Thursday, November 8, 2012

How the GOP lost 2012, and my generation

As I had previously guessed, the GOP circular firing squad is already going full blast. I've always tuned in to their radio and TV shows and it has been rather amusing since the night of the election outcome was announced to watch them tear into each other. Of course, they still blame people in the "liberal media" but they're also blaming their own for either being too moderate or too conservative, depending on who is pointing the fingers.

The plain and simple fact of the matter is that you cannot pander to the extremists, the bigots and the elitists of a party during the primaries and then expect to win in the general election. You cannot allow the attention whores who've had their 15 minutes of political fame to continue to hog the conversation with "well gawwlee shucks" soundbites when you're trying to explain yourself with math that you use to make yourself feel better as a Republican and even expect the folks with an education past the 10th grade to take you seriously. You absolutely cannot allow the anti-immigrant/militia/Neo-Nazi wing of a party to scream about how "traditional America" is going away or the need for a "racial holy war", then expect the largest growing demographic in the country to vote for you. It is so refreshing to see people who've been brainwashed for years pick up the remote, turn off Fox News and say "that's enough".

When you have the some of the most vocal members of your media call women who use birth control "sluts" or have old white men pretend to be experts on the subject of rape and reproduction, don't be surprised when the female demographic doesn't take kindly to it. The GOP has been playing to a base that seems to be comprised of angry white people with guns and/or golf carts, and the elite 1%. Yet they wonder why those votes are shrinking. They mock the slogan of "hope and change" but people want hope and like it or not, change is happening in the voter base. Just like their energy policies, they have relied for too long on a source that will be nearly gone within a couple decades.

The younger generation really doesn't care about gay marriage, abortion, immigration or most of the other dog whistle topics on Fox, Drudge, Limbaugh, etc. Those of us from Generation X and Y are far more likely to have friends from other ethnic groups, sexual preferences and we just don't get wound up on the social issue ideologies. So when politicians and pundits pander to the older base with talk of "traditional American values", it just turns us the fuck off.

It used to be that if you lived in a rural area, your sources of media were few and far between and you could control what your kids saw in order to continue their indoctrination into your beliefs. Trust me, I know because I was raised in that environment. We were taught that feminism was only for women who hated men and they enjoyed and rejoiced in every abortion that was performed. We were taught that gay people were basically disgusting, perverted Satan worshipers who would kidnap and torture kids for fun, especially those of us who used the computers at the library or had a library card(I'm only slightly exaggerating). Never mind that our own parish priest was soliciting sex from the local gay community and the two men that were considered "pillars of the community" were actually two of the worst child molesters I have ever had the misfortune of knowing.

Eventually, we all grew up and with the exception of a couple of my numerous siblings, we became moderate or even flaming liberal in our views. That experiment in the beginning of the information revolution failed, I dare say it even backfired.

Indoctrination, fear and hatred just doesn't work like it used to, not in the US anyhow. Yet, American conservatives demand that we go fight the same people who use the same tactics they used to use, for the same reason, for the same twisted version of a god they claim to love. Look at the ballot initiatives that have overturned decades of legislation against gay marriage and marijuana, despite the billions of dollars spent over decades to convince us that either/or were a gateway to heroin, AIDS and Hell.

No wonder people have stopped going to church and have stopped believing in a god. Not because of "socialism", science or secularism, but because so many of us have found that gay people aren't child raping psychos and atheists aren't God-hating hedonists who burn down churches and then piss on the ashes. We've been turned off from the politics and religion of our parents because we've figured out that Jesus was a long haired anarchist who went around handing out free healthcare and telling people to be excellent to each other and not damning everyone who wasn't a "job creator" or a Bible-thumping Southern Baptist.

The 15 passenger van fundamentalists still believe that the GOP should focus on banning gay marriage, abortion and all the old issues they've been promised that would be addressed for all of these years. They're still working to gain more power and more influence, to get a stronger grip on the wheel of the party bus which has two wheels over the cliff already. On the other side, the "country club Republicans" who used to laugh all the way to Washington (and the bank) every year off the votes of these fucking lunatics, they're not laughing any more. They're smart enough to realize that these people they brought in for the votes, now they want to run the club, and the establishment doesn't want them there. They want to pay less in taxes and suck as much money out of the American consumer, regardless of whether it came out of the LGBT community or the same impoverished saps that support them.

Nowadays, my generation votes with our pocketbook rather than the flawed interpretations of ancient religious texts. We see the bottom line and vote accordingly. Those of us who have gone thousands of dollars into debt for an education, only to wind up with a dead end job while our CEOs make millions, we aren't buying the "vote against the gay, anti-capitalism agenda" line any more. We've watched our wages and benefits get slashed while profits go up and the whole "trickle-down" economics thing, we aren't buying that either. Even though some of us may buy into the social issues bit, they're more concerned about their bills than the personal affairs of private individuals they don't even know.

If the GOP wants to maintain any relevance, they're going to have do an "Extreme Message Makeover" and toss the fundamentalists overboard, quickly. However, I have the feeling it is already too late. Not that I have a problem with that.


  1. i agree.
    being brought up in the deep south gave me a really warped view of the world, i voted for reagan in my first election in 1980.
    then i began to read more, i began to READ the teachings of Jesus and others, not just accepting what my preacher told me during sermons. i began to read the history of man that is NOT taught in school.
    now i list my religion as 'synchronistic pythagorean with quaker tendencies' just to mess with the people that ask.
    while i am personally conservative - i do not believe in abortion, etc.. - i am not arrogant enough to believe that my views should be pushed on the whole population. life is about choices - it's not my job to make those choices for others.
    i am also fiscally conservative, but i know the job of government is to provide infrastructure and basic necessities for society to function. the growing gap in income growth has led to a greater need for social services.

    long story short. i agree

    1. Great response Michelle! It's because of thoughtful people like you that I haven't lost complete faith in conservatives. Since I believe democracy functions better with two (or more)viable and responsible parties, I truly hope that your kind of thinking starts to dominate the republican party. Although with all due respect, with your position on choice and your knowledge of the role of government, you sound more like a fellow progressive! :)

    2. How great to hear this news, Michelle. It looks like we have to wait till the young people in the south grow up. You have the power to lead in a new direction, and this Progressive will be cheering for you. Thank you for posting.

  2. Nicely done! I am considered a "baby boomer" born in 1961. I am a musician, and realized while in college trying to make some extra spending money to join some of my musician friends and do a gig for a local large southern baptist church. short story....when your Sunday school gives you a Rolex watch for Easter, it's not about God. It's money. Organized religion is a business. I grew up in a very red state but ended up in a progressive college town, in a mid west swing state, where I raised by daughters, now 25 years old. I have mentioned several times that I would like to move back home (1200 acre farm/ranch), and because they have seen how "normal" people conduct their lives, want no part of it, and I can't blame them.

  3. Born 1953. I'm an old white guy and I like Obama. I've become quit ashamed of America these last 4 years. Not in my whole life have I heard and seen so much disrespect for the office of the president of the United States. Some of the things I've heard boarder on treason. You can't tell me it's not racially motivated. Our biggest enemy in this country and the world for that matter is ignorance. Thank God (yes God) that the enlightened are still a majority (for now) in this country.

    1. Michael, I'm glad that I'm not the only one that feels that people have been disrespecting the office of the President of the United States. Jan Brewer may be the Governor of Arizona but that doesn't not give her the right to get in the President's face.

      While a I agree with the article there are just somethings that command respect the the President is one of them!!