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Why the Republican Permanent Majority Can Never Be, So Hail the Democratic Permanent Majority

By       Message Gregory Paul     Permalink
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And a good chunk of the GOP base is bigoted against blacks, as I detail at Because the Republican Party is the right wing ideological party it cannot bring in voters by finding out what is their thinking and then trying to work that into the party line. Instead it is the lecturing and hectoring party that spends its time telling everyone that dares disagree with their conservolibertarian line -- which is the great majority of blacks -- that they are wrong, that they need to recognize that they are wrong, and that they must then become right thinking Republicans in order to be true blue Americans. That works just great. They are slapping blacks across their faces.

The GOP is the southern white party because that's the strategy they opted for back in the 1960s. It worked well enough to keep the party in contention as long as southern whites made up a big enough portion of the electorate. But they no longer do, and blacks resent the Repub southern strategy, the GOP's being the refuge of racists, and being told that their progressive opinions are errant. So the GOP can kiss off the black vote.

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And there is the atheism vote. It's growing. Fast. God believing theists still make up 80% of the population, but only a minority of them are dedicated church going theoconservatives (click here). The mainline churches have long been withering, nowadays so are the conservative sects as they prove unable to recruit sufficient youth who are increasingly irreligious and atheistic. Atheists have expanded fourfold since the 1960s, far outpacing the growth of Mormons. Perhaps a quarter of atheists are Ayn Randian libertarians, but even some of them won't vote GOP because of the party's being in bed with the religious right. The great majority of atheists are progressives who won't vote GOP for both religious and socioeconomic reasons ( This problem is only going to get worse for the Republicans as the country secularizes like the rest of the west.

Then there are your singles. There are more of them, and the never married tend to be more Democratic than the married. The Democratic Party is the modern Rainbow party of the still new century.  

The GOP is running on demographic fumes without a station to pull into to tank up -- kind of like many living in the post-Sandy fuel shortage that helped out the Obama campaign (note that climate change boosted the Democratic victory). But by no means is the great Republican problem just demographic. Their toxic doctrine is also poisoning their prospects. The GOP has gone way too far into right wing land for the American majority. They have become the radical party of a Bizarro World amalgam of social Darwinist, Ayn (uberatheist) Randian little government individualism on the economics hand (click here), and Biblical Godly social values imposed by big government on the cultural hand.

It's a recipe for electoral minority status because most Americans are either social and economic progressives, or moderate centrists. As David Brooks is pointing out to his fellow conservatives, Hispanics, blacks, Asians, Indians and so forth tend to be culturally more attuned to collectivist economics than whites on the right. The chronic belief of those on the far right that the American silent majority is really a collection of conservatives who will someday vote to make a new Reagan president and the Senate and House solidly and perpetually GOP if only the "liberal" lamestream media will stop deceiving the nation -- and they can find the right candidate to entrance the voters -- is sheer delusion. It is a misapprehension that repeatedly blows back on the Republicans.

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In that hardline Repub fantasy land, all true Americans that they hope and dream are the majority want lots of economic liberty with little in the way of government business or environmental regs or socialism, tiny taxes especially for the wealthy "job creators," a minimal safety net so those in distress can rely on private charities, free market health care in which the insurance industry charges what it can and excludes those with preexisting conditions, culminating in an end to Medicare sooner or later, plus ultimate elimination of social security, combined with the government making abortion murder, and teaching youth abstinence until marriage while suppressing use of contraceptives. And the godly masses will all flock to church on Sabbath mornings while rejecting Darwin's diabolical theory, and the sly secular scientist's global warming scam.

Actually, those on the hard right are conflicted about what they want America to do, versus what they sense Americans will go for especially in the near term. That is why conservative pols often run as "stealth" candidates. A libertarian Republican runs for higher-level office who talks about "reforming" social security, rather than outright saying they want to liquidate the socialist Roosevelt's scheme. Or a creationist runs for a school board talking all about traditional family values while not mentioning that one of their priorities is to get the creator into and evolution out of the classroom. Then there is the project to impose "regulations" on abortion clinics that are actually designed to exclude the constitutional right to the procedure in whole states.

Romney proved to be the stealth candidate exemplar. After running hard right in the Tea Party dominated primaries, picking a TP running mate, and continuing to be pretty darn conservative for weeks after the convention, he suddenly went Etch-A-Sketch centrist in the debates (with such a straight face that he came across as the psychopath he may well be click here), flummoxing Obama in the first one (knowing that the demographics ensured his reelection is another possible reason Obama did not pay due attention to his initial debate performance). By the last TV contest Romney had evolved into Mr. Dove who could hardly agree more with the foreign policy of the man he wanted to replace.

Fortunately for the Democrats, hard-line Republicans can keep their true wants and intents in check only so much and or so long. Many right wing candidates and especially office holders believe in their theories and doctrines so ardently, and live in conservobubbles that prevent them from realizing that most think their opinions creepy to scary, that at some point they cannot help torpedoing themselves by saying or doing something that reveals their actual desires and designs.

So we had Todd Akin, bless him, casually telling the world that because women who are really raped rarely if ever get pregnant banning all abortions is not a problem for women of true virtue (click here). Followed by Richard Mourdock who allowed that sure, raped women do get pregnant, but it is a gift from God so banning abortions is not a problem for women of true faith -- and those who are not. The two guys ended whatever chances the GOP had of gaining the Senate while helping alert the nation that a major chunk of the right holds views of women inherited from the Victorians and shared to some extent with the Taliban. This when two thirds of Americans consider nonadulterous nonmarital sex acceptable, and even more do it. Also giving the nation a better idea of what many on the right really think was serial divorce Rush Limbaugh who denounced the all American Sandra Fluke for being a slut for daring to defend the contraceptives most Americans support the use of in front of a congressional panel. Meanwhile Grand Old Party governors and state legislatures have been passing a host of regulations to hinder access to abortion when most voters think Democrats handle the abortion issue than Republicans. So Virginia becomes the state of the vaginal probe, aiding Obama's electoral college win while sending a Democrat to the Senate.

Social security and Medicare remain the thirds rails that give those naïve enough to touch them a nasty electoral shock -- one that Romney got when he selected the known privatizer Ryan for his running mate and tossed away Florida. The conserves prattle on about closing the FDA, EPA and drill, baby, drill when most folks care a lot about safe food, clean air and water, furry wolves and great whales, and realize that the nation has to get off its addiction to fossil fuels for a host of reasons. Nor does Republican talk of shutting down the Department of Education go over well when the US is losing ground teaching wise to other nations with more extensive central government effort in education than exists here.

And most Americans gasp in eye rolling revulsion at how much of the right actually takes seriously the fringe socioeconomics contained in bad novels like Atlas Shrugged. We have an entire nation to run here, it's not a college bull session on arm chair philosophical economics (click here). It is not surprising that most Americans being middle class favor the moderate-progressive policies that favor their cohort over the 1%. Only ideologues believe that that the 99% can be remade to be so ardently pro-upper crust that they want to bend over backwards to give the rich all the breaks on the speculation that that the aptly named trickle down scheme works (in mirror of the communist dream of remaking men into egalitarians). The possibility that the US will become a full blown libertarian country is about the same as its going communist. Zero.    

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But the biggest exposure of all political time of what the Repub upper crust really thinks was Mitt's being caught at waving away about half of the nation as income tax free moochers not to be considered worthy of his class's attention -- never mind that much of his class does all it can to minimize their taxes by one means or another. Much but not all of the right has been trying to explain away the statement, but it is clear enough. It is not so much that Romney may believe what he said, or was pandering to his elite donors, what is important is that the truth is out and can never be effectively denied. The deceit that it is the liberal elites that for some reason have it in for the ordinary American has been permanently counterbalanced by the now well documented knowledge that a lot of the "job makers" are in it for themselves, and create jobs only by accident if then (click here). The Boca Raton recording did in seconds what those like Thomas Frank have been trying to tell the nation for years. And it will never go away -- just replay the video.

The beauty of all this is how the Republican-turn-off-the-American-majority-machine is the gift that will never stop giving the electoral edge to the Democrats. There will always be plenty of right wing Republicans who cannot keep themselves from saying or legislating what they think and want. This used to be the Democrat's problem, in that the liberal wing had so much influence on the party that it turned off the American center in the 70s and 80s, until the Clinton led centrist program corrected the predicament. The Dems could do that because they are the party of governance, the party that understands that compromise is necessary to run a democracy. So progressives have proven willing to swallow some of their greater desires as part of a longer term project to make America into a more socioeconomically successful, normal 1st world country. Now it's the Republican's big problem in the opposite direction. But unlike the compromise friendly Democrats, there is no apparent means by which the more ideological GOP can tame its oversized right wing and tack to the center.

That brings us to the under appreciated irony of how FoxNews is damaging the Republican brand without really trying. Superficially it seems that FN -- which gets a bigger audience than centrist CNN and progressive MSNBC combined -- is the best thing to happen to the GOP since Reagan. So much so that it is often called the media organ of the party. But this is grossly incorrect. FN could be the mouthpiece of the GOP only if the latter directly controlled its content and operations. But the owner and operator is Rupert Murdoch, a man of immense wealth and influence and desire for more wealth and influence who never does what he is told by others. To him FN is a cash cow that has the nice side effect of allowing him to push his conservatism across the land. The Roger Ailes who often gets blamed for what's on Fox is merely Murdoch's employee whose job depends upon doing what the latter wants. So FN is about what Rupert desires, not what the Republican establishment such as it is needs. Things are so out of control for the GOP that FN is to a great extent setting the agenda for the Grand Old Party, rather than the reverse as it should be for the long term prospects of the party. So Republicans who try to go centrist are sure to be shot down by the FN pundits and correspondents who, along with their talk radio allies led by Rush, can turn the fury of millions of listeners against the compromising deviants. The result is that the party is even less able to undergo the moderating reform it needs to get more of the minority and centrist vote. It does not help when on 9/7 a stricken FoxNews Bill O'Reilly and company go on to further slander   the 47% now 51% of the country as Democratic voting slackers. By doing that they tacitly acknowledge that they have lost the country. Limbaugh and Coulter have explicitly said so (with Coulter noting that the loss was not attributable to Romney's mistakes). He and she are correct.   

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Gregory Paul is an independent researcher interested in informing the public about little known yet important aspects of the complex interactions between religion, secularism, culture, economics, politics and societal conditions. His scholarly work (more...)

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