Tuesday, May 26, 2009
The Republican Party seems to have taken on the character of the wandering Jew in Medieval legend: unable to die, roaming the earth, trying to find a home. Now there's worse news for the GOP: polls show that less and less voters identify themselves as Republicans; among the young, the label "Republican" is roughly as popular as "bookworm".
Of course, there's always room in one's diet for a large grain of salt; some of us old timers remember back in the bygone age of 2005, when they said that Republicans would have a "permanent majority" and the Democrats would likely never be in power again. Besides, it sounds to me like voters are now more likely to call themselves "independents" instead of Democrats or Republicans. And while I prefer a government that has, at least, two parties, I'm not convinced at all that they need to be these two.
Still the Grand Old Party just 'aint what she used to be. The irony is that the GOP's problems are fairly glaring if you're not a Republican, but if you're not a Republican, they don't want to hear from you! Nevertheless...
It seems to me that political platforms are created in the same way as works of art: by the interaction of the genius of individuals with the time and place that they find themselves. While this means that there's something timeless to great art, there's also something about them that is time-bound, and which can become dated and retro.
What struck me about the Republicans during the last election was that the party platform was basically unchanged from the days of Reagan: cut taxes, increase defense spending, shrink the government in some unspecified way, legislate morality, and make sure to protect individual freedoms while doing so! The problem is that Reagan had several pragmatic solutions to specific problems of that time and place- I can fairly easily historicize them if anyone so desires. Since then, these pragmatic solutions have become articles of faith. I think this is the problem.
This problem afflicts all political parties, I'd imagine. And, there are still some good ideas in there- if the national debt relative to GDP keeps increasing at the current rate, expect conservative ideas about government spending to roar back in popularity! But some of these ideas are outdated, irrelevant, and contradictory. I'm obviously not the one to decide which ideas should stay and which ones should go. And I'm no better at saying which parties should stay and which ones should go.
But it's worth noting that the undeclared winner of every election thus far seems to be entropy.
Posted by Rufus at 12:12 PM