The Republican Party–Vulnerable on Two Fronts

The Republican Party has been taking a bruising recently.  Democrats control the White House and Congress, but that might be the least of the problems faced by the GOP.  Voting goes back and forth in this country; Democrats have won a lot recently, but if historical trends are any indication (and they usually are) then Republicans will win again–unless Republicans doom themselves from self-inflicted wounds.

There have been calls for the Republican Party to move to the center politically.  Proponents argue that this would make their party relevant to more voters.  But the reality, as I have covered before in this blog, is that since 1968 when Republicans run conservative presidential candidates, they win; and when they have moderates in the race, they end up losing.  Will the Republican leadership withstand the temptation to cater to the blue states?  Time will tell.

The Republicans might have a bigger problem with their religious/social conservative base.  The situation with the Governor of South Carolina went from bizarre to sad when it was revealed that he hadn’t bailed out on his family over Father’s Day to go on a hike (as originally suggested) but to spend time with his mistress.  A lot of people in this country vote Republican because so many politicians in that party talk a lot about the importance of God and family values.  The governor’s scandal comes on the heels of the admission by a Republican senator that he was involved in an adulterous relationship.  And it wasn’t that long ago that yet another Republican politician was arrested for trying to have a homosexual encounter in a men’s room.

Certainly Democratic politicians have not been immune from scandal.  Democratic governors from New York and Illinois lost their jobs recently due to unsavory circumstances.  Other examples could be cited on both sides.  But ever since Bill Clinton was President, a lot of people have tried to draw a contrast between Democrats and Republicans based on moral conduct.  Supporters of Clinton said private behavior didn’t really matter, but critics were appalled at the immorality, at the lack of moral leadership.  Some critics felt that voting Republican was a matter of good vs. evil.  Republican politicians have been saying the right things to their conservative Christian constituents, but at some point actions will speak louder than words.

For a lot of voters, their choices are going to become increasingly clear.  They are going to demand moral character from the politicians in our current political parties, or voters are going to stop bothering to vote, or they are going to demand change in the form of a new political party.  This new party might not be strong enough to win anything of significance anytime soon, but they might draw enough voters to doom the Republican Party.  Bottom line: politicians need to stop cheating on their wives.