Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Where do we go from here, a beginning

Fred Thompson would make a great GOP chair, and would ensure that Sarah Palin remains free for other little tasks. Thompson is an amazing speaker, an experienced politico, and might just be able to administer the assorted crotch-kickings necessary to keep the GOP from melting down or spinning off into centrifugally driven high velocity fragments - with either option guaranteeing a second four years to Obama.

The GOP has three major problems (aside from George Bush) that alienate critical voter demographics.

The Theocratic Right scares the bejabbers out of the average voter, and with their social-interventionist want list (Anti-abortion, Anti-gay, maximized suffering, and Christian Nationalism) will continue to scare the bejabbers out of that average moderate or libertarian voter that, while increasingly common, simply wants to be let alone to seek perdition in his or her own way with a minimum of taxes. The GOP needs those voters to survive as a viable party.

Simply coming off as an especially scary "because God(dess) told me so" variant on control freak isn't exactly going to win friends and deliver votes amongst the crowd the GOP has lost.

Demonizing and baiting the gay community must end, as it serves only as red meat to the Theocratic right while alienating younger and more centrist voters in spades.

Abortion, as a matter of law, is similarly a long lost battle (if ever it was worth winning) - like many other issues, abortion seems to be a morally challenging decision best decided between the patient, their medical advisor, and such divine influence as they acknowledge and accept for themselves - and, with a few small exceptions, all parties are ill-served by all but the most minimal government intervention in the operation and maintenance of individuals own bodies.

Modern medicine offers many miracles, not least among them amazingly improved survival rates from once-dire situations. However, the greatest fear of many is to be rescued from one medical adventure or another to live a long, miserable, pain-filled, semi-vegetative existence wired to so much life support gear that death's precious escape is denied well beyond the time when it is but a simple mercy.

The blind opposition of the Theocratic Right to DNR orders, let alone Death with Dignity options for the terminally ill, not surprisingly is less than enchanting to anyone who has ever accompanied a loved one on that long miserable medically-lengthened journey towards that final goal, and terrifying to those old or infirm enough to have realized they are not immortal or immune from mishap.

Finally, the United States is not and was never intended to be a "Christian Nation" - rather, we are and have (more or less reluctantly) been a refuge and champion of freedom of faith, with neither malice nor favor towards any faith our goal. Advocating to the contrary alienates those of non-mainstream faiths, and further, to the extent church and government intertwine, they are both diminished - a rare instance of the sum being substantially less than the parts.

With their current dogma, the Theocratic Right is largely an occasionally politically useful dead stinking pelican hanging about the neck of the GOP - driving off potential allies with its' stench and inspiring ridicule in the populace.

Someone once said that those who must declare their faith in the market place are inherently unfaithful - that the truly faithful are content to lead by example. Perhaps a hint was being given.

Immigration is fundamentally fouled up. Yet, the GOP (barring this issue) is fundamentally the favored party of immigrants, as the vast majority are fleeing flawed and failed nations. More than a few are fleeing tyrannies, socialist and otherwise, petty and grand mal, murderous and benevolent - but consistently fled from for the hope that is the United States, wanting absolutely no part of bringing the old nightmares of the homeland to fruition in their new homes.

We do not have secure borders, and it will be vastly expensive to achieve them - but worthwhile, as no other actual reform can take place without having a fairly good hold on who is entering and exiting the nation. Without secure borders, throwing some out of the country isn't terribly much more than an exercise in political drama if wandering back in is relatively easy.

Our system of immigration law is fundamentally dysfunctional, layered with surprising little high-stakes pitfalls for the immigrant seeking to be law-abiding and those lawful residents seeking to pursue citizenship. The GOP has an opportunity to dredge out this legalistic swamp in favor of something that is actually on speaking terms with logic, rather than a system based on the legislated bigotries du jour accumulated in one muck-filled bucket after another over a century or more - and score major points with the immigrant demographic in the process.

As part of a process of immigration reform that hopes to succeed, some form of filter must be put in place to separate the proverbial sheep from the goats, followed by exporting the goats to their native lands (or at least anyplace but here). There are vast numbers of immigrants whose presence enriches our communities, foster innovation in business, support our industry, and in general are a clear benefit to the nation.

There are other, less charming, immigrants who regardless of their legal status are swindlers, cheats, smugglers, thieves and generally net losses to whatever society is cursed with their presence (we have a sufficiency of homegrown ones of this sort, after all). A great expulsion of these excessively naughty folks must then take place - best defined as participants in violent crime, not economic rule-breaking.

The great Neo-Con disconnect, i.e., liberalism lite, is simply a soup con of domestic and foreign interventionalism with a slightly different philosophical tinge. Big government from the right, rather than from the left, and damn the torpedoes. After brief popularity, it failed in the popular imagination because of its' own lack of imagination - after all, just as a bad burrito twice-chewed hurled up and refried (even served as a delicacy) is still just a bad by prior treatment, no matter how you dress it up. Again, we observe a dead stinking albatross hanging about the neck of the GOP, driving off the libertarian and centrist voters by the mere stench of the thing.

Some suggest that letting the GOP implode into a thousand fractious factions to coalesce again, rising as a phoenix from the ashes, a cleaner and purer bird is the best solution - claiming that the conflagration would take out the DNC as well, from a sheer lack of countervailing pressure to keep the equally mutually hateful and conflicted cliques of the DNC from spontaneous and massive fratricide.

It may be that is the eventual path our nation must take, and perhaps it might even bless us with a true multi-party system rather than the practical duopoly we currently endure.

However, it's also a high-risk path to blow up the opposition in the face of a messianic rhetorician of uncommon skill - for who will counterbalance the Obamessiah's claptrap in the event of GOP fragmentation?

No comments: