The Breaking Point: The Republican Party in Crisis

by PETER FARMER December 7, 2012

In the article, "Picking up the Pieces: Who voted for Obama - and Why," this author examined some of the people who voted for Barack Obama, and why they did so. In particular, it was noted that single women and single mothers voted for Obama in large numbers. We also noted the successful use of identity politics by the Obama campaign, to appeal to specific segments of the electorate - young people, blacks, Latinos, and Asian-Americans. Below, we turn our attention to the GOP, which - after what can only be called a catastrophic defeat - is a party in crisis.

Why did Mitt Romney and the Republican Party lose an election which should have been theirs to win? When the stakes were so high - and they were very high indeed - why did Team Romney fail so miserably?

Romney and the GOP failed to make the case for traditional values, homes and families, or how and why struggling single parents would benefit from a Romney presidency. Many single parents struggle heroically to raise responsible, well-adjusted children; however, it is in no way disrespectful to them to promote the traditional two-parent home and family as the ideal way of raising children. Study after study confirms what any competent teacher already knows - children do better in school and in life when there is not only a mother at home, but a father. However, you'd never know this truth on the basis of the GOP campaign - as it was nowhere to be found. The strategists were too concerned with being unpopular to tell the truth.

Team Romney also lost because it failed to articulate the clear superiority of free-market capitalism over socialist collectivism as a means of creating overall prosperity and jobs. Would it not be better to create jobs so that individual voters could provide for themselves instead of depending on handouts from the government? Yes, of course it would - but the GOP failed miserably to make that case, so the voters chose the hand-outs. The Republicans squandered a golden opportunity to educate voters in way that would have benefitted millions of Americans - but instead they cowered in fear of alienating this-or-that constituency or polling badly... and did nothing.

The Republicans lost because they failed to run a sound campaign, and because they failed to devise a successful counter-strategy against the propaganda and spin streaming out of Obama's HQ and into a sympathetic leftist media. Granted, it would have been an uphill fight to defeat Obama's home-field advantage in the old-line media, but the GOP didn't even try to expose the tremendous bias to which they were subject in papers like the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. Would it have hurt to call out the leftist media for their relentless cheer-leading for Obama? We'll never know, because the GOP leadership - being the craven cowards that they are - didn't even try.

As dismal as the prognosis is for the Republican Party, the bad news is not done, not yet. The party is in disarray and in full retreat; Obama and the left are ascendant, powerful and in control. However, as if the GOP leadership doesn't already have enough headaches, there is also a growing schism within the various factions of the political right; traditional conservatives and libertarians are sick of being ignored and marginalized by the eastern establishment/neo-conservative wing of the GOP - and are threatening to leave the party for good if serious reforms aren't made. It is hard to blame them, because - at the national level - the Republican Party is clearly intellectually and morally bankrupt. It has hit bottom. It does not know itself; it does not know its political adversaries; it does not know the American people and it does not know its core values and mission.

The salty old saying declares "Lead, follow or get out of the way!" The Republican Party, as currently constituted, isn't leading but it refuses to get out of the way and let others do the job in its place. There it sits, blocking the road, doing nothing. This state of affairs cannot continue; ultimately, the Republican National Committee and the party leaders must lead - or they will be discarded in favor of those who will. History is filled with politicians and other powerful people who believed that their powers and station in life were permanent, only to find themselves out of a job and out on the street (or worse).

Elections are ultimately about asking and answering the question "Why should I vote for you?" When asked that question, Obama and the left knew the answer; Mitt Romney and the GOP did not. That inescapable fact should keep the lights burning bright very late into the night at the GOP headquarters in the months and years to come.

The future remains an open book for the Republican Party; whether it can survive and thrive in 21st century America remains questionable. After such a horrendous performance when the stakes could not have been higher, more than one person is asking whether the party deserves to survive as a viable force in American politics. Is the GOP content with permanent also-ran status, or does it have the moral and intellectual fortitude to reinvent itself as a genuinely-conservative/libertarian opposition party for the times in which we live? Indeed, what purpose is served by having a watered-down version of the Democrats when the genuine article is available? How the party answers these and other vital questions may well determine whether it lives or dies in the second decade of the 21st century.

Copyright 2012 Peter Farmer


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Peter Farmer is a historian and commentator on national security, geopolitics and public policy issues. He has done original research on wartime resistance movements in WWII Europe, and has delivered seminars on such subjects as political violence and terrorism, the evolution of conflict, combat medicine, and related subjects. Mr. Farmer is also a scientist and a medic. 



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