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Thursday, July 28, 2016

How Republicans dumped their legacy


The video above from Vox outlines the history of how the Republican Party abandoned its proud heritage, descending from Abraham Lincoln to the depths with Donald. The video also outlines some of the history of the Democratic Party along the way, and explains why things are so very different now.

One of the things that this video shows is how the Democratic Party evolved from the party of the southern states to one based in the North, Midwest, and Pacific states, and how it moved from supporting slavery to championing civil rights and progress.

The Republican Party, meanwhile, moved from a party of the North to one in the South and some Great Plains States. It has become older, whiter, and more male as time has gone on—that’s not news or in dispute.

Because of all these shifts, the Democratic Party has become more diverse, and much of that has been because of minorities flocking to the party. It is why the Democratic Party is a party of all Americans and the Republican Party is now the party of very narrow-minded, angry, older, white, mostly male voters.

This reality is why Republican politicians across the country have fought hard to try and suppress the voting rights of minorities: The party cannot attract enough minority votes to win, so their strategy is to keep minorities from voting at all. While for some racism is their motivator, for most it’s probably more about power—gaining it and keeping it.

I don’t know how the Republican Party comes back from this, but continuing to cater to old, angry, white men won’t do it. If it’s even possible for them to return to the real world where facts and reason matter, it’ll take a lot of hard work and a fair amount of pain as they expel their irrational, usually bigoted, extremists.

We need a rational conservative party to provide balance and to keep Democrats moving forward. If the Republican Party can’t return to its proud heritage, if it can’t abandon fear and hatred, then it’s time for the party to die and a new conservative party to rise in its place.

Will the Republican Party become the Whig Party of the 21st Century? That’s up to them. Keeping them out of power until and unless they return to the real world is up to all of us.

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