Decades ago, you might have heard Republicans say, “Vote for us because we will improve your lives.” They never delivered—unless you were already rich, of course. Otherwise, they didn’t even try to make life better for the middle or working class.
So the GOP eventually changed its appeal to the watered-down “Vote for us because we will get rid of all the stuff you hate.” This time, they really did try to fulfill their promises. But on just about every conservative issue—abortion, gay marriage, Obamacare—the Republican Party failed, mostly because the GOP’s ideas are idiotic, reckless, and unpopular. Conservatives couldn’t get rid of food stamps, establish English as our official language, prohibit “anchor babies,” or really achieve any of their main goals, except tax cuts for the rich—they are extraordinarily good at accomplishing that.
So Republicans have been reduced to their latest sales pitch, which is, “Vote for us because we hate the same stuff you hate.”
That’s basically it.
There is no grand plan or ambitious goal, unless delusional idolization of the 1950s somehow counts as a vision for the future. There is no promise to fix our problems or improve America or lay a strong foundation for the younger generation.
No, there is only rage, fear, ignorance, hatred, and an insatiable desire to make all the bastards suffer.
Their plan is to “lean into the culture war,” and forget about the economy, infrastructure, foreign policy, or any of that old boring government stuff.
The GOP certainly does not want to talk about all the horrific shit that happened under Trump, to the point that “the American people are in the position of watching as a political party, lined up behind a man now in legal jeopardy, who might be involved in an attack on our government, tries to cement its hold on power.” We could point out that Republicans “have fought so hard against an investigation of the January 6 insurrection [for fear that] we might well learn things that reflect poorly on certain lawmakers.”
In any case, there will be no apology, nor even an acknowledgement, of the devastation that the GOP inflicted on the country because of its shoe-licking obedience to an unhinged lunatic and its fear of a changing American populace. There will be only jeremiads against critical race theory and trans rights, just as there were shrieking campaigns against Sharia law, the 9/11 mosque, death panels, Benghazi, the immigrant caravan, kneeling NFL players, and dozens of other supposed threats to the nation that never materialized and that even Fox News anchors don’t remember anymore.
Now, you certainly can’t blame Republicans for going back to the fear-mongering. After all, if you had control of the government for four years, and you spectacularly failed to make the country great again (ahem!), it’s wise to ignore your disastrous mistakes, skip offering solutions that your base doesn’t care about anyway, and focus on the self-righteous anger, which always resonates.
But there’s a problem with this approach. For starters, the GOP’s insistence on “owning the libs” now has the unfortunate side effect of killing its own voters. You see, it’s not progressives who are mocking the delta variant, refusing to get vaccinated, and then feeling just a bit regretful before dying of COVID-19. No, that’s a conservative thing.
There is also the statistic that “the only solidly Republican age demographic last year was 75 and over, meaning that every time the sun comes up, the GOP’s struggle to win a majority of American voters gets harder.”
The GOP’s voters are dying off, and younger voters think Republicans are “the party of stupid.” As many have pointed out, this combo puts conservatives on the path to oblivion. There is no way to reverse this trend, unless Republicans reform their party and drop the seething attacks on anyone who is not a White Christian.
It will take some time, but eventually, the party of no ideas will have no future.
Featured image: “Marco Rubio, Rand Paul & Ted Cruz in the Republican Clown Car” by DonkeyHotey is licensed under CC BY 2.0