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I don’t think the GOP is dying. I think they’re the Walking Dead.
The premise of the above graphic is not new, nor should it be particularly surprising. That Mitt Romney’s base of support was what Newt Gingrich once euphemistically referred to as “low-information voter” is a problem the GOP continues to ignore at its own peril. It may be impolite and impolitic to say this, but when your base is composed of ignorant, inflexible, reactionary rageaholics, your ideas suck.
The question, of course, is how Republicans can repackage themselves to appeal to more than stupid people (And no, not all Republicans are stupid; just enough to make the GOP impotent). As arrogant and dismissive as that may seem, it’s the truth. If Republicans don’t accept and deal with that truth, they’re destined to be a permanent minority of crackpots, cranks, and the aggressively and unapologetically ignorant.
America NEEDS a viable opposition party. The role of Loyal Opposition is one crucial to the success of any thriving democracy. The marketplace of ideas created by a system of more than one viable political power is what keeps the party in power from becoming sclerotic, corrupt, and complacent. Can Republicans recover and reinvent the GOP as a party of legitimate, well thought out, and reasonable ideas? Can modern Conservatism become more relevant and effective than today’s “Kill-‘em-all-let-God-sort-‘em-out” Teapublican Party? I’m not so certain, but there’s still the chance that adults will wrest control of the GOP from it’s aggressively ignorant and reactionary base. It’s time to deal with demographic reality…or face extinction.
For the sake of our country, I hope the Republican Party can come back. As much as it pains me to admit this, America needs the GOP…if for no other reason than to keep Democrats honest. I’m a committed Liberal, but the truth is that a competitive marketplace of ideas is good for everyone…and no one ideological orientation has a monopoly on good ideas.