The last thing we need is one-party dominance, which is where we’re headed for if the Grand Old Puddinheads proceed much further down the road to irrelevance.
Like many pundits are doing these days, Farmer provides some advice:
The betting here is that Republicans will, despite themselves, figure a way to offer modern and moderate answers to the challenges of a society whose swift change they have failed to grasp.
There’s a rhythm to these things; neither party is on top for too long in modern American politics. Odds are the GOP will get it right in due time.
But first it must deal with four basic problems: the role of the South and the tea party; its need for new leaders; its understanding of the role of the federal government; and, basic to everything else, its image of itself.
The "role of the South" refers to the Republicans' so-called "southern strategy," an electoral strategy initiated by Richard Nixon, which consists of building a conservative agenda that can lock up the electoral votes of what amounts to the former confederacy. This strategy has--with some justification, in my view--been called racist: Farmer mentions the south's tie to slavery--and in that vein it's interesting that he mentions the Tea Party in the same breath, a back-door smear that provides a clue to his political leanings, and perhaps to his fear of it's potential power.
But, it's certainly true that the GOP needs new leaders, an understanding of the role of the federal government (or any government), and a clear image of itself (what it stands for, philosophically). This last is, certainly, "basic to everything else."
Farmer is a mixed economy, big government "liberal." His understanding of the role of government is, well, what we have now. So, his conception of what a reformed GOP should look like came as no surprise to me. The Republican Party's problem, he says, is that it was pushed "to the extreme right" by the south "with its hefty contingent of tea party loyalists " (there's that equivocation again), rather than focus on "modern and moderate answers to the challenges of a society"--in particular, he mentions immigration, global warming, and gun control.
I left these Comments:
The last thing America needs is a me-too Republican Party that meekly offers "modern and moderate answers to the challenges of a society whose swift change" has been defined and driven by Democrat socialist-collectivist premises. The last thing we need is one-ideology dominance.
Fortunately, there are better Republicans who have the right recipe for the coming GOP makeover. Margaret Hoover foresaw the Republican electoral debacle and its slide into irrelevance with her 2011 book "American Individualism." She also pointed the GOP toward the road to resurgence: to reject both the Democrats' economic authoritarianism and the GOP's social authoritarianism, and adopt a consistent platform of based on individual liberty.
Though the Democrats get some things right, like a woman's right to choose, more open immigration, and marriage equality, their fundamental statist agenda has gone mostly unchallenged for nearly a century. That needs to change. The GOP must reject the childish "extremist" smears and offer a real ideological choice. Though I don't fully agree with Hoover in every aspect, she points the GOP in the right direction. Individual rights and limited rights-protecting government needs a political voice at least as strong as the Democrats' collectivist state-supremacism.
The Virtue of Extremism
Review of American Individualism--How a New Generation of Conservatives can Save the Republican Party, by Margaret Hoover
My Challenge to the GOP: A Philosophical Contract With America