Thursday, November 08, 2012

An Open Letter to the GOP

As much as I'd like to put the miserable memories of the 2012 presidential campaign behind me, I have to take one more swing at that still-twitching, almost-dead horse* ...

Now that Governor Romney and the GOP have lost the election, the finger-pointing has begun as Republicans look for a reason why they have lost the White House for a second straight time. There are plenty of post-mortem analyses out there (check here, here, and here, for example), but I have my own thoughts on why the Republican Party is its own worst enemy. Here is my open letter to the GOP ...

Dear Republican Party,

My name is Bilbo, and I was once a staunch Republican. My first vote in a presidential campaign was cast for Richard Nixon in 1972, and I voted straight Republican until you drove me away.

I hope you heard that ... I was a Republican for more than 30 years, but today's GOP of wingnuts and extreme policies drove me away. You can win me back, but it won't be easy. Here are a few things for you to think about as you lick your electoral wounds and think about ways to get back into power:

- America is changing. It's less conservative and less ... well ... white than you think. Evolve with it. Understand that you have a very different electorate to which you must appeal. You can appeal to it, but not if you keep up the asinine antics of the last few years. I'm opposed to illegal immigration, too ... but demonizing immigrants in general is not a way to endear yourself to a rapidly changing electorate. I've actually produced a workable plan to address the problem ... why can't you?

- Note that I used the term evolve in the previous section. If you continue to pander to ludicrous extremists who deny accepted science in favor of religious dogma, you will continue to march resolutely into the 18th century. When a Republican member of Congress - who sits on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology (!) - calls the theory of evolution "lies from the pit of hell," you are not poising America for future leadership in science and technology ... you're setting us up to compete with scientific powerhouses like Burkina Faso.

- The basic conservative values of fiscal responsibility, sound family values, and good citizenship have never lost their appeal ... but you do a terrible job of selling them. Xenophobia, religious intolerance, and extreme right-wing vitriol do not convince people that your ideas have merit. 

- Have a real, believable story to tell, and be ready to defend it with solid facts rather than smoke and mirrors. The lady who came to my door the night before the election and tried to convince me to vote for Governor Romney didn't score any points by all but calling me stupid when I pressed for details of how he planned to fulfill his promises, and she couldn't provide them.

- Just because someone doesn't toe your line doesn't mean he hates America. Democrats don't hate America. They love it every bit as much as you do ... they just have a different vision. Demonizing your opposition is no way to get them to agree with you.

- Stop letting ignorant ass clowns like Grover Norquist lead you around by the nose. Nobody likes to pay taxes, but governments can't function without revenue, and a coherent tax policy that raises the necessary revenue is a requirement of good government. You can't solve the current fiscal crisis simply by slashing spending ruthlessly, just as you can't solve it by jacking up taxes and increasing spending. Sound fiscal policy requires a rational balancing of income (taxes) and control of  spending. Tell Mr Norquist to go to hell and start acting like serious financial managers.

- Yes, "job creators" are important. So are workers. If you don't take care of the working/middle class, businesses won't have anyone to manufacture for or sell to, and they'll go out of business ... which won't create many jobs and will keep making you look like clueless twits. You need to learn to care for both management and labor. 

- People don't expect free health care ... they expect health care that is available and affordable. The businesses you care so much about won't operate well if their workers are not healthy, and people who have to spend all their money on health care won't be contributing much to the rest of the economy. Don't like the Affordable Care Act? Then get off your noisy, bitching asses and offer a better plan**.

- Not all regulation is evil and job-killingTM. Much of it is needed to enforce standards of workplace safety, protect the rights of workers***, and protect the environment (you do like air that's breathable and water that's drinkable, don't you?). Yes, some regulations are dumb and need to be jettisoned, but don't be stupid and throw out the baby with the regulatory bathwater.

- You believe in God. Good for you. Feel free to go to church and worship as you want, but quit trying to force your beliefs down my throat. The Constitution provides for freedom of worship (check out the First Amendment) ... which does not mean that you can impose your system of belief on everyone else. Want to live in a theocracy? See how well it works in garden spots like Saudi Arabia and Iran.

I could go on, but you get the idea. You, GOP, have driven me away with your all-or-nothing, xenophobic, intemperate attitudes and your apparent belief that I am too stupid to realize that your emperor has no economic policy clothes. Quit the my-way-or-the-highway approach to governance, work with the Democrats, and start acting like the party to which I was once proud to belong.



Tomorrow, in the interest of fairness, we'll look at my open letter to the Democrats.

Have a good day. More thoughts then.


* Sorry, Fiona.

** And your plan had better not include "tax credits," because the nation needs that tax revenue to pay for other things.

*** They do have some, after all.


eViL pOp TaRt said...

Those are definitely good ideas that the Republican Party would be well-advised to follow, especially the theoracy one.

And I'll add one: Play nice in your primaries.

The Mistress of the Dark said...

Might also add, don't refuse to work with the other party just because you want them to fail. That is super childish. I used to vote across party lines, but I won't until I see changes, and I actually feel bad because there are one or 2 good republicans in PA.

Actually until those bigoted hate filled tea parties go away I will never vote for a republican

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

Bill these are very good.
I heard a commentator say it in tv terms....The republicans are a Mad Men Family running in a Modern Family World. I thought that analogy was spot on.

the rep. party appears to be just fat old cranky white men. (okay and 1 orange one with trump)

It also drives me mad that when Gov Christie praises Obama for his help he was "beaten" by his party. The people of NJ loved the bipartisanship (sp?) Would that have happened under another president before this crazy blue/red era? The big pizza man who hugged Obama was a republican who was thrilled to meet the President and he was given grief as well. It shouldn't be like that. Why can't they get along? Why must they act like spoiled reality show housewives? It's so petty, childish and honestly if my child ever behaved that way they would have more than a time out!! If you want me to go back to that party stop blocking everything the President does for your agenda even when you orginally wanted said agenda. Show me you are willing to actually WORK TOGETHER. Then I will consider going back. They care about their party but not the people. It shows and we showed them we see it.
Besides I'm female and I read. Why would I ever go back? They think we are 2nd class citizens who should be a stepford wife. Get out of my personal life, leave religion out of government and treat all people the same regardless of color, sex, religion etc. Gee isn't that written somewhere? (wink wink)

Both sides are ass clowns Bill as you say but this independent gal is leaning now to the left and has become blue. I have voted on both sides of the aisle but not anymore. They have angered me and sent me away. They don't support me, they don't care about me, they only want to control me to live in their world.

Now if we could just get a relative from New Jersey to take care of trump....maybe swimming with the fishes.

Bob said...

All fair points, Bill. In the interest of fairness, I'd like to see your open letter to the DNC, as well.

There will be one of those, won't there?

Bilbo said...

Angelique - "play nice in the primaries" should apply to both parties, across the board.

Andrea - it's tough to advertise oneself as bipartisan and willing to work across the aisle when you're on record as saying your #1 priority is to make the incumbent a one-term president.

Peg - can I push your buttons or what?

Bob - the letter to the Democrats will be in tomorrow's post ... it's already 75% written. I gather from the tone of your comment that you don't think I'd take the left to task the way I did the right. Well, you're wrong. And if it seems as if I'm harder on the GOP, it's because they've let me down so badly.

Mike said...

Like you and Peggy I consider myself a middle of the roader that wouldn't vote Republican any more even if they tried to pay me to do it.

chrissy said...

Wait, you're not a republican? I really thought you were for sure a republican. I can see all of your points though. All great points. I would add a few of course....but I am WAY liberal....and should probably tone some of mine down :)

Kristen Lavransdrittsekkdatter said...

The GOP is a dying swan now; they might do one or two more Presidential elections as alternatives to the Democrats, but I see the U.S. as being a one-party nation by 2024. They won;t be missed.

Bilbo said...

Mike - I don't think the Super PACs would want to pay you for your vote. Sorry.

Chrissy - I describe myself as fiscally conservative and socially liberal ... once Republican, but now resolutely Independent. A plague on both their houses, dontcha know.

Kristin - I disagree. There will always be a place for a principled conservative party in this country. It just won't be what we recognize as today's Republicans.

KathyA said...

Yes, theocracy did not work so well in this country, either. Does Salem, Mass. ring a noose?

I,too,was a Republican years ago. Being conservative is one thing; being intolerant is another. Seems they've amalgamated the two.