Why are so many people trying to "save the Republican Party" from its apparently suicidal slide into irrelevance? Most of the pundits, and those posing as such on TV and in the mainstream press, show little if any affinity for Republican policies or support for Republican candidates. So, why then are they so concerned with all the mistakes and errors the Republicans are making and why do they offer so many suggestions for fixing and correcting what's wrong with the Republican Party?
The Republicans themselves began as a response to the irrelevance of an earlier political party, the Whigs. When an effort was made to extend slavery into the western territories the first organized meeting of Republicans was held in Ripon, Wisconsin in March 1854. Organizing efforts spread rapidly and the new Republican Party held its first national convention in 1856. They nominated a famous and popular former General, John C. Fremont, for President. The new Republican Party soundly defeated the Whigs, who nominated the former 13th president, Millard Fillmore, but the Democrats, led by James Buchanan easily won the election. Nevertheless, the Whigs were dead and four years later Abraham Lincoln became the first Republican president of the United States.
Today, 159 years later, the current iteration of the Republican Party appears headed for the same historical dustbin that still holds the scattered remains of the Whigs. For all those progressives, liberals and just plain Democrats, citizens who do not support Republican Party principles or policies, why offer the wounded GOP helpful hints for survival? Let them, in the words of a true Republican Party hero, Gen. George MacArthur, "fade away." Old soldiers and old political parties deserve the same fate.
The time has come for the adults, the grown-ups among and within the conservative thinking American citizenry to find their own Ripon, Wisconsin and discover their version of John C. Fremont. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with conservative thinking on domestic policy, on fiscal matters, on spending and the national debt, and on international affairs. But, when mixed with the "crazy" that accompanies anti-gay, anti-women, anti-abortion, anti-health care, anti-immigration and yes -- let's face it -- outright anti-government sentiment, whatever there was of solid conservative thought can no longer be found. The haze of madness obscures it.
The Republican loons, the likes of Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Rand Paul, Donald Trump, the pizza guy -- plus all the Alan Wests, Jan Brewers, Todd Akins and the slew of Republican office holders more concerned with WWJD than the constitution they're sworn to uphold -- have rendered the official Republican Party incapable of ever governing again. Republicans simply cannot gain control of Congress in both houses and its likely we will never see another Republican President since no sane Republican -- anyone who might actually defeat a Democrat -- can win that party's nomination. An ideological disease, perhaps derived from or exacerbated by tea, has infected the Republican Party. The prognosis is dire.
So, let it die. Step back and allow the Republican Party to shrivel into nothingness of its own accord. Stop telling them to change their approach to voters of color, fellow Americans who are African-Americans, Latinos, Asians. No more suggestions to the GOP about a rational, sensible immigration policy for North America. Quit talking to Republicans about a more enlightened policy toward gays and lesbians, same sex marriage and the rights of human beings to love whomever they want. Stop telling all these men of the Republican Party that they ought to wake up and smell the twenty-first century, a time and place where men and women are equals in all things including health care and sovereignty over their own bodies. Stop telling Republicans they should take a second look at allowing industry free reign in all things and poor people next to nothing at all. And mostly, progressives, liberals and Democrats need to stop telling the Republican Party that our constitution specifically prohibits any religious test for public office. Let them stew in the juice of their own medieval religiosity. For as long as the Republicans maintain their solid white-male-Christian identity they are doomed to lose every national election.
It is highly doubtful, if not inconceivable, that the current Republican Party will come to its senses. They will not change to become a real American political party, one that looks and acts like the people of the country they believe they are destined to rule. Despite the paranoid fears of some on the left we still have free and fair elections in this country -- for the most part. Republicans can only be successful in gerrymandered districts custom designed to produce their victory. But, if the Republican Party wishes to govern again, without drastic changes in their policy positions it won't happen.
So, stop trying to save them. Let them slip silently into hospice care. Americans who believe in real, traditional conservative principles -- minus the hocus-pocus of social/religious nonsense -- should set about now to establish an adult conservative party in this nation. The Republicans did it in 1854, without cable television, without the Internet, with no cellphones, without any modern technology. Only six years later they elected a president. That history should encourage many who seem afraid to speak up against GOP insanity today. That history should also to teach those in the progressive/liberal/Democratic community to keep their "save the Republican Party" ideas to themselves.
Sometimes, it seems, liberals would rather reach out with a helping hand than accept the self-destruction of the opposition and the victory that is sure to come with it. Finally, it's time to let them die -- stop trying to save the Republican Party.