The million dollar question is whether the Republican Party will survive the election of 2016? And if the Republican Party survives what will it look like?
The party of Abraham Lincoln died a long time ago. The newly reconstructed Party of Nixon, Reagan and Goldwater is near death, it is in cardiac arrest.
The only ones to blame for the demise of the Republican Party are the Republicans themselves as they designed and then agreed to abide by a Southern Strategy. This Southern strategy grew from the Goldwater days and flowered under Richard Nixon. It has attracted White Nationalists and it has done nothing to discourage the growth of the influence of bigotry in their politics. Just the fact of Ronald Reagan announcing his candidacy in Philadelphia, Mississippi was an obvious nod to the white males in the South that the Republican Party could now be their home.
It should not come as a surprise, therefore, that as the country becomes more diverse as a people that from a demographic standpoint the days of white priviledge would come to an end.
Donald J. Trump has made an unambiguous attempt to gain the votes of those who in his political party are racists. He has been unapologetic in his attempts to gain support among the racists, the xenophobes, the homophobes , the anti-Muslim crowd and the sexists among us. He has not attempted to bring people together but rather he has been a staunch advocate of their causes.
If the Republican Party is to go on and be a successful political party by appealing to the widest audience possible it either has to change who they are and what they have become or become another party under a new name with an appeal to a wider audience.
There was a time when William F. Buckley was articulating the conservative principles of the current Republican Party. He espoused a belief in a strong, internationalist and muscular foreign policy. He also championed a conservative social policy and a free enterprise business model. Part of this model could still be used in the new Republican Party or maybe many Republicans would become part of the Libertarian Party. What is quite apparent is that the Republican Party of today can not survive the present struggle that they are undergoing.
The Party of Lincoln is split into many parts now, and with Donald Trump being the head of the party, it faces a difficult road ahead, in knowing who they are and where to go from here.
If the Party of Lincoln is to reconstitute itself like the Republicans of old did, when they went from being Whigs to Republicans, they face a moral dilemma. What they must recognize and acknowledge is that equality is a value that is here to stay in America. The sooner they recognize the reality of equality being an essential part of American life the better we will be for it. If the remains of the day of the present Republican Party can have the moral decency to do that simple act of recognizing the importance of equality than and only then can they compete politically.
If the Republican Party or a party of a different philosophy emerges it can have resonance by adopting the following policies: By concentrating on the concept of individual liberty as opposed to a National view of how things should operate. By being champions of spending money in a thrifty way, instead of being the party of NO. A party who supports free trade would have a place in the ideas of where we should go as a nation.
In other words a new political party or a reconstituted Republican Party must no longer be the party of extremism, but instead they need to adopt a view that moderation and reasonableness has returned to the politial arena. If you are to have a successful political party, you must be a political party of ideas.
We would all be better off if we had two strong political parties where one competed with the other on who has the best ideas on finding real solutions to real problems.
Even though I am a Democrat, I realize the necessity of having two political parties who are strong and vibrant, who will face the future with positive ideas. We can not have a successful political system where one political party is so extreme, that instead of offering positive ideas, their ideas originate from the notion that one can take rights away from other Americans.
The million dollar question will not be answered until after this election is over. My hope is that once again we can have a strong two party system. Each political party must no longer be a home to individuals who only gather together to find a way to deny any man or woman equality before the law and who would deny any man or woman the dignity of being treated equally on a social basis. I hope the Republican Party comes to grips with their very serious problems and sees that the only future they have is to be a repository of truly conservative ideas.