Radio host Rush Limbaugh, vociferous proponent of the Republican party, has solemnly declared, “If the Republican party cannot win in this environment, then it has to get out of politics and find another business!” Republican commentator Laura Ingraham said, “If you can’t beat Obama with this record then shut down the party. Shut it down! Start with new people.” They do not know how right they are.
Not only is Barack Obama likely to win the election, he may very well win it in a landslide. Why? Not because of his policies. Not because of his actions. But because the Republican party has become an almost all-white reactionary fringe. As the American populace has become increasingly multi-ethnic, the Republican party has become monochrome and the Democratic party a rainbow of color and opinion.
In previous times there were liberal, moderate and conservative wings to both major parties. Yes, overall the Democrats tended to be more liberal and the Republicans more conservative, but each party had members across the political spectrum. Not anymore. Once Lyndon Johnson embraced the civil rights movement in the 1960s, slowly but surely the heretofore solidly Democratic American South became just as solidly Republican. In addition, over time those strenuously objecting to a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion and those opposed to everyone’s right to pick a mate of either gender, also migrated to the Republican camp.
Meanwhile, as the country greatly prospered and became solidly middle class, there was a great need for individuals to do labor intensive and menial tasks. Immigrants, largely from Mexico, came to fill the bill. The objections to the steadily changing demographics of the nation were loud and shrill, and those who raised them also drifted over to Republican ranks. In 2008 a Black man was elected to the White House. The reactionaries became absolutely apoplectic. They refuse to believe that he was even a citizen and absurdly claim he is a Muslim foreign agent working to destroy American. And with this as his loyal die-hard base, Mitt Romney has not a snowball’s chance to win. Afterwards the Republican party is likely to eschew trying to appeal to the crazies and go back to its traditional role of trying to court a broad spectrum of Americans of every political stripe and every color under the sun.
( by Arthur Lewin, author of Read Like Your Life Depends On It, www.readlikeyourlifedependsonit.com )