Sometime between the time John Wilkes Booth shot Abe Lincoln in the back of the head and today the Republican Party forgot how to fight and win political battles. It lost its way as a political force as it embraced political fashions of the day, whether they were the progressive movement, populism, socialism, or poll-driven “leadership.”
The Republican Party broke off from the old Democratic-Republican Party around 1850, after the collapse of the Whigs, and immediately established itself as the anti-slavery Party. That was its first identity, and that continues to be its identity. Only now instead of protecting highly pigmented Americans against the horrible slave trade we banished in 1865 the Republican Party attempts to protect all Americans from an intrusive government that would reach its tendrils into every corner of our lives and regulate all personal property and the most personal decisions of every individual. The power to regulate is the power to destroy. What good is the First Amendment if speech is covered by so many confusing regulations that nobody knows what speech will be judged hateful and punished by imprisonment or ruinous fines, and what will pass muster? What of the Second? Can you really afford that personal firearm if bullets cost $10 each and each household is limited to no more than six per month?
Already to a great extent the most productive Americans are in bondage to their government. Someone who pays 50% of their income in taxes does not benefit from the sweat of his own brow until half the year is gone. Historically, most slaves were taxed 100% of their earnings but some cultures allowed them to keep 5% or 10% of their profits. America had a top tax rate of 90% following the end of WW2. How much more can taxes be raised before people feel like slaves? Even if they are raised to 100% at some level, literally making slaves of earners at that income level, the tax revenue won’t be enough to pay for all this government’s spending.
The inability of Republicans and conservatives to prevent any of this, or even to slow it, has demoralized conservatives. Rasmussen reports that 70% of Americans are broadly in agreement with tea parties that government is too big, spends too much, wastes too much, taxes too much, and fails much more than it should. 60% of Americans didn’t even want the government to increase the debt ceiling. So if 60% to 70% of Americans agree with tea partiers about all this, why are we in the boat we are in? How do Democrats manage to get elected when they always raise spending and taxes and pass insane laws that fail at their intended purpose?
It’s the quitters.
Much of the 70% has become demoralized and discouraged over time, has lost faith in Republicans to represent it, flirted with Democrats because their promises of free lunches, rainbows, and unicorns that crap skittles sounded so good, and finally, totally quit caring about politics. Quitters “know” from experience that they will get screwed by government and that there is no difference between what elected Democrats and Republicans do about it. “They’re all a bunch of crooks! Throw all the bums out! We need term limits because they all go in fresh and idealistic and get turned into beltway thieves by the end of the first term.” Ever heard that speech? That’s what quitters think.
When someone thinks like that do they join the local Republican Party? Do they raise money? Do they recruit their conservative neighbors to vote? Do they even vote themselves? The answer is a sad and sorry chorus of “no” repeated until the end.
Elected Republicans seem helpless, gormless, infantile as they face the awesome threats rushing at the United States. Our national debt may officially be $14T against a nominal GDP of $16T, but not only has GDP dropped thanks to the Obama Depression but the real cost of future obligations is over $100T once Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid/Obamacare are included. That’s a higher ratio of debts to GDP than any country has ever had, and it is not survivable. Those obligations will not be honored. They can’t be. The US will go into default and the government into bankruptcy if it does not make massive changes, but politicians seem to be oblivious to the threat. Perhaps they think they can escape to the South of France with their nest eggs ahead of the villagers with pitchforks and torches, tar and feathers, and split pine rails.
What are Republicans doing? Nothing we can see. They don’t even use parliamentary procedures intelligently in order to block or delay the implementation of the Democrats’ socialist big-government welfare-state agenda. If Republicans actually fought they might awaken some of that 70%. They might lend the 70% some courage: Encourage the quitters. They might inspire some of the 70% to have faith in them again. What gives?
They have no appetite for battle. They’re beaten down, like prisoners of war who have been co-opted by skillful interrogators. Certainly the Republicans seem to never have heard the following quote:
Mongol general: Conan! What is best in life?
Conan: To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women.
Mongol general: That is good! That is good.
Republicans are in dire need of a fire in the belly, a combative spirit, the soul of a warrior and conqueror who glories in victory and laughs at the pitiable complaints of their foes. Am I recommending we break out the weapons and start bloodletting? No! No a thousand times no! This is a civil struggle for a civil nation. This is not a war. The struggle will be waged with words, lawsuits, speeches, organization, passive resistance, appeals to reason and justice, every parliamentary trick there is, and all within the Law. The terrain is the federal government, the foe is the Democrat Party and its revolutionary vanguard in the Democrat media complex, and the prize is the salvation of America’s freedom, fortune, and sacred honor.
The first objective will be the awakening and revitalization of the 70% as active conservatives who will support the GOP in this struggle. That objective is critical not only to eventual success, but even to our ability to conduct the struggle at all.