Photo by JBrazito Republicans cannot understand why they lose. The reason is, they are not republicans. And they keep returning to disingenuous types like the Bushes or the Cheneys or the Gringrichs or the Jaffas-revised-history-theory-types ad neocon ad nauseam for their candidates to boot. They suffered themselves 30 years ago to the hoisting of Ronald Reagan but once he was in, molded him into the form of national-type conservative. In a word his attendees pulled him away from Barry Goldwater and toward conservative nationalism and the great neocon adventure; that is away from conservative federalism. To put it in historical context, Alexander Hamilton would have been thrilled. Patrick Henry would have preferred death.
These guys (and gals) are Democrats who call themselves Republicans, but it just sounds like republicans. It has that damn capital “R.” They keep trying to sell noisy twaddle to a large segment (probably the largest single group) of their base which is the South. But just as the solid south devotion to the Democratic party for over 90 years, was broken in 1964, the semi-solid south since the Goldwater turn-to is splintering into the don’t voters, and a few libertarians. The con men (Haley Barbour, Trent Lott, Dick Cheney, George Bush[s] et al) are all retired to lobbying with their Democrat friends or an occasional guest appearance on some cable show where they are asked for their wisdom, interviewed by some peroxide blonde speaking in her valley-girl nasal voice, or some guy in blazer and blue jeans with open collar preening for some hoped for agent. Sometimes a retired, overly decorated general who wants to bomb the slop out of some little country or town interacts with them.
Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul are still on active political duty, though biding their time to follow their above-mentioned compadres. An alliterative description of political poltroons would seem an apt description of these folk. However, the adjective would limit them, and I believe a craven nature is entirely their being. Each of them winces at the slightest bent of nonpolitical correctness.
But this year the conservative folks not just down south, but from every so-called red state, went out and stampeded for Donald Trump and once he was in said, in effect: There, this time we did it to you Establishment. So, take your Republican party and this screwball candidate and shove it up your elephant.
Oddly, one man over the last thirty years who understands the republican concept and who understands the South and the nature of local government was never supported by anyone other than his district in Texas. I say oddly, because Dr. Rand Paul does not. He might as well go back to his medical practice because he has shown his colors when he declared the Confederate battle flag a sign of bigotry. Dr. Ron Paul understands conservatism; he understands federalism. He understands the South had no more (or less) to do with slavery than the North (whose Yankee slave traders launched every slave ship from the American Union, and continued slave trading through 1865 in violation of the 1808 prohibition–just for the record). Now, Dr. Paul, the elder, is fading with time and his faith in the Republican party has seen several of the prior 16 or 17 Republican candidates this year violate their oath to support the chosen candidate for president, Donald Trump. This is what Republicans do with honor. It is not what republicans should do.
Political parties were not a vision of the Founding Fathers. Or, if they were, probably they knew the consequences. I have not read, completely, either The Federalist Papers nor The Anti-Federalists Papers but my leaning has always been with Patrick Henry and George Mason in their great suspicion of a more tightly wound confederation. If a people is roped in too severely they will bounce around and the political party system will evolve. Then the difficulty for people becomes to avoid corruption when they can vote for what they want instead of voting to protect what they earn, or having elected officials do so.
Through his fallback position of supposedly great wealth, if (when?) Donald Trump loses, he has few material desires that will go unsatisfied. The alternative, Hillary Clinton, will take that great oath in January (the final irony: an incorrigible liar taking an oath on the Bible before God and man) and the greatest power hungry, self-absorbed charlatan since Lyndon Johnson will become the 45th president. Ahh, Republicans, the two-party system. In the words of Patrick Henry when he refused to attend the constitutional convention; “I smell a rat.” I smell a bunch of them.