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Will the Republican Party exist in 10 years?

waterjug

Senior member
Jan 21, 2012
930
0
76
Looking at the Republican Party right now I don’t see how they have much of a future. Their message seems to have been completely coopted by the extreme conservative fringe, and while that plays well on places like Fox news, it’s never going to win an election. There are just not enough extreme conservatives out there, and more moderate conservatives are being turned away by the direction the party is headed in.

What’s more the candidates that the Republican Party is putting up for major offices seem to be getting forced into going along with this far right movement. The message to Republicans from the far right fringes of their own party now seems to be “you either get with us, placate us, or we’ll trash you”. The left is already going to be trashing any Republican anyway, but now as a candidate you have to face the specter of your own party dumping on you, as Romney did (not that he was a great candidate to begin with). So you get candidates that look uncomfortable and out of place delivering these messages that veer into thinly veiled hate-speech and pseudo-religious reasoning for policy proposals. Which is pretty much the opposite of the direction the majority of this country is going in.

I’m looking at this not as a liberal or conservative, but as a moderate. I lean vaguely conservative fiscally (against the individual mandate in Obamacare, against S.S. being conscripted, but would like college education to be free at all state universities), and lean liberal on ‘moral’ issues (I’m Catholic, but don’t want to force it on anyone. I believe religious ideology should never be used as reasoning for a law/regulation, and I don’t care if gays get married; they have just as much right to be miserable as the rest of us). The irony is that while the GOP was always conservative (obviously), much of their message is so over the top controlling it actually violates the tenets of conservatism. A true conservative is for less government regulation and would be vehemently against regulation of marriage for instance. So you now have a party that sells itself as conservative, but has Neanderthal-era social policies built around the concept of government control over personal liberties. In other words, a complete mess.

As a moderate I did not particularly like Obama during the ’08 campaign. I don’t like him as President (although my disdain for him has declined slightly). However, I cannot see myself voting for Romney or any other Republican presidential candidate either. Neither party particularly appeals to me, but with a choice between the two parties I’m going to choose the one that is true to their stated philosophy & cause (i.e. the liberal party is actually sticking to liberal values), and is NOT attempting to integrate prejudice into their official platform. I know I’m not alone in this thought, and I predict that the massive body of independents and moderate leaning conservatives will either not vote at all, or vote Democratic. Unfortunately it seems we’re wed to a two party system, and I haven’t heard a peep about the GOP splitting; so a split between the more moderate republicans, and the extreme right seems unlikely, leading me to believe that the party itself will die before attempting to form two viable parties.

What are your thoughts on the future of the GOP, and the potential of its demise (at the very least as a relevant major national political party). If we could keep it civil it would be much appreciated.
 

TheVrolok

Lifer
Dec 11, 2000
23,395
2,663
136
I'm essentially in agreement with your entire post. I don't see how the far right takeover of the Republican party is sustainable.
Candidates are asked to play so far to the right to win a primary, that it makes them wholly unappealing to moderates.
 

AyashiKaibutsu

Diamond Member
Jan 24, 2004
9,307
3
81
I get the feeling they're going to change to survive although it's hard to tell. They keep getting candidates that aren't hard right-wingers (McCain/Romney) that jump hard right to get the nomination killing their chances at getting elected and then they say they weren't hardcore enough when they lose. So who knows they might not be able to get out of that trap, but it's hard to believe something won't happen eventually to allow them to find a message that'll work. They're so big that they probably have a lot of room to play with before they really fall apart.
 

nextJin

Golden Member
Apr 16, 2009
1,848
0
0
Well their is base is continually shrinking but it will be longer than 10 years still. They need to adopt some non neoconservative view points to get any moderates or independents on board Imo.
 

crashtestdummy

Platinum Member
Feb 18, 2010
2,894
0
0
They will change over the next 20, but they'll still be around. There's no way that the democrats would dominate unopposed, and there's no reason to dismantle a huge machine like Republican Party, but their platform as it stands now will really struggle as the baby boomers start to die off.

There's a big tension between younger Republicans that are often very fiscally conservative, but don't really care about abortion or gay marriage, and an older generation fixated on social issues that still wants medicare. I think you might start to see a schism within the party, with the social conservatives slowly dying off.
 

Jaskalas

Lifer
Jun 23, 2004
29,779
3,306
126
Well their is base is continually shrinking but it will be longer than 10 years still. They need to adopt some non neoconservative view points to get any moderates or independents on board Imo.
That's where we disagree.

The moderates ARE the Neocons. The 'compassionate' conservatism of GWB, McCain, and Romney. The one bipartisan agreement between parties is money. You get that money through government largess. By spending, by having wars. By increasing the number of dependents. Through centralized power.

The current GOP is betraying conservatism to be moderate, to be Neocon. To appeal to voters in their vie to win elections. The backlash, the anti-Bush, is our extremism. The Tea Party, supposedly, but more to the point our Libertarians.

If Republicans want to win elections they need to drop kick the Neocons.

They cannot just be luke-warm Democrats. We need clear contrasts and strong leadership. We need conservatives running the GOP who quite clearly tell you government is the enemy of a free people. That our constitution, our Bill of Rights is an attempt to form a more perfect Union, a more limited government of specifically enumerated powers.

What we need to win elections, is a rallying cry for Liberty. That is what Democrats like to call extremism.
 

Steeplerot

Lifer
Mar 29, 2004
13,051
6
81
What we need to win elections, is a rallying cry for Liberty. That is what Democrats like to call extremism.
Yes, because a party of Andrew Breviks would be a huge improvement over the soft corporate fascism of the GOP.
 

IronWing

No Lifer
Jul 20, 2001
61,140
13,984
136
Yes, yes it will. And it likely will not have changed much at all. Unless Americans wake up one election morn and decide to start voting their self interests over their prejudices and fears, we will always have a Republican Party much like the current one.
 

waterjug

Senior member
Jan 21, 2012
930
0
76
40% self-identify as conservative
35% self-identify as moderate
21% self-identify as liberal

So yes, the Republican party will be around in 10 years, probably larger and stronger as more and more liberal Democrat policies fail.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/120857/conservatives-single-largest-ideological-group.aspx
True, while I agree most in this country self-identify as conservative, a lot of those (a vast majority of the younger ones) are financial conservatives, but more moderate on social issues. The Republican Party as it is currently constructed doesn't represent a growing number of conservatives, possibly even a majority of them.

I'm sure they'll continue on as a minor party in local elections, but as a major national party I can't see them existing without a major overhaul of their values. Baby-boomers aren't THAT old at this point, and if that generation is driving the party with social-control agendas say for the next 25 years even, the party is going to whither and die.
 
Jan 25, 2011
16,082
7,569
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40% self-identify as conservative
35% self-identify as moderate
21% self-identify as liberal

So yes, the Republican party will be around in 10 years, probably larger and stronger as more and more liberal Democrat policies fail.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/120857/conservatives-single-largest-ideological-group.aspx
Here's another Gallup poll for ya.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/15370/party-affiliation.aspx

As of early September, 36% Independent, 35% Democrat and 26% Republican.

Apparently those conservatives don't identify with today's Republican party which is the point of this thread.
 

Mursilis

Diamond Member
Mar 11, 2001
7,760
11
81
Yes, yes it will. And it likely will not have changed much at all. Unless Americans wake up one election morn and decide to start voting their self interests over their prejudices and fears, we will always have a Republican Party much like the current one.
That's the problem - people have predominantly been voting their self interest for years. That's why we've got trillions in debt! The Dems offer gov't 'freebies' and the people vote for some of those, and the GOP offers low taxes, and the people vote for those too. I'd like to see a lot less voting based on self interests alone.
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
68,110
3,155
126
This is the biggest problem with creating an Echo Chamber. At first it emboldens everyone to work harder for the agenda and it makes them a force to be reckoned with. Eventually it makes all within it completely blind to what is actually going on in the real world and they become irrelevant.
 

IronWing

No Lifer
Jul 20, 2001
61,140
13,984
136
That's the problem - people have predominantly been voting their self interest for years. That's why we've got trillions in debt! The Dems offer gov't 'freebies' and the people vote for some of those, and the GOP offers low taxes, and the people vote for those too. I'd like to see a lot less voting based on self interests alone.
No, if the average voter voted their interests we wouldn't have free trade agreements, special low capital gains tax rates, or an ever increasingly regressive tax structure. People vote based on party tribalism and on all sorts of issues that have no effect on their lives. So many wedge social issues have zero impact on the folks who get most exercised about them.
 

monovillage

Diamond Member
Jul 3, 2008
8,445
0
0
Here's another Gallup poll for ya.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/15370/party-affiliation.aspx

As of early September, 36% Independent, 35% Democrat and 26% Republican.

Apparently those conservatives don't identify with today's Republican party which is the point of this thread.
Good point, but we don't have the same type of system here in the States as you do up in Canada. While they may claim "Independent" it isn't a viable political party.
 

monovillage

Diamond Member
Jul 3, 2008
8,445
0
0
No, if the average voter voted their interests we wouldn't have free trade agreements, special low capital gains tax rates, or an ever increasingly regressive tax structure. People vote based on party tribalism and on all sorts of issues that have no effect on their lives. So many wedge social issues have zero impact on the folks who get most exercised about them.
Nope, they vote for the party or people that they think will pay them the most money. Almost every left-wing Democrat I know gets a paycheck from the government.
 

woolfe9999

Diamond Member
Mar 28, 2005
7,164
0
0
40% self-identify as conservative
35% self-identify as moderate
21% self-identify as liberal

So yes, the Republican party will be around in 10 years, probably larger and stronger as more and more liberal Democrat policies fail.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/120857/conservatives-single-largest-ideological-group.aspx
Ideological identification is a complicated issue. Party ID is about even between the two, which on the surface doesn't make much sense if so many more people identify as "conservative."

Consider the issue of abortion for a moment. It's been pointed out that increasingly more people identify themselves as "pro-life," yet actual opinions on abortion are practically unchanged in 30 years: about 60% think it should be legal in the first trimester, or more. That means a lot of people who say they are "pro-life" think abortion should be legal in the first trimester. Similarly, polling shows that a lot of people who identify as "conservative" think taxes should be raised on the wealthy. A lot of self-identified conservatives are probably RINO's by the standards of GOP diehards.

I think conservatives have done better with their branding than liberals. Through the Reagan era, they were able to make "liberal" pretty close to a curse word. However, people's stances on the actual issues seem to be a different matter entirely.
 
Nov 29, 2006
14,576
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I honestly think an actual religious party will come out of the Republicans. You'll also see a fisccally conservative/socially liberal group emerge and i think that group is the one that will be strongest. Religion is a dying breed. Just takes time.
 

nehalem256

Lifer
Apr 13, 2012
15,670
6
0
Ideological identification is a complicated issue. Party ID is about even between the two, which on the surface doesn't make much sense if so many more people identify as "conservative."

Consider the issue of abortion for a moment. It's been pointed out that increasingly more people identify themselves as "pro-life," yet actual opinions on abortion are practically unchanged in 30 years: about 60% think it should be legal in the first trimester, or more. That means a lot of people who say they are "pro-life" think abortion should be legal in the first trimester. Similarly, polling shows that a lot of people who identify as "conservative" think taxes should be raised on the wealthy. A lot of self-identified conservatives are probably RINO's by the standards of GOP diehards.

I think conservatives have done better with their branding than liberals. Through the Reagan era, they were able to make "liberal" pretty close to a curse word. However, people's stances on the actual issues seem to be a different matter entirely.
Can you source that?
 

woolfe9999

Diamond Member
Mar 28, 2005
7,164
0
0
Regarding the OP's comments, I think the GOP will be nowhere near extinct in 10 years. It will never be extinct so long as the 2-party system prevails, and there is no sign of that system changing any time in the foreseeable future. What could happen, if ideology and/or demographics start to disfavor the GOP, is that it re-invents itself over time. Perhaps it becomes more moderate, or more libertarian (i.e. more liberal on social issues.)

This latter shift might be problematic, however, since the percentage of highly religious voters has only slightly diminished over time. That's a large chunk of the voting populace (~25%) who would have no representation in a major party. Furthermore, Latinos and, even more so, African-Americans, lean socially conservative. One problem for the GOP is the shifting demographics toward minorities. Some have suggested that a shift to the left on fiscal-economic issues, while maintaining its social-conservatism, is a way for the GOP to reach out to minorities. This is the exact opposite direction of libertarianism. So there are forces pushing them in both directions.

I agree that the hard right is harming the GOP right now. You have Mitt Romney, who is a without a doubt a moderate, who had to take unpopular positions on abortion and lowering taxes on the wealthy, among other unpopular stances, to win the GOP primary. Those stance are undoubtedly not helping him with swing voters right now. The same was largely true with McCain in '08.

Nonetheless, I doubt we'll see a major shift in the GOP any time soon, certainly not in this decade. Maybe some time in the next, but it's very difficult to predict because more than anything it is rooted in cultural trends among the electorate which themselves are difficult to predict.
 

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