If there was ever an argument for outreach and re-branding; the GOP seems to have missed it. Not all that many weeks ago, Guv. Bobby Jindal told the GOP that they needed to end being the party of stupid. Tonight, on “The Daily Show,” Jindal’s approval ratings are in the 30s. Why? People at the “CPAC” conference were making the argument that they needed to attract more voters to their core message. Which message is as follows: we want to be the state that regulates your personal behavior and absolutely oppose any limits on weapons or bullets. Or, we want to absolutely alienate the minority voters with expressions of bigotry. Oh yes, that absolutely should bring new blood into the Republican party.
Why don’t the GOP simply get real for a change? Ayn Rand was a writer of fiction, not a molder of political philosophy. Abraham Lincoln would not recognize the party he founded that opposed slavery and promoted a more liberal brand of Christianity. Just because mega-rich dudes fund super-rich lobbyists to funnel cash for special interest legislation; does not mean they are factually the only constituents the GOP are bound to represent. Any law out there, must affect far more than just the special interests. And not always so beneficially, everyone else. If the GOP are that unwilling to think outside the box, then they will with time, become the next dinosaur to become extinct. So-called “Libertarians” beware. Too close an association with failed ideologies means that you will be next.
I bring up for discussion a book review about Karl Marx, the history of the man and the workers’ revolution he tried to foment. I don’t recall the name of the author of this biography of Marx as a quite obscure man in history. But, I am quite sure for anyone who is interested, “Google,” or “Bing” Marx and the book should pop up at some point. It was actually quite an interesting review about Marx. Seems the fellow was a real glutton for attention. The more outlandish the political theories and philosophies, the more weird people he seemed to attract. Well, much like Ayn Rand. And these days, the GOP themselves. So what happened to Karl Marx’s ideas about Communism? Uh, last I recall, it became a means to grab power from the Tsars and the Russian aristocracy, and bestow that authority upon well, the next set of Tsars and Russian aristocracy—who referred to themselves as the Communist Party. And just like any other ruling elite, set themselves far apart from the rest of the governed. Just like the previous Tsars and Russian aristocracy, you can be imprisoned and even tortured for expressing the wrong opinions. In short, the label Communism was a means to an end. But in the end, it wasn’t Communism that controlled Russia. It was simply a bunch of usurpers taking over from a prior group of ruling elite. And the serfs could still be serfs farming land that never belonged to them in the first place. It is from this lack of honesty that Marx’s theories really could fail.
The GOP could take a lesson from why you don’t want to become so hardline that you become blinded to shifting realities. Societies do change. People become more accepting. Technology does advance. There is no constant that can truly exist in the time line of existence. Of what can you become “conservative,” if the society you prefer hasn’t existed for more than a hundred years? And, for that matter, probably never existed at all. Or, what you want to argue as “values” in the Judeo-Christian sense, actually have no biblical basis in fact. Instead, it is a fabricated mythology to justify a religious intrusion into government. Or a government that can intrude into people’s freedom to believe what they wish. Never mind what James Madison argued. So, while some GOP elected official uses magazines for semi-automatic weapons that are manufactured in such a way that you can only load ten rounds at a time, in order to harp about bigamy, or harems, etc. (but not necessarily about divorce—the most common cause of the dissolving of heterosexual marriages); Jon Stewart is right, the one has nothing to do with the other. And it is definitely not going to bring more people into the party or vote for what sounds like a nut case ideology.
There is only one expression of conservative that will serve the purpose— be true to yourself. Bear in mind, that the NRA is just like any other special interest group that wants something from government. In other words, big government works very well if it does something for the gun lobby. Like anti-gun control legislation, as an example, slipped into a “continuing resolution to fund the government through September.” The NRA want their toys more than they are concerned with whether some other mental case with a legal access to guns will mow down yet another large group of school children. No, the NRA doesn’t at all mind a big government acting on their behalf, they just don’t want that big government acting on the behalf of potential victims. Being true to your principles is to first recognize the need to be humanitarian and compassionate. If you lack that, then you have no moral premise to base “conservatism” on.