THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE PLATFORM IGNORES THE AMERICAN PUBLIC; VEERS HARD RIGHT INSTEAD
IT DOES, HOWEVER, SUPPORT THE IDEA THAT THE PARTY HAS SIMPLY PLUNGED EVEN FURTHER INTO MORAL BANKRUPTCY
If you recall the aftermath of Mitt Romney’s loss to Barack Obama in 2012, there were two explanations for this rather resounding trumping of the Republican candidate. (An apoplectic Karl Rove could not believe it.) The Party establishment reasons went to what they saw as the loss of popularity among minority groups, particularly among America’s Latino community, who not so long ago were reliable Republican supporters and a general critique that their “message” had gotten muddled. The other explanation, proffered by the Tea Party and hardline ideological Republican conservatives, was that Mitt Romney simply wasn’t conservative enough. They blamed the party establishment – RHINO’s (Republican In Name Only) – for pushing a candidate who did not represent their views. And this year, Republicans got Donald Trump who eschews Republican orthodoxy over abortion, gay rights, and other ideological mainstays that have undergirded the Republican Party’s program to say nothing of the Tea Party’s strident ideology since its founding back in 2008. Quite a mess, right?
The post-mortem following Romney’s thumping, revealed that hardline conservative orthodoxy had basically turned off voters who were pissed off at a dysfunctional Congress, a rigged system that worked against ordinary Americans, anger at the Party’s elitism, and the feeling that “they” (Whites) were being left behind if not smothered by the multi-cultural, pluralism of America’s emerging society. (The post-mortem did not address the foaming at the mouth hatred for Obama that the Tea Party, the Freedom Caucus and most Republicans display daily, but then Republicans never do pay attention to anything that includes the term “race.”)
Well, against the unorthodox Trump campaign with his less than “by-the-book” conservative orthodoxy of, say, Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, here comes the Republican Party Platform Committee to the rescue. Just days before the opening of their Convention in Cleveland, the platform restates the antipathy of the Party towards gays, towards transgender folks, towards gay couples who want to adopt, calls for building Trump’s border wall, endorses special “monitoring” of Muslims, bans women from combat, tags coal as a “clean energy,” demands that legislators use God as a guiding principle, calls pornography a public menace, and encourages teaching the Bible in public schools. An earlier draft of the Party Platform did not list so far to the right as what emerged from this past week’s platform “tune up.” But there you go. Strange times we live in.
How did a more benign conservative text become so much more radical in the space of a week? Well, your ever dependable Tea Party style ideologues held sway and were able to force the document much further to the right much to the dismay of the Log Cabin Republicans on the Committee. Why any member of the LGBT community is a member of the Republican Party is waaaay beyond me. Self-Hatred, maybe?
But have we seen and heard this before? Yes, we have. It’s the same call to arms that radical Republicans hurled at the Party’s RHINO’s for not selecting a “conservative enough” Presidential Candidate. Either unwilling or unable to recognize just how far from the “will of the people” the party has drifted – “people” being defined as us “normal” folks who are not Tea Party and Freedom Caucus adherents - these radicalists insist upon the same old strategy, pushing the same failed policies, insisting on the same solutions when even their own Party recognizes how destructive they have been to the Party itself. Yet they continue to hold the entire Republican structure hostage to their strict ideology. In other fields, this would be called “insanity.”
But it’s looking more and more that without a severe, unmistakable drubbing at the polls they are not going to stop. This too has become characteristic. A Supreme Court ruling that doesn’t comport with their view of society? Ignore it. In fact, pass more state laws to “override” the decisions of the Court. Whether we are speaking of voting rights – following the Supreme Court’s striking down section’s of the 1968 Voting Rights Act, there was a rush in Red States to pass Voter ID Laws or abortion rights where the response of Red States is to “regulate abortion clinics out of existence – there seems to be no end to the extreme tactics Republicans will go to enact their ideology. This kind of response is deeply troubling. In our system of government, based on the Constitution of the United States, the Supreme Court is the court of last resort. There is no other, higher level of governance in our system to which a decision can be appealed and potentially overturned.
Unless, of course, like Iran and Saudi Arabia, we are not a representative democracy by a religious republic.
Have A Good Day!