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ETpro's avatar

What will it take for the Republican Party to reconstitute itself as a viable opposition to Democrats through the 21st century?

Asked by ETpro (34208 points ) January 31st, 2013

This article covers just some of the problems facing the GOP now that they attempted to ride the Tea Party tiger and ended up inside the beast’s belly. Can they do what it will take to remain a viable political party given the changing demographics of America? What is it they need to do? If they can’t reform themselves or tame the tiger, will they split into what remains of the moderate, pro-business Republicans and a Tea Party inspired far-right, libertarian party that’s totally anti government? How could they survive such a split when registered Democrats already substantially outnumber registered Republicans?

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24 Answers

KNOWITALL's avatar

As the article states, there are a few areas that a LOT of Republicans don’t agree with, as I’ve tried to make clear with my posts.

It makes the Democratic platforms seem very civilized in comparison especially on social matters, even if the answers don’t always make sense financially at times, the intent is more palatable.

jerv's avatar

They really can’t, at least not in the short term. Fanatics cannot be reformed, so either they stay and lose viability, or they split and lose strength that will take a few years to recover from.

However, there are enough rational Conservatives that they could probably bounce back from a split within a decade. How many of them registered as Democrats simply because current Democrats more closely adhere to the Republican ideals of 50 years ago than the current GOP does ?

Rarebear's avatar

Download and read David Frum’s “Why Romney Lost”. It has a very clear outline of what they need to do. If all Republicans were like Frum, I’d be a Republican.

phaedryx's avatar

I take “the republicans party isn’t viable” claims with a grain of salt. They still got 47% of the popular vote against an incumbent president (51%).

As for “registered Democrats already substantially outnumber registered Republicans” I couldn’t find any data. I did find things like this which suggests otherwise.

I’m in the approximately ⅓ of the voters who aren’t affiliated with either party.

Pachy's avatar

Sequestration if it happens, and it’s looking increasingly likely that it will, is going to hurt them badly.

josie's avatar

I have not been around for all that many elections, but is seems like everytime one of the parties gets beat, the opposition starts furiously lecturing and debating how they must change or die. And elections go on and on with the same two major parties struggling with close margins in both chambers of the legislatures.
I have not been of voting age in a true landslide presidential victory. I guess Reagan/Mondale was a blow out, but I don’t remember much about it.
The point is, how is this any different?
In every recent American election, there is the Party of Evil, and the Party of Stupid. The label simply switches depending on the times.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@josie Truer words were never spoken. :)

jerv's avatar

@josie Thing is, usually the parties are a bit more cohesive. Right now, the differences between the two wings of the Republican party are actually bigger than those between Moderate Republicans and Democrats. That’s the difference here.

cookieman's avatar

< I’m with Evil

I’m with Stupid >

ragingloli's avatar

They do not need to. Just like the NSDAP, they are doing fine with their right wing extremism.

burntbonez's avatar

A few million dollars and a little bit of common sense.

ETpro's avatar

@KNOWITALL True, but not a formula for solving their current problems.

@jerv I’d like to think so. If we were talking Eisenhower Republicans, I’d be one. I left the party after seeing what a disaster they had elected in Nixon. And Reagan was the final nail in the coffin of my interest in the changing GOP. But so many of the reasonable Republicans have been purged from the party now that they are outnumbered. And they have set up a primary process that, thanks to closed primaries and outrageous gerrymandering, means that any Republican who opposes the rabid right wing of the party now faces the certainty of a primary challenge from the right, a challenge s/he will loose.

Alaska’s Senator Lisa Murkowski is a perfect example. She lost a primary challenge to a right wing-nut, but clearly that wasn’t the will of the majority of Alaskans, because she won the seat as a write in candidate, even with a name that hard to spell. The system has been rigged by the far right to let them hold sway their numbers don’t justify.

@Rarebear I’ll be sure to grab a copy.

@phaedryx Rasmussen Polls are notoriously false, showing large Republican majorities that appear to be nothing more than a propaganda effort. Here’s a view from the PEW Research center. They have a record of actually reporting whats out there instead of skewing results for partisan gain.

@Pachyderm_In_The_Room I’m afraid you are right about sequestration. And if it does happen, it will debunk one of the biggest of the GOP Big Lie political talking points, that if we could just stop nearly all government spending the economy would take off like a skyrocket. The economy will crash.

@josie I’ve been around considerably longer. What’s going on mow is new to American politics. @jerv is exactly right about why.

@ragingloli Well, to the credit of the German people, Hitler never got elected. He used his brownshirt thugs and intimidation to just grab power. The NSDAP was a far-right movement and the current US far right shares a disturbing number of beliefs with them.

@burntbonez The GOP spent something around $3.5 billion on the 2012 election including the SuperPACs. People with no common sense aren’t often able to get their hands on that sort of money. It’s what they are applying their intelligence to achieving that is costing them.

mattbrowne's avatar

Recognize that diversity on all levels is both a reality and an opportunity.

Jaxk's avatar

I’m not sure I see the problem. Obama won reelection by less than he did in his first election. In other words, he lost ground. From an historical point of view this election was razor thin. Let’s not forget, he was the incumbent and that carries a significant advantage. Does the GOP need to refine thier message, of course. Nothing abnormal or abstract about that. We have a declining GDP and rising unemployment. Not exactly the sign of a successful presidency. You may be calling the demise of the GOP a little early.

ETpro's avatar

@Jaxk Let’s also not forget that only FDR has ever won reelection in such a bad economy. And I wouldn’t call this election razor thin. Bush v. Gore was razor thin. Obama won 61,173,739 or 50.5% of the popular vote to 58,167,260 or 48.0% for Romney. This in an election that, due to the economy, should have been a cakewalk for the GOP. But carry on. I’m 100% supportive of you staying th present course.

jerv's avatar

@Jaxk I forgot; the ONLY sign of a healthy economy is GDP. Forget tax rates, forget corporate profits, ignore teh cause of the unemployment….

About the only chance the GOP has is to continue gutting education. As it stands, they do best in areas with the worst education…

Paradox25's avatar

I think the OP is being a bit too optimistic. America is still right of center, and like Jaxk has said, the last few elections have been very close. I know that Republicanism is still rampant in many rural areas like mine yet, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

I still think that the Republican Party is in trouble though, but we won’t be seeing this directly for another few decades yet, however almost definitely by the end of this century we will. The reasons being are that the demographics of America are changing and let’s face it, each new generation is becoming more liberal than the previous.

ETpro's avatar

@Paradox25 I think the right wing is far more disciplined and accustomed to developing talking points aimed at convincing America of all the things it takes to keep the right in power. Talking points experts like Frank Luntz develop wording that works at an emotion level, and the marching orders on how to talk get distributed to all Republicans, who fall in line. Don’t say “Democratic Party”, say “Democrat [sic] Party” because it sounds like rat. Whenever talking about any policy Republicans want to push, say “America’s a center right country.”

You could never get Democrats to act in such a disciplined way. Put out talking points for them, and they’ll just set to arguing about the script, not using it. But that fact does not render the right wing’s “center right” propaganda true. Take a look at this question and the facts it links to. It certainly seems to me the US is centrist to center left, but the right is just very vocal.

And regarding each generation becoming more liberal, perhaps. But the greatest generation not only helped win WWII, they brought us the WPA, the Marshal Plan, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, the Welfare System, and the Interstate Highway System. Seems like they had a fair amount of confidence in government being able to solve big problems. They didn’t have much sympathy for Reagan’s philosophy that “Government isn’t the solution to the problem, government is the problem.”

jerv's avatar

@ETpro Compared to most of the industrialized world, we actually are a bit to the right. We are a bit conservative in our politics, our religion, and many other things when viewed in relative terms.

ETpro's avatar

@jerv That’s certainly true. But when most Americans hear “The USA is a center right country” they aren’t comparing it to other developed nations around the world, they think it means that way more Americans agree with the Republican right than the Democratic progressive/left.

jerv's avatar

@ETpro I wonder how much of that is merely because the Democrats tend to have the same ideas as Europe and many Americans care less about what works and more about being different from everybody else. In other word,the drive for uniqueness is strong enough that many are willing to cut off their nose to spite their face.

ETpro's avatar

@jerv I think there’s a disturbing amount of truth to that.

Jaxk's avatar

I just want to be different, like everybody else.

ETpro's avatar

@Jaxk Ha. Irony you’ve got down cold. That’s different enough.

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