Building A Bigger Tent
Post election I’ve heard a lot of talk from political pundits and writers. But two refrains seem to be repeated endlessly and by an assortment of people – from the Right to the Left. This isn’t the first time these topics have been analyzed and grumbled over – I remember well when the Republicans lost big in the 2006 midterms, as well as the 2008 all-around election and the drums were being continuously beat on these issues as well. Then, as now, neither topic made even a whisper of sense to me.
The first big piece of conventional wisdom – is that the Republicans need to “widen their tent.” Everyone says this. I – Mean – Everyone – Says – This. Widen – broaden – more inclusive tent. It’s always a tent of some kind. Anyhow…nearly all “serious” thinkers agree that this is imperative – Republicans, Democrats, independents, progressives – they finally agree on something. This tent must now “reach out” and include more of a diverse base. You know, Latinos, blacks, other minorities, young people etc. Hey, maybe even gays! After all, there are only so many white, middle-aged men to go around and vote for them.
So, yeah, everyone who isn’t completely irrational in the Republican Party thinks it’s vital to appeal to a wider variety of people. But the part that flummoxes me every time they trot out this particular bit of dogma is – how the hell are they going to do that?
If all they want to do is give the illusion of being inclusive without any substance, in order to seem desirable to the broader electorate – well – Mitt already tried that, didn’t he – at least in the last few weeks of his campaign? All of a sudden he loved the Latinos, and wanted them to have a path toward citizenship. He cared about 100% of the people and wasn’t anti-choice, not really. He also turned suddenly into the “peace guy” and the “woman guy.” And none of it seemed to make a difference. Maybe because he didn’t really mean it – he was just saying it to be liked.
And at the Republican convention, didn’t they trot out every single woman and person of color that they could find? Of course, they were all on the stage and not in the audience – but at least they existed – and they seemed to be in the tent.
I don’t know…it doesn’t make any sense to me. How do they appeal to minority and women and gay voters, when they really don’t like them? They don’t have any policies or worldview that would be supportive of them, or that they might be in agreement with. So, why do they keep talking about expanding that stupid tent? They don’t like blacks, or Latinos or gays. They might like women a little bit – but it’s in a psychologically damaged way. And every time they try to fake it and pretend – well, it’s just offensive and embarrassing and no one buys it – because it is indeed, fake.
The second thing I’ve been hearing a lot – from both sides – and I hear this every time the GOP gets whupped in an election – is that it’s so – so – so important for us to have this two-party system of different ideas. I heard Rachel Maddow wax passionate on this last night – but she’s not the only one, by far.
Even given the narrow two-party “choice” we’re given every election, why does anyone think we need Republicans anymore? Their ideas and intentions are stale and discredited – as has been made increasingly clear over the past thirty years or more. Personally, I wish with all my heart that the Democratic Party had taken the House and Senate in a cataclysmic landslide. Then something might get done around there. The Republicans are only a colossal impediment to progress – not an asset.
They have no ideas to offer – they have nothing to bring to the table – nothing. I wish the media and assorted politicians would let this old fantasy go already. No one needs them. Not the country, not the Constitution, not their constituents. It’s over, Johnny.
Oh, some might say – “No! No! We can’t have one Party just running amok – with no counterweight.” But, the good news is, we don’t…because the Democratic Party is already full to exploding with every conceivable point of view. You’ve got your moderate Democrats, who are really the Republicans of old – and then you’ve got your more progressive or liberal wing….the whole governing package is there – no one needs the Republicans to muddy up the waters. I wish people would stop trying to revive these fossilized relics of the past every time they’ve swallowed too much water and are about to drown. The entire world would be so much better off if we just said goodbye, and let them go.