Tuesday May 21, 2013
'G.O.P. Strains to Define How to Close Gap With Voters'--NYTby Daniel Johnson, Deputy Executive Editor
The United States may be getting ready to join other progressive nations in the 21st century.
(CALGARY, Alberta) - I’m a daily reader of the New York Times online. I know most people aren’t and that they get most of their news from less concentrated sources like TV and tabloids. Some people don’t read the NYT on principle because it’s liberal. I suppose that’s true, but in admitting this, I put my alleged bias right up front.
The title above is the same title that appeared on an article published November 11, 2012, written by Kevin Sack and Sarah Wheaton. Like most articles, no matter how well written, I find the commentary by readers to often be even more enlightening. When I first read the piece, there were 35 comments and below are excerpts from some of them. That’s as far as I go because when I looked twelve or so hours later (while writing this) there were over four hundred comments!
Most commenters do not use a full name or just a pseudonym. But three did who made very cogent observations.
Rick Merino, Bloomingdale
The authors of the article write:
"The Republican National Committee is undertaking a two-month series of polls."
Are these the same pollsters that predicted Romney in a landslide? If so, the results will indicate that the electorate wants candidates with greater conservative values. Introspection and contrition have not appeared to be traits associated with the republican party.
Kenneth Ranson, Salt Lake City
The Republican Party is divided between two constituencies, the Wall Street Republicans, whose political goal is to perpetuate the situation in which 1% of all Americans own 90% of all property, and the Base, whose goal is to perpetuate a situation in which being White, Evangelical, and conservative entitles a person to a higher place in society than those who are not.
The Republican's problem is that the interests of these two constituencies are antithetic. Most of the angry, white, men of the Base would be much better off financially if there were greater economic equality. In the past the money Republicans have essentially bought off these men by empowering their racism, religious prejudice, and misogyny. If the Wall Street wing of the Party attempts to back off from those attitudes to attract minority voters, there is nothing to keep the working class white voters of the Base from recognizing that their low pay is the result of the unfair economic policies of the money wing of the Party.
The Republican Party may be very good at manipulating, lying and deceiving. A task that is made simpler by their ownership of almost all of the media in America. But it is hard to see a lie so clever that they can both attract Hispanics, Blacks, and liberal women, and keep the Base from realizing that it is being used.
Owen P. Epstein 22102
It was clear from Tuesday's results that America is a diverse eclectic society. America does not want to go backward to a euphoric post WWII time period. We want and need to live life in the 21st century. Those politics that understand this will survive and thrive and those that don't will perish.
§ next comment § The Republican Party is mainly a party of:
Wealthy, white males...and their wives (and a few token minority members);
Ignorant racists and religious bigots; and
Homophobes, sexists and misogynists;
It seems to me that Republicans have staked out their principles already. That's their problem. Republican have no principles that are morally defensible.
§ Almost sounds like a political individual or organization should listen to the people, not create an inflexible stance and concept and then try to think how they could best trick the people into swallowing it.
§ There are problems in the United states and the Republicans need to come up with answers rather than stubborn denials of compromise in trying to deal with them. The fundamental differences in how to manage the economy is huge. Unbridled market capitalism may be one approach but it truly doesn't exist. We have market capitalism with the wealthy and the corporations controlling the markets. There is no freedom or liberty there. With the control of the wealthy or the corporations or Wall Street financiers the economy tanked 5 years ago , had many burps since the 1920's and totally collapsed in 1929. Going back to that era of no government control, unregulated Wall Street, suppression of the unions with total lack of concern for the middle or working class resulted in poor advancement even in the latter good times of the nineties. Keeping more than half the people in a paycheck to paycheck working world with the lower class having to work two or three jobs at the minimum wage to gain a foothold will never be the way a solid base to the popular economy comes about. Collecting all the money in to the hands of the wealthy will only result long term in social unrest of very high degree. If that results in true class warfare, I doubt that the army and the police will happily protect the elites. When the country turns , the one-percent will wish they were in witness protection somewhere.
§ As long as Straw poles (sic) of Iowa and South Carolina are essentially choosing the ultimate candidate for the party, the Republican base's crazy aunt hidden in the attic will continue to run the pony show. No moderate republican with an IQ of 3 digits will stand a chance.
Occasionally having a candidate mention the truth might also be helpful, as would arresting most Fox news anchors.
§ The Republicans benefited initially from the role of the religious right, Fox News, and Rush Limbaugh, but the tail is now wagging the dog and the party has quite simply lost touch with reality -- lost touch to the point that they think a few Hispanic names on the ballot or an immigration bill will win the votes of immigrants whom the Tea Party wants to leave to die on the street. The Republicans need to do what the Democrats did after the failure of the McGovern/Jesse Jackson years and the loss of the "Reagan Democrats," and move back towards the center. And they have to stop lying through their teeth and being so shrill. They don't seem to understand that many of us find that kind of behavior repulsive.
§ Did you just wake up from the 1950's and the Cold War? Unionized workers currently represent less than 12% of the workforce; yet, you argue that the hundreds of millions in donations from corporations, Sheldon Adelson, Koch brothers, etc. was outweighed by union money? It just ain't so.
§ As long as the Republican Party's money is white they will have problems.
§ They are risk averse and re-thinking treasured beliefs is against anything they statistically will do. Sticking with old ways - what they were taught - is their way. Exploring new ways is like jumping off a CLIFF for them. They are too afraid to try because they are not accustomed to understanding wings OR parachutes - that would require a science and math back ground. And if their religious books can be interpreted to say that wings are bad they will really be afraid. This is also why Republicans are the party of FEAR. They live in it and use it against their enemies because this is anti-science yet FEAR is the very thing they understand most. FEAR drives their existence and has (according to their way of thinking,) kept them alive and prevented them from going off any cliff to their very death.
§ So let's hope they continue on their path of self-destruction for their poisonous message provides no hope or solace for the living. Conflating social issues with economic distress brought on by their reckless echoing of a mantra for the 1% means that dog won't hunt. It's a fact that even the anti-evolution and anti-global warming crowd can't change that if you shoot yourself in the foot it's gonna hurt. And those folks may not realize it but their feet look like Swiss Cheese...
§ The GOP could start by getting out from under the Tea Party's extreme views and the Grover Norquist pledge. They could also stand up to hate spewing types like Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter.
§ The Republicans don't want to govern, they want to rule.
They have an agenda that overlooks the vast majority of us, and until they shift into the 21st. century and a multicultural country, they will fall further and further behind.
Maybe that is not such a bad thing.
§ How about tearing up the platform planks of intolerance, exclusivity, and evangelical extremism? Stop demonizing anyone with a liberal arts degree. That would be a start.
Many voters might find agreement in a platform of fiscal conservatism, but the rest of it is plain poison, and until that gets recognized, this "Modulation" they are trying to engineer seems to be a whitewash at best.
§ Here they go starting to poll, market and repackage instead of looking inside their hearts of darkness and deceitful souls.
The Deranged Christian Whites-Guns-And-Tax Cuts R Us Party is devoid of ideas, humanity, reason, science, math and respect for others - of course nobody likes them.
They're a mean, petty, unreasonable tribe that doesn't get along well with others.
§ What the Repubs conveniently overlook is that they *have* won. They have moved the center of political gravity way, way to the right -- just look at Mr Moderate Republican Obama. And the Tea Wing has had a lot to do with that recently
But like all pigs, they want the whole thing shebang, and overreached in this cycle. They drove many of their winning candidates from the field early, replacing them with legitimate rapists, god's will idiots, and had to take a highly flawed presidential nominee who stayed in the race mainly because the opposition threw an interception on the 10-yard line, plus a significant, though not overwhelming funding advantage.
My fear -- if makes any sense to fear for an already moribund democracy and compromised Democratic Party -- is that the Repubs will take Romney's major campaign innovation -- bald lying about the past (as opposed to the usual lying about intentions) -- and turn it into substantial victories -- and increase the House gerrymandering, if that is possible.
The future of the GOP looks dim (we hope)
The electorate is now 28 percent nonwhite, more than double the figure from two decades ago. That growth is certain to continue; in 2011, births to nonwhites outnumbered births to whites for the first time.
“It’s stunning that Republicans won the white vote by 20 points and still lost,” said political scientist Alan I. Abramowitz, at Emory University. Unless Republicans reverse the trend, he said, the rising strength of Latinos could doom their ability to map a winning electoral strategy. Colorado and Nevada could soon join California and New Mexico as noncompetitive states for Republicans in presidential elections, with Florida not far behind.
“And eventually Texas,” Dr. Abramowitz added. “Not 4 years or 8 years from now, but in 12 or 16 years Texas is going to become a swing state. And if Texas becomes a swing state, it’s all over.”
(Read the NYT article and comments ” here. ’”)
Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Daniel Johnson as a teenager aspired to be a writer. Always a voracious reader, he reads more books in a month than many people read in a lifetime. He also reads 100+ online articles per week. He knew early that in order to be a writer, you have to be a reader.
He has always been concerned about fairness in the world and the plight of the underprivileged/underdog.
As a professional writer he sold his first paid article in 1974 and, while employed at other jobs, started selling a few pieces in assorted places.
Over the next 15 years, Daniel eked out a living as a writer doing, among other things, national writing and both radio and TV broadcasting for the CBC, Maclean’s (the national newsmagazine) and a wide variety of smaller publications. Interweaved throughout this period was soul-killing corporate and public relations writing.
It was through the 1960s and 1970s that he got his university experience. In his first year at the University of Calgary, he majored in psychology/mathematics; in his second year he switched to physics/mathematics. He then learned of an independent study program at the University of Lethbridge where he attended the next two years, studying philosophy and economics. In the end he attended university over nine years (four full time) but never qualified for a degree because he didn't have the right number of courses in any particular field.
In 1990 he published his first (and so far, only) book: Practical History: A guide to Will and Ariel Durant’s “The Story of Civilization” (Polymath Press, Calgary)
Newly appointed as the Deputy Executive Editor in August 2011, he has been writing exclusively for Salem-News.com since March 2009 and, as of summer 2012, has published more than 210 stories.
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