander districts in their favor…and that will work for a decade or two just as it did for Dems in the ’60s and ’70s, but eventually people change parties as they did with Reagan (e.g. the Reagan Democrats). They can even attempt to the manipulate the EV process, but that might backfire on them at worst as even rural people come decide its cheating, and at best won’t stop the movement away from unpopular GOP policies as the conservative old guard dies off to be replaced by more educated, socially liberal rural voters. These days even up and coming rural farmers are college educated and are far more socially liberal than their parents, as UC Davis (a premier ag school) proved two years ago.

Finally, the turn towards Any Rand libertarianism within the GOP is a momentary event as it fails to serve changing needs and requirements dictated by the 21st Century. At the end of 19th Century, a similar policy dichotomy existed worldwide. In the US, average people rose up and demanded new economic and social policies. Even though the so-called Robber Baron’s spent millions (these days it would be billions) to elect McKinley again, they were already losing the battle to progressive Republican economists and politicians like TR who had the foresight to understand that if the party’s policies and attitudes did not change to meet the changing economic and employment circumstances, not only would capitalism be endangered but the very existence of the Republican party would be as well.

And those are the reasons, in my opinion, why the modern conservative movement is failing. Essentially, the GOP has tightly latched on policies that no longer fit or meet the changing dynamics of the 21st Century. The world, added by rapidly changing technology, being turned upside down. 20th Century ideas, even those from 10 to 20 years ago, no longer work as a result of technological advances and the changing economic landscape those changes have wrought. But rather than accept those changes the GOP has chosen to remain either static or to move back in time to McKinley era politics and policies. That static or backwards movement does not bode well for the GOP in coming decades…unless they create their own version of the DLC or suddenly have a TR like figure rise to the top.

Written by Valerie Curl

January 28, 2013 at 9:45 AM

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