Red has long lamented the paucity of viable political parties in the U.S.A. As one of his no doubt Commie sympathizer college professors once called them way back when – the Democrats and the Republicans were primarily the divergent wings of the American Corporate Hegemony Party. Each party leaned one way or the other on a variety of issues, but both carried the corporate water when called upon. The GOP perhaps more eagerly; but what the Democrats lacked in enthusiasm, they made up for in volume. The country club GOP set which controlled the party paid occasional lip service to some social issues – but there really weren’t horribly divisive social issues other than crime until two seminal events occurred – the passage of the Civil Rights Act and the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade.
The CRA began the steady drain of the southern, non-union white working and middle class away from the Democrats. The racism which had been open in the southern Democratic Party now had to be practiced more subtly by the GOP. Widespread busing was the final straw for many.
But after Roe, the evangelical base (which had probably never trusted the Democrats anyway) had an issue on which to build their house – and what a moral issue it was. Red has long contended that the only issue that might give rise to a second civil war is abortion. If you really believe that abortion is murder, then it can be as powerful a cause to the individual as was abortion.
The final stroke for the irreversible transformation of the GOP into a socially conservative, religiously based party was the election of Ronald Reagan – a President who almost never attended church on the flimsy excuse that it was disruptive of other worshippers. What it exactly was about RWR that stoked the religious conservatives is something that has always eluded Red. But what is clear in Red’s mind, is that the so-called “War on Drugs” fueled by an almost completely wrong-headed focus on a law enforcement solution to what was largely a health and social problem. In reality the WOD was a way to pander to a base that was always ready to get tough on crime. But it was also an incredible tool of racial division when the power to determine which drug users would be arrested and punished. And we know how that one turned out.
But what has happened over the last 8 years has boggled Red’s mind. He always knew that the GOP and the larger conservative movement were at least partially motivated by prejudices and inclinations of various sorts – fear of the other, hatred of the “inferior” races, intense xenophobia, belief in an American mythology, worry at a seemingly tenuous grasp on the middle rungs of the American social ladder. But the election of the first African American President – based largely on the aftermath of the abject criminality of many of the biggest corporate financial players – has sent the GOP into new heights on all but the Presidential level. The GOP dominates the Congress, holds more state houses and governorships, has its own media arm in Fox News and right-wing radio, and has gerrymandered its way into at least 4-5 more years of power – that is, if it can only hold it together.
And then comes along one person and the entire house of cards seems ready to fall. The party that has really stood for nothing but opposition to whatever Pres. Obama stands for is coming apart over one person.
Let it happen. All glory is fleeting. Let the renting of garments begin. It is absurd to think that two parties can adequately represent all the diversity that is America. The GOP must split. The hard core right wing must have its own day and its own agenda. It must fly or fall on its own. The remainder of the GOP which is conservative in so many ways but pragmatic at heart must be freed from the chains of radical social conservatism to actually attempt to govern again.
Red thinks there is actually room for 4 political parties. Moving from right to left – an unabashedly religious based socially conservative and skeptical of all government party, a moderately conservative party wanting to actually govern and serve its corporate masters, a moderately liberal but pragmatic party, and a trade unionist, socialist party. And the Libertarians can continue to eat shit.