Commentary on politics, science, science in politics, and politics in science.
Thursday, November 8, 2012
Ready the defibrillators...
I'm just going to say this once. The Republican Party is in need of major reform. Here are some basic truths, as I see it:
#1: Most Americans don't care what other people do in their private lives.
#2: The Constitution gives the federal government zero authority on social issues.
#3: The *worst* way to promote your social values is to hold a gun to someone's head and say "share my values, or else", which is ultimately what you're doing when you try to get the government involved.
I'd say at least half of my friends who vote Democrat do so because they think Republicans want to ban abortion and contraceptives, hate gays and immigrants, and want to force everyone to live by the Bible. The fact that these things aren't true DOES NOT MATTER. In politics, the truth does not matter. Only perception matters. You can't win every debate, and on these issues the GOP has lost, and lost big time. As long as the GOP holds to its social-issues platform, they will never win the debate, and instead they will lose the country. Americans should promote their social values at home, in their communities, with their friends, family, and neighbors. Keep the government out of it.
If the Republican Party wants to have a future in governing this country, it needs to embrace libertarian values. It needs to promote capitalism, individual liberty in ALL matters (not just economic matters), fiscal responsibility, federalism, and a broad transfer of power and money from the federal government back to the states and the people. It also needs to take a welcoming stance toward immigrants who are already in this country, whether legally or not. By making these things central to its platform, the GOP will regain strong majority support and enthusiasm. By rejecting its failed social-issues platform, it will take away the primary line of attack that Democrats use to win elections. The GOP can and will take the youth and minority vote from the Democrats, while still retaining the support of traditional conservatives, if they follow this advice.
If the GOP fails to make these reforms, then it may be time for the rise of a third party.