General Question

Strauss's avatar

What does the future hold for the Republican Party?

Asked by Strauss (20291points) November 8th, 2012

After an extremely well-funded, vigorously fought campaign, the Republican Party, and their candidate, Mitt Romney, lost the Presidential election, as well as many other “down-ticket” offices in many states. Is the Republican Party out of touch with the mainstream of the US? Have they been co-opted by the Tea Party, or ultra-right extremists? Or has the leadership of the party, the Old White Guys, just failed to notice that they no longer look like the general demograph of the US? Or maybe a combination? Or am I totally of-base with this?

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36 Answers

Linda_Owl's avatar

Maybe they will take the time to re-think their approach to the American population. If they don’t try to be more ‘inclusive’ instead of being ‘exclusive’, then I think their party may be doomed.

ETpro's avatar

That depends on whether the party decides to face real world facts, or sticks to its alternate-universe version of reality.

@Linda_Owl Inclusive will have to reach beyond staged photo-ops and actually include modifying policy initiates that offend the demographics they lost in this cycle.

FutureMemory's avatar

They’re not relevant anymore.

In order for them to make any sort of comeback, they need to clean house of the extremists.

Fred931's avatar

If the demographic for the extremist-Republican party (Not all Republicans or conservatives) truly is as I understand it is (Grumpy, old, white men), then hopefully another decade or two can literally kill all the hate and craziness within the party.

Unfortunately, that seems long enough for them to really mess something up in government. It’s too early to tell, really, whether or not those affiliated with the party have learned the lesson from this election.

Right now, I’m just glad that they failed to see victory after so much spending of money and spewing of hatred and lies. Whether or not that result will persist, and whether or not the Republicans properly recover from the ashes of the passing of this last generation… Time will have to tell.

Mariah's avatar

I hope it Will be a wake-up call that the extremism of the tea party is not going to get them places.

digitalimpression's avatar

The future holds (unfortunately) what the past holds. Two parties will continue attempting to make the other look like poopy in an underhanded fashion whilst smiling and shaking hands on television.

The republican party isn’t crippled by this election any more than the dems were when Bush was elected.

Phrases like “the Republican party is out of touch with society” might rock some jollies on a heavily liberal website .. but luckily things sort of even out when the rest of the general public is involved.

LostInParadise's avatar

The House is still firmly in Republican control. Freshman Tea Party candidates got re-elected and added a few new members. It looks like more of the same.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

For those of you who are sitting at the edge of your seats waiting for those “Grumpy old white men” to die off, I’ve got news for you. There’s more where that came from. My generation (the baby boomers) had to be the most radical leftwing group America had ever seen. We were the Viet Nam War generation. The Anti War, Women’s Lib, Civil Rights, Gay Rights, Freedom of Speech generation. We shut down every major campus in the US in an effort to stop an unjust, badly managed war against people who had done nothing to offend America. We shut down the Democratic National Convention in the summer of ‘68. We organized a vast underground which fed, housed, and transported draft resistors to Canada right under the FBI’s nose. Trust me, there weren’t a lot of Young Republicans around in those days.

But the war ended, and most importantly, the draft ended. We finished school, got careers, had kids, and became increasingly more conservative. And then we became the grumpy old white men of today. I can’t believe it happened like this, but it did. And if it could happen to that generation, it certainly can happen to the ones that follow.

gorillapaws's avatar

I would love to see a fact-based Republican party emerge that abandons the disproven and discredited trickle-down economic theory, and instead explored ways to reduce the debt (by generating a surplus) via spending cuts that are poor returns on investment, and closing tax loopholes, corporate giveaways, and increasing taxes where it makes sense.

As an example, if there is an after-school program that costs $1000/child/year, and that prevents 10% of the participants from ending up in jail at a projected $50,000/person/year to keep them incarcerated then you’ve got a very solid investment. Not only should you calculate those direct costs, but the total costs as well, such as those 10% of kids that will not go to jail will now produce tax revenue at some estimated amount, and you’ve prevented several victims of crimes which would have significant costs as well (let’s say one of them would have killed a convenience-store owner, who paid taxes, and employed several people, that will still continue to exist as an indirect consequence of the program). Total it up and you’ll have a cost/benefit for that program. Do this exercise for all programs and begin cutting things that likely won’t lead to long-term prosperity or growth (ignoring the short-term). This is a fact-based, no-nonsense approach to closing the deficit that I would fully support.

Furthermore, they have to abandon the anti-science crap and deal with new realities such as global climate change. We are going to keep having more and more Sandy-like natural disasters and they are devastating to the economy. There is a very tangible and real cost to burning fossil fuels, and by continuing to allow companies to externalize that cost onto everyone, the debt will continue to grow. Carbon taxes make sense, and will make cleaner technologies much more competitive, and better reflect their true costs.

If we tackle our expenses using facts and data and not political spin, fantasy and denial you would see a Republican party that would be much more competitive in elections.

bolwerk's avatar

If the Republikan Party becomes irrelevant, it’ll take more than this to show it. It’s probable that the present structure of the party will be shed and they’ll become something else. Don’t forget they were the original (and probably last) American liberal party. That liberalism (unregulated capitalism) tended to attach itself to virulent jingoism rather early on.

I can read the election results in two ways, and they aren’t mutually exclusive: (1) the country is really split, but trending toward Obama’s more inclusive center-right ideology, or (2) the country is really peeved, this was not an incumbent’s year, and the only reason the Republikans didn’t sweep was that is an alternative that just looked so bad next to the status quo that the status quo survived.

Both are likely; the GOP should have picked up Senate seats in Indiana and Missouri, but for those choice comments about rape. Romney really hadn’t the foggiest notion about what problems anyone working or middle class faced. And the upper middle class, which has remained economically comfortable through all this, isn’t exactly turned on by so-called “social conservatism” (look at how Obama won 8 out of 10 of the highest income counties in the country).

@digitalimpression: it’s rather comically out of touch with reality and most people’s needs and wants. It obviously taps into some deep-seated desires for a sizable minority of the country. And some people obviously voted Romney as a protest against Obama. No surprise there.

@Espiritus_Corvus: many boomers are simply narcissistic grifters. It’s the generation that borrowed heavily for lower taxes and now the loans are coming due, so its demanding to cut services. It’s the generation that voted drinking ages down for itself, and then up for its children. It was against the draft, but had no trouble seeing registration reinstated later on. It got cheap tuition and a head start without lots of student loan debt, but those who came after don’t. It got cheap suburban tract housing, and zoned away the ability to build up for the next generations, leaving us to compete for space in central cities or distant exurbs. It even has a hand in cutting public transportation, that it’s now going to need as it ages, to pay for roads.

ragingloli's avatar

My guess is further right wing radicalisation.

JLeslie's avatar

I have thought about this a lot over the last year, gone back and forth in my mind about where I think the party would go if Romney loses, I even wrote a Q a couple months ago asking our collective. For now my conclusion is the Republican party will stay the same as it is today. The popular vote was not that far apart. I have people all over facebook talking about how God is their President and more important than being an American is being a citizen of Heaven. To add to the mess, yesterday I was listening to a conservative leaning talk show on the radio and a black guy (yes I can tell from his voice he is most likely black) called in and started ranting at the DJ how Obama is President and there isn’t anything you (the DJ) can do about it. Obama can give food stamps to everyone and you can’t stop him. As long as all that balled into one is going on in the former confederate states, I don’t see much changing. The party “base” is probably getting to be a larger percentage over time as more moderate Republicans move away from the party.

Although, what might help the Republicans is states on their own are voting for things like gay marriage more and more, so eventually that might be taken off the table on the national scene. Conservative minded gay men could eventually be wooed back to the Republican party over time.

If more northerners move south for the warmth, which is happening more and more, and if southern cities become more international, which they are, it will break apart the electoral college stronghold in the south to go red. It is not so much the deomgraphics of the country changing, but aso specifically the demographics in states that previously were not very diverse. Afterall, each state is an island basically when it comes to the electoral college. If Texas became blue, or even more of a swing state that would be huge. The potential is there with such a large Hispanic population. Previously Republican governors in Texas have been empathetic to immigration, even Bush was, I am not sure about the situation there now among the politicians. But, religion still has a hold with Hispanics to some extent, which can keep some of them with the Republicans.

tom_g's avatar

Let’s see…
Their economic policies are destructive to most of the country, and their authoritarian, anti-liberty views on “social” issues seem to be too radical for most people in this country. So where do they turn? My guess is the same place they always turn – reframe issues and flood the population with scary misinformation. Why would this be any different? Does anyone thing they are sitting around now trying to figure out how they can break their ties with the Christian right? How about corporate Libertarians? I don’t see it happening. Hell, after the plate of diarrhea we were handed by two Bush presidencies, Republicans had the balls to try the same shit as though our short-term memories were that short. In 4 years, we’ll have a whole new story. The “issues” in 2016 will be framed (and framed well) by Republicans, with Democrats defensively trying to seem not too “Democratic”.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus No kidding! Whatever happened to peace, love and LSD? What happened to make love, not war, and kids in John Lennon glasses and army jackets that staged sit-ins for the rights of minorities. Why is pot still illegal? Heck, nowadays you can’t even smoke a cigarette in peace. And the government is mandating how much sugar is in our soft drinks. These straight-laced, stick-up-the-ass conservatives (from BOTH parties) are the hippies of the 60’s. What happened to them????

Qingu's avatar

The problem is that a fact-based Republican party would be nothing like the Republican party.

Here are the pillars of the GOP.
• Religious fundamentalism (“evolution is a lie! life starts at conception!”)
• Supply-side faith in the marketplace (“tax cuts for rich people are revenue-neutral!”)
• Neocon foreign policy (“the Iraqis will greet us as liberators!”)
• Resistance to environmentalism and climate change (“global warming is a myth!”)

None of these things are based on facts. You only believe this stuff if you view facts antagonistically.

So I honestly don’t see how they can thread that needle. My guess is that they’ll double down on the delusional stuff and place their hopes entirely on Rubio to get the Latino vote that supposedly won Obama re-election. But who knows. In any case, it will be interesting to watch the fireworks.

ucme's avatar

A dark desolate landscape, dominated by a gaping chasm filled with dread.
Sarah Palin naked, in other words.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

@bolwerk That is quite an indictment, and I agree for the most part.

@Skaggfacemutt I don’t know what happened. All I know is that I left a country under the newly elected President Reagan in 1982 thinking that he would only serve one term, and I returned in 1992 to a totally different country under his successor. People like Rush Limbaugh were all over the media 24/7. People seemed angry. I was quite shocked. Radicals I had known 30 years before had morphed into garden-variety liberals, or had given up and become apathetic, but more than a few had become Republicans and right-wing Libertarians. And two or three had gone off the deep edge as wild conspiracy theorists. One very intelligent old friend, the former SDS president of an east coast university campus, believes he was abducted by aliens on a mountaintop in Pennsylvania in the late ‘70s. He was given an implant and then given the task of spreading the word that these same aliens are here to save us from ourselves. He is obsessive, he chases down UFO sightings from all over the country, believes he can communicate with them and writes about them. He believes they are everywhere. Check that. He knows they are everywhere.

I don’t know what happened. Was it the media? Does having kids make you more conservative and push some over the edge? Is it hormones? Are some of these old fucks reliving their youth through radical activism redux with the Tea Party? Or like @bulwerk stated above, maybe we’re just a bunch of grifters, a bad generation that never had an unselfish thought. I have no idea. But I find it all very depressing when I dwell on it.

SpatzieLover's avatar

The last election caused them to become more radical, so I’m with @ragingloli on this one.

If the party was listening, and was receptive to the message, they already would’ve altered the party towards gaining votes. They spent about 75% more than Dems did, yet they lost the election and lost Senate seats they thought were shoe ins.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Even George W Bush voted for Obama. Now when former republican presidents are voting democrat you know things are bad!

I know he did it by mistake

rojo's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus @Skaggfacemutt I think part of it is that it takes a certain personality type to go into politics and it is this type from each generation who are the ones who have a prediliction for it.

Even thinking back as far as high school (and I use this because that was the only time I actually knew the people being elected) and student council you knew who would be running for the offices, they were the “popular” kids, and it was very rare that a free spirited or bookish type personality would attempt it, even rarer that they would actually win. Usually it took a highly unusual or charged situation to prompt them to get involved and then those who would have voted for them were not the type who voted and had to be cajoled into it. If they did somehow win, they did not have the personality type to put up with the bullshit that is received and has to be dished out to stay in politics.

It could be argued that you can be born into it. We seem to see a lot of that but that is going to be a combination of both nature and nurture. A genetic predisposition combined with an opportunity to grow accustomed to the political lifestyle. Not to mention that Daddy or Mommy would have excellent contacts to help you get on.

I believe this is true in most political arenas.

Roby's avatar

The Republican party will soon die along with any others except the Democrats and Liberals. They own America now.They will never be another Republican president.We will have an endless stream of black Democrats waiting in line for their tenure as president. America has bit the dust. We are now a Fascist socialistic government. God how I wished Herman Cain could of run for president.

ragingloli's avatar

That…was a delicious stream of delusion.

Lightlyseared's avatar

@ragingloli I kinda figured if I linked to the Daily Currant it would give that away too quickly to be funny…

Brian1946's avatar

I tend to agree with the Aggressive Progressive, Ckank Ogre ;-p. If Obama proceeds with his Grand Bargain and continues to preside from that position, then the best chance the GOP might have is to move to the left of the currently centrist Donkeycrats.

I’m sure they’re not going to do that, but it might be the only chance they have.

Judi's avatar

If the republican party can divorce itself from evangelicals and really be a party of individual freedom and fiscal conservatism, I think they would be a force to be reckoned with. Personally, I hope they continue to flounder for a few more election cycles.

Linda_Owl's avatar

I think that the Republican Party has made falling below the Poverty Line to be a ‘disgrace’ to the American Dream. They have Demonized the poor & Congress is working diligently to keep any of the poor from being able to get any assistance – it does not seem to matter to the Republican Party that a great many Senior Citizens fall below the poverty line & large numbers of children also fall below the poverty line. Congress is doing its best to cut the funding for Food Stamps & other social services programs (like Medicaid & Medicare & Social Security) – but Congress is still giving tax incentives to businesses that build factories in other countries instead of giving tax incentives to businesses that build factories in the United States. I really do not understand how we have reached this point, but I hear it all of the time “that people on welfare are taking advantage of the ‘system’”, “that people on Food Stamps refuse to work”. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Most of the people on Welfare are there because they have jobs that do not bring in enough money for them to live on & it is the same thing with Food Stamps. We need to increase the minimum wage & give people a chance to do better. If the minimum wage is increased, then more people will have a little extra money to spend & they will spend it on things that they need… and spending the money is what drives businesses to be able to expand & create more jobs.

FutureMemory's avatar

@Roby They will never be another Republican president.We will have an endless stream of black Democrats waiting in line for their tenure as president. America has bit the dust.

I wonder how many other people see having a black president as fundamentally wrong.

tom_g's avatar

@Roby – Pickles keyboard lamp pizza paper trumpet.

JLeslie's avatar

So, I have been pondering this more. The Republicans in the bible belt, the more right wing side of the Republican party, the base, are the most important ones for the Presidential election. The more moderate Repiblicans tend to live in states that often go blue. Why focus on those republicans when the electoral college means their vote does not count.

Strauss's avatar

@Roby We are now a Fascist socialistic government. I think that statement is an oxymormon~!

I think some of it comes from the fact that over the last few decades the so-called “Me Generation” has come of age and come to power. Up until the 1980’s there was at least some regulation concerning the way advertising was used for children. During the Reagan administration, the Federal Trade Commission relaxed its enforcement of these regulations, resulting in 30 years of indoctrination, direct as well as subliminal, of the fact that “You! YOU! YOU!” are the most important person in the world. “You need this!” “You gotta get that!”. What this did, for many individuals, was inflate the ego and suppress any growth of compassion.

bolwerk's avatar

The “Me generation” concept is one more way boomer narcissists parade their disdain for their victims. The boomers voted to cut taxes and borrow for the boomer generation, while cutting spending on the next generation and leaving it the bill – which, in turn, means higher taxes down the line for the next generation. After raising their children on TV in prison-esuqe suburbs, sticking them in prison-like public schools, and treating them like children until they’re 21, boomers are surprised that some of their offspring didn’t socialize well.

The Xers, Yers, Millennials, or whatever you want to call them, are getting reemed with the results of the boomers’ selfish policies. Boomers do not get to call the next generation the “Me generation.”

GracieT's avatar

@Linda_Owl, can I only GA you once for that answer?

ETpro's avatar

@GracieT Done for you. :D

GracieT's avatar

@ETpro, thanks for the GA! :0)

Paradox25's avatar

I don’t see the Republican Party surviving to the end of this century. It’ll likely make way for a stronger Libertarian Party in the future, and other more conservative ideologies to represent themselves independently of a mainstream Republican Party.

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