The Grand Old Party…or GOP If You Prefer

The Republican party, or GOP as many know it, had its start in Ripon, WI in early 1854.  The timing was due to anti-slavery Whigs feeling they needed a different party to represent their interests.  It has fared pretty well over these past 162 years although it is in a bit of a rough patch today.

There are those who would like to believe that the advent of Donald Trump as the Republican nominee for President of the United States marks the end of the GOP.  (As you might suspect, those are primarily the liberal Democrats with Debbie Wasserman Schultz as their leader).  While the Republican party  might totter along for awhile, it can not go on for much longer, or so the naysayers predict. There are those who would see the Republican brand becoming more conservative than it is today, but that is not an idea gaining a lot of traction at the moment given Mr. Trump’s hitting his goal as the next GOP presidential candidate.

With Trump now the proverbial ‘standard-bearer’ of the GOP, there is certainly the potential for some anxiety to develop in the immediate future.  As much as he professes to understand what the party line needs to be, he is quick to seem to forget when he is in front of a microphone and has a “brilliant” thought that just begs to be made known to his audience.

Trump has a penchant for saying the wrong thing at the right time thus creating issues that needn’t have been dealt with had he been able to control his mouth.  He is the Republican candidate.  Period.  So we have to get onboard or decide to sit out or decide to go way overboard and vote for Hillary Clinton.  We can always do the ‘write-in’ thing but that simply does not work in national elections.  A ‘write-in’ might win a seat on a board in a small town, but that is about as far as write-in candidates can get.

Democrats are secretly (some not-so-secretly) hoping this election with Trump as the candidate will spell the beginning of the end for the GOP.  They hope that people might break away from the GOP and form a new party.  They think the GOP has outlived its cachet.

I don’t think that is going to happen.  I don’t think that those who might be wishing for this outcome respect the quality of the young guns rising through the ranks of the GOP.  I don’t think those Democrats who hope this will happen really understand how visceral is the dislike of Republicans for the Debbie Wasserman Schultz party that almost literally worships the ground upon which Hillary Clinton stands.

I am not sure that Donald Trump has ever been the member of a team before; he certainly doesn’t let on that he has been.  He has owned virtually every ‘team’ with which he has been associated, or he has had the chutzpah to force the other members to pledge their allegiance.  The GOP will survive Trump although it may very well lose the race for President.  It might be that the Trump experience is what the GOP needed in order to see what it needs to become if it is to survive and prosper on the national scene.

Rather than a battle between political parties, we are witnessing the forces of liberalism challenging the forces of conservatism under the guise of political parties.  There are factions amongst the conservatives of this nation that want their party to be much more strident than it is.  The Tea party movement has gone a long way toward creating schisms in the Republican party and in the conservative movement in general, and it seems to either not care that it enables the opposition with its actions, or to believe that it will deal the Republican party a death blow and emerge as the new conservative element in U.S. politics.

In essence, it is more likely to help Hillary Clinton reach the White House than anything else.  If Trump can’t get his stuff together (and keep it together), Hillary wins…and that, today, appears a very real possibility.  Not only will we not have a conservative government, but we will assuredly have the most liberal government in our lifetimes.

Incremental change is usually much more readily accepted and attainable than is wholesale change; patience rather than bombast is usually the winning strategy.  We may well have another eight years, very scary and painful years, in which to try to get that lesson across to others.

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