Thursday, March 14, 2013

What America Does Not Need: A Me-Too GOP

There is no question that the Republican Party should have trounced Obama and the Democrats in the 2012 election. Instead, they were, if not crushed, soundly defeated. Now, as John Farmer notes in Recipe for a GOP Makeover, "The Republican Party, its heralds say, is hell-bent for reform." "We should all wish them well," he say, because...

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.

Related Reading:

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


Mike Kevitt said...

Actually, we DO need a one-ideology dominance throughout the culture. It just has to be the right ideology: egoism, indiv. rights, law & gvt. vice altruism, 'statism'(crime), criminal regime & criminal plans. We can have different political parties pushing their own ways of applying the ideology of egoism, indiv. rights, law & gvt.

We can also have parties pushing altruism, crime, etc., but appropriate physical action from such ideologies must be barred at the outer gate, by law which must be enforced.

Mike LaFerrara said...

Ideally. Right now, I'll take one party with the right ideology.

Mike Kevitt said...

Yes! I'm with you on that. That's the starting point (if we can just get THERE) on a peaceful route to what I'm talking about. After just getting THERE, to one party with the right ideology, we must render altruism & all parties pushing it irrelevant, waiting forever at the outer gate, barred from taking the physical action they'd take, but always respected in their right as per the 1st. Amend. to flap their jaws. But, as such, those parties will exist & function within indiv. rights.

Meanwhile, other parties will spring up to challenge the orig. party of the ideology with their ways of applying the ideology. Nuthin' new. Political parties are no different than auto or computer, etc., companies. They compete. The only constant, or monopoly, is the ideology: egoism, not altruism.

The peaceful route is actually derivative: It's actually based, implicitly, on COMBAT, responsive (retaliatory)force against initiatory force, against crime or altruism, or vice verse (altruism or crime). Altruism is a specie of crime; it's not a morality. The combat between initiatory force & responsive force is implied by keeping altruism forever waiting at the outer gate, barred from taking the physical action they'd take.

Beneath all arguments for altruism is force, initiatory. Beneath all arguments for egoism is force, responsive. Force responsive underlies the Decl. of Indep. Force responsive underlies egoism. In seeking the peaceful route, this must be remembered, but hopefully, not used.