Republican Challenges: Why They Are Losing Votes And Their Voice
Part one of a three-part series on current “party” challenges. Yes, this is a departure from the usual devotionals that I write but bear in mind two things. First of all, my studies are leading me into new areas of interest (as well as potential future service in the public sector). Secondly, at the end of the day this is my blog (I’m mainly writing it for myself anyway, a media diary of sorts). At any rate, I am starting with the Republican party but I will address Democrats and the member of the Tea Party in upcoming blogs.
Please, note that this is not intended to be an in-depth or exhaustive look at any of our nation’s primary political organizations. I’ll tell you upfront that I will be “painting with a very broad brush” for the purposes of time, brevity, and directness of thought. Yes, there will be generalizations. Yes, there will be statements that are open for disagreement and discussion. But that is also part of my aim and intent.
Also, in case this makes any difference, I don’t find myself necessarily aligned with any single party ideology at this time. I know that will bother many of my friends but I am being honest. I am personally weary and equally wary of the manner in which “partisan politics” has seemingly become the law of the land in this present generation. The resulting political gridlock that has been birthed from this morbid allegiance to party platforms, political expediency, and personal gain will become the undoing of this nation if left unchecked. I believe in ideas that work, regardless of the party name that is attached to the suggested legislation or proposed process.
So… here we go.
I think that the Republican party could perhaps be best summed-up by three main ideas: family, self-reliance, and religion. Now, that doesn’t mean that the other two parties don’t believe in these issues. In this case, it just means the Republican emphases and efforts are primarily directed toward these issues. (And yes, I’ll be the first to admit that living in the South probably shapes those views as well.) In fact, in recent times the places in which the Republican party has generally seen their greatest successes have also been those areas where these values are often most closely shared. And to be historically accurate, there is a very real sense in which these issues have been a part of our national identity for many years.
In this light, I think we can better understand the recent electoral struggles for the Republican party. In each instance I will use the word “less” to highlight the problem, specifically as it relates to using these issues as the basis for a party platform.
- Family – The family of today is “less” clearly defined than in decades past. I can already begin to imagine the email firestorm that singular comment will create but just stop and think about it for a minute. If you can set aside the dogmatism, one has to admit that the idea of family is transforming on a national level. The traditional definition of family is no longer one that is held as a nationally shared consensus. As long as certain members of the Republican party continue to emphasize strict interpretations of family they will automatically forfeit a certain part of the voting population. I’m not saying it is right or wrong. But it is a reality that should be recognized.
- Religion – Traditional religion today has “less” wide-spread appeal. Take a trip outside the “Bible belt” and you will quickly recognize that reality. It’s not that people are anti-religious. Quite the contrary. The reality is that our nation is increasingly becoming indifferent to “traditional” religion. Faith is becoming more and more personal as well as pluralistic in our nation. Dogmatic and rigid defense of traditional religious “systems” is moving more and more voters to other parties.
- Self-reliance – Self-reliance is increasing becoming “less” of a reality in our nation. The almost unbridled growth of the “entitlement system” and the “welfare state” have scores of Americans dependent upon government assistance for their daily survival. Yes, I know the issues behind it are complicated. But there is also the undeniable reality that for many of these people these support systems are essential for their survival. Government assistance is keeping food on their tables, paying their hospital bills, and enabling them to simply make it from one week to the next. To threaten those programs is to threaten their very lives. If it were me, I wouldn’t count on those votes.
Well, that it is for now. No, I don’t claim to have all the answers. And yes, I welcome your comments and feedback. Just keep it clean and “on point” is all I ask. (It would also be appreciated if you keep the name-calling to a minimum. I tend to hit the delete button when someone’s comment begins with the phrase, “You idiot…”) Personally, I learn best through dialogue and debate; so, I welcome your thoughts. Take care and God bless.