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Jim Worth Headshot

A Party Without a Soul

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The party of family values searches for a new life force.

The Republican Party is fractured and dying and they don't seem to know why, or how to correct it.

At their annual meeting they tried to pull together the party's dysfunctional factions, an attempt to renew the party after their stunning failures in the recent election. Demographics have changed but the Republican Party hasn't.

Is there something they're missing?

It's not just something, but something big at the heart of what's wrong with the Republican brand.

Trying to renew their tired and insipid ideas, hoping that somehow they'll become more palatable if repackaged and restated, is not the answer. Vacuous ideologies lack the substance needed to become a party that can be embraced by more than the old white people that currently make up the party's base.

The Republican Party lacks a soul.

Instead of rewording their hollow and tunnel-visioned platform, they need to search for a healthy pneuma.

They've spent years and billions of dollars trying to buy elections, trying to suppress the vote, and trying to redistrict, ignoring the most important element in politics -- the human element. Their years of alienation and exclusion have now left them weak and vulnerable to the forces of democracy -- the forces of demography.

Money won't buy what right-wing politicians, media, strategists, think tanks, and the base are missing. Vacant principles and colorless ideals cannot be corrected with dollars.

A clearer picture of what's wrong with the Republican brand can be seen by merely looking to the two conventions in 2012. The differences were stark. The Republican National Convention not only lacked energy and feeling, but lacked the hues that diversity brings to a viable national party.

Republicans' defy the morality their religious bent would imply. They continually batter those they claim to support -- the poor, our children, the elderly, veterans, the homeless, and the down-trodden.

People do not adjust well to being beaten down. That's what Republicans' do. They chip away at minorities, at their human spirit and self-esteem, gradually destroying any hope those less fortunate than them might have. They demoralize them and reduce their opportunities to the point of desperation.

The results? Their political tent continues to shrink with every heartless attack.

Unfortunately, the rise and inclusion of the Tea Party has further eroded their party and exposed their general lack of humanity and distaste of diversity.

Though, at one point, the Tea Party seemed to be a breath of fresh air; a much needed stimulus for a declining party after losses in two successive elections, it has proven to be short-lived and corrosive. In its short existence the Tea Party brought us the crazy: Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, the demented: Jim DeMint, the delusional: Louie Gohmert and Allen West, the ridiculous: Joe Walsh and Christine O'Donnell, and the ignorant: Todd Akin and Richard Riordan.

The party's existence is now based on a narrow interpretation of a false nobility; a nobility that only a very few in the party still possess. Most of them are abandoning ship.

Current Republican principles are contrary to the spirit of democracy: 'of the people,' 'by the people,' and 'for the people.'

A soulless Republican Party is more intent on becoming a regime; more inclined to ruling rather than serving. They are more interested in being in power as a dictatorship rather than participating in a democracy.

But their power is waning and with it their chance of ruling the country, try as they might to change the rules in their favor to prevent the inevitable.

Changing the rules -- gerrymandering in Republican controlled battleground states -- allowed them to retain the majority in the House of Representatives. Without this political maneuver they would have surely lost the House, relinquishing power to the Democrats.

Despite the attempt by Bobby Jindal to point out their deficiencies and National Committee Chairman, Reince Priebus's effort to redefine the same offensive platform with the word renew, nothing actually changes.

We have made tremendous progress in the last 200 plus years building on the foundation our forefather's created for us; a foundation that insures freedom for all Americans -- black or white, atheist or jew, all genders, ethnicities, and religions -- the credo of a healthy democracy, of a healthy country.

The Republican Party has forgotten all that and chooses to move backward, though it is in our nature to constantly move forward.

Unless, and until they find a soul the Republican Party is destined, as Speaker Boehner so clearly stated, to slide into the dust bin of history.