“Not everyone is happy to be modernized,” writes Michael Gerson in his column today on ways to build a more inclusive Republican Party without starting a right-wing revolt. The problem for the Republicans, Gerson says, is that there’s no option not to be modernized, not for a national party trying to get votes from, you know, modern people. The ones who will actually be voting in 2014, for example.
And the comments section is chock-full of people who do not wish the Republican Party to modernize or change. Some are Democrats, but some are presumably the very people Gerson hopes will accept modernization. Everything is just fine already, thank you:
Moderates are guaranteed winners, like with the McCain and Romney landslides.
Horse: we are soooo hoping that that’s the conclusion you draw from their defeats.
What states that Romney or McCain lost would Cain or Santorum have won?
As Americans learn the truth about Obama, his support is waning and his poll numbers are plummeting. All the GOP needs to do is get out of the Obama Democrats’ way and let Obama destroy what’s left of Democrat support.
Republicans need to showcase the states run by Republicans that are doing really well, even cleaning up messes left by Democrats. Low taxes, high employment appeal no matter what ethnic group you belong to.
2014 will be a wake-up call for the Democrats. If everything comes together perfectly, not only will Republicans take the Senate, they will have a filibuster-proof majority.
The only real hope for the GOP is that the Democrats become over-confident, lazy, and self-indulgent. Not that THAT could happen. Ever.
citizenoftheworld1 thinks only one element is missing from the Republican platform. A huge international enemy:
One of the more serious problems Republicans have right now is that they seem to have forgotten one of the basic tenets of Reaganism, and apparently so has Mr. Gerson: a powerful response to the totalitarian bully of the day (USSR). Today’s global totalitarian bully of course is China. And Republicans (along with Democrats) have shown very little willingness to confront the Red Menace, and as such, have contributed to the decimation of the U.S. (and European, Canadian, Chilean, Australian, etc.) middle class.
chowlett1 thinks to win, Republicans have to be willing to lose:
LBJ gave up the conservative wing of the Democratic Party knowingly in pursuit of an American principal, equality of all people. Not an ersatz equality specified in a document that was admired only intermittently but a real equality. Black people enabled to vote, to serve on juries, to go to public schools with the rest of the public, to be treated as equal in public accommodations. He undoubtedly drove most of the rest of his party nuts, working with liberal northern Republicans and sacrificing all of the southern votes for an ideal. It took a long time for the Democrats to work their way back. But it did work and is working. We still have bigots in various places but they no longer rule the south; they can’t institute laws that deprive American citizens of their rights. So maybe the Republicans need to look at what principle they feel is worth fighting and losing for and focus on that. The unprincipled motivations are doing them no good.
DJMonet says Gerson’s plan already worked, but was abandoned too soon:
Gerson states “Conservative principles must be applied to new problems, such as stagnant wages, the loss of blue-collar jobs and routine educational failure.”
Improving wages and creating jobs was central theme for Republicans in 2010 when the Tea-Party made significant gains in the House. My question would be, did the message 1) not get out, 2) fail, or 3)never address jobs, wages and the economy? I did note there was a switch, after the election, to government austerity, which in recent months seems to be dropped from the agenda.
Left_Coast_Natitude is glad to accept GOP modernization, except some extremely important things need to remain the same:
The GOP really needs to figure out a way to divest itself of the Tea Party, but keep the comical wigs and hats.
If Republicans are determined to hold on to their historical roots, they could even change their name to the Whig Party. Has a nice historical feel to it. Abraham Lincoln was a Whig.