The Republican Party is steadily losing its base. Republican leadership is obviously concerned, and is attempting to solve the problem by leaning as far to the left as possible without turning blue. Presumably, this is because they figure, if the voters don’t want Republicans, they must want Democrats. So, if the country is leaning to the left, the party “leaders” figure they’d better lean with it. (How’s that for leadership?) However, I have a different theory. I believe the real reason the Republican Party is losing its base is because it’s lost its direction. It’s no longer the party of conservatives. It’s the party of confusion. The Republican Party is having an identity crisis.
I still support McCain, but I don’t think he’s doing the party any favors by his constant attempts to “reach across the aisle” and pander to the left. Nor is he doing his own campaign any favors. When he tried to become the Republican Al Gore, the liberals to whom he was trying to pander just laughed at him, while many conservatives who were starting to come around to grudgingly support him, stopped, shook their heads, and turned away again in disgust. McCain, like the rest of the Republican Party, cannot seem to keep his core base intact. When you have a solid base, you can afford to reach out and try to bring in those on the fringe of your constituency. But when your base is crumbling underneath you, it does you no good to reach for those who are beyond your reach anyway and firmly entrenched on the other side.
I picture McCain climbing a tree, reaching for an apple on the outermost branch, while the trunk bends and groans and finally splinters beneath the awkward distribution of weight. That’s what’s happening to the entire Republican Party. If it leans any further to the left, it’s going split its core right down the middle. And then what?
Wake up Republicans! Nobody wants a watered down Democrat. The Democrats want a full strength Democrat, and the Republicans want a real (and by that, I mean conservative) Republican. What do the independents want? Well, if there were a real Republican party, maybe there wouldn’t be so many independents, because a lot of those independents used to be Republicans. And, if there were a real Republican Party, maybe the Libertarians and Constitutionalists would even get behind it.
Why is the Republican Party losing its base? Because the old die-hard conservatives are getting disgusted and wandering away, and the new crop of young conservatives are looking for something to believe in, to get excited about, to make them feel a surge of pride in their country and their leadership. The Republican Party today isn’t offering that. They’re offering lukewarm oatmeal instead. So the idealists are turning to the Libertarian Party or the Constitution Party, or registering independent, or coming up with new parties, splintering into sects and diluting the conservative vote. All because the Republican Party has put them on hold while it desperately tries to reach out to voters who don’t even share its core values.
The Republican Party used to be the party of ideals, the party of principles; now it’s the party of compromise. — Not thoughtful compromise, reached through strategic negotiation, but seemingly random compromise with people who aren’t even paying attention. What has happened to the Republican Party? How did it come to this pass? And is it too late to take it back?
Lukewarm oatmeal doesn’t inspire people. It may appeal to Goldilocks, but Goldilocks doesn’t vote.