Tuesday, March 19, 2013

As the GOP Turns – The Old Guard and New Guard – Nothing More than Evolution

There’s that old adage: “history repeats itself”, that should be taken into account prior to ringing death knells on political brands, or “rebranding” if one prefers to parse words. The fact that, as we age, younger individuals move up the ladder, so to speak, bringing with them a “new” (or old, as the case may be), political point of view – one that fits neither of today’s establishment parties. Therefore, of one individual in that generation tends to lead in the political arena, it is what it is, a changing of the guard and with that a whole can of worms opens. Suffice it to say, that there has always been a right and a left, liberal and conservative thought, which those in power generally use to divide and conquer – some to their own demise (consider the French revolution). The Old Democrat party has been long gone for decades, only no one apparently noticed. The brand is there – the dutiful “D” printed on each ballot – but the formerly fiscally sound, social justice fighters, working class party – is now the party ruled by academic elitist, who have little experience outside of a classroom, and a philosophy that is decidedly socialist. The Democrat brand was co-opted by the rise of one Ronald Reagan, who, at the same time, rebranded the Republican Party – leaning on the tax cuts of John F. Kennedy, and challenging the establishment GOP, he embodied the working man - he drove the party elites and the media crazy. Over the following decades the two parties appeared to meld into the ebb and flow of partisan politics, with rare exceptions, one was either a “Democrat or a Republican” – there was no challenge to the status quo, and the political dynasties emerged – the Bushes, the Clintons, their respective allies in the Senate and the Congress and on K Street (where the lobbyist and political action committees reside.) Reagan was the last reformer, otherwise the Republican Party, like the Democrat Party, has been the dutiful “R” on the ballot.

Suddenly the media and Washington are on high alert, as a group of individuals who are not necessarily Republican, as in “rich old white men” (as opposed to the “rich old white men” that run the Democrat Party.) are suddenly calling themselves “conservatives” running as “Republicans” and winning elections, hearts and minds. There is about to be a shift – one would hope that the scenario of three or four (optimal) parties emerging from the two old behemoths would emerge, yet, the common approach would be to co-opt one or both of the established parties. Enter the “libertarians”.

Libertarians follow a political thought process based on personal liberty, with a strong emphasis on the U.S. Constitution. Those millions of Tea Party Strict Constructionists are also likely to lean “Libertarian” – so are most 18 to 25 year olds, a demographic that rarely votes, but if, as a group, they find someone relatable, they will vote in droves. (An unintended consequence seen under Reagan.)

Although the dutiful academics, installed in the schools across the nation, from kindergarten through one’s Doctorate, have been preaching the message of “progressive” philosophy for the past 40 years, it has become stale in its practice. The economic impact of the progressive Congress under Nancy Pelosi, followed by the election and reelection of President Obama, and the consequences of “bigger, more encroaching, government”, has begun to wear thin. For some it is the lack of opportunities, for others, it is the obvious installation of a “class system” – those who have, those how have not. Those who would promise to make everyone equal, everyone wealthy, and everyone on the same playing field, by virtue of the all important government - apparently cannot deliver on that promise.

Therefore, the sudden emergence and popularity of Rand Paul and Dr. Ben Carson are seen by the media as upheaval in the Republican Party – as dutiful “Democrats”, they report on the demise of the GOP, or the “upheaval” within the GOP – it is nothing more than growing pains, or an evolution – of a more centric, inclusionary political party, one that is based upon a fiscal policy that is morally sound, while holding the 10th amendment sacrosanct.

Therefore, one might suggests, that those that would be king, the McCain’s, the Clinton’s, will have to make way for those Doctors who will stand up for both fiscal sanity and humanity, but most importantly individual liberty and responsibility – the opportunity to become a success (rather than one of the “masses” – yes, Libertarian, and/or Conservative – but appealing to those who are sick and tired of the “old brands” that have run the nation with little differences between the two political parties since Reagan left office.

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