People have been asking the question “What has happened to the Republican Party”. Here’s my attempt at an answer:
The Republican Party is comprised largely of a demographic that has an unremitting addiction to power and control. They have for close to forty years done everything they possibly can to foster a base that looks down its nose on intellectual acumen by portraying it as a negative. Why? Because uneducated people are easier to dupe and lie to and, by dint of that, more tractable. They engineered a base that is easier to control.
The problem is that the world changes, and people who are addicted to power know that change is the enemy of control. When Barack Obama ran for President, he campaigned on a platform of change. To the GOP he might as well have been campaigning on a platform of “Have Gay Sex and Eat Babies”, because to them it amounted to the same thing in terms of the terror it inspired.
Then, he won. The country said “Yes, we WANT change!” The GOP, seeing their worst nightmare unfolding before them, did what only makes sense to people who are terrified of change – the same thing that they have always done, only to a greater extreme.
In this case, the GOP started to actively cultivate a base that was not just uneducated, but profoundly stupid. They courted a contingent of the population who had no concept of the government and how it worked, little knowledge of the principles on which this nation was founded and no interest in learning about either. And, in what can only be described at best as ironic and at worst psychotic, dubbed this delusional confederacy of dunces “The Tea Party”, ostensibly in homage to the event that was credited with catalyzing the revolt against British oppression, never mind that the Tea Party was too stupid to realize that what they felt oppressed by was the Constitution.
And the very root of the GOP problem lies in precisely that: The stupidity of extremists.
You see, while the uneducated can be more easily controlled, the stupid are like feral animals that can’t even be domesticated, let alone trained. They can’t be taught, so they can’t be reasoned with. The usual incentives, threats and concessions are ineffective because they have to have some understanding of the consequences of their actions and care about outcomes. Extremists don’t. They only care about getting their way and have no ability to see beyond it. They have no care or compassion, no foresight or capacity for vision, and so have no need, in their limited worldview, to collaborate. They want what they want, and are willing to sacrifice everything to get it.
For whatever reason, the GOP “Leadership” is unwilling or, perhaps, unable to see all them for what they are: Small-minded zealots so full of self-righteous arrogance that have forgotten that in a democratic republic, the people use their votes to tell their representatives what they want, not to be told by their representatives what they will be allowed to have. It doesn’t matter to them that the majority of the citizens of this country have, by casting their vote, opted for change – they would see this country destroyed before they allow change to happen, even if that change is for the better.
Especially if that change is for the better.
So this is your sticky wicket, GOP. You can point fingers at lack of compromise all you want, but this is your mess and, if I am being perfectly honest, hopefully your Waterloo. You did this to yourself, which wouldn’t be so bad, except that you are doing it to the rest of us, too.
And you’d do well to remember that, too, because know that whatever help you get in resolving this will be because there are those who still believe that being an American means all of us being in this together, unlike some people we could mention.