I don’t want to confuse you with the facts, I will just give you my opinion. This is basically what the Republican candidates are saying to their supporters. Let’s not muddy the waters with the facts about global warming, evolution, the use of contraception, the economy, education, gas prices, clean energy development, Iran etc. Let us base everything we say not on fact, but on a narrative driven by a far right ideology. This is an ideology that does not respect science, education or an appropriate role of government. It protects free enterprise at all costs, even if the cost is the safety, health and financial well being of the populace. It preaches freedom, but that freedom ends at the threshold of your bedroom door. It sings a populist tune, but plays to the beat of a power elite. Finally, it views the pragmatism of compromise as heresy. This is what today’s Republican Party has become. It is not a surprise that Barbara Bush recently described this campaign as the worst in her memory.
Nor is it a surprise that voter turn out during this primary season has been markedly lower than in 2008. The candidates have become so disconnected from the attitudes and concerns of the average Republican voter that in poll after poll the majority have voiced dissatisfaction with their choices and have voted with their feet by not showing up at the polls. Polls have also shown that a growing majority of independent voters, once leaning Republican, are now leaning towards the Democrats. This last point is critical since it is the 40% of the electorate that will ultimately determine the winner in November.
Finally, it is clear that once a nominee is selected, it will be very difficult, if not impossible, for whoever it is to move back to the center to attract those independents. This will impact not only on ultimate winner in the Presidential contest, but on Congressional, Gubernatorial and State legislatures as well. My hope is that as a result of this electoral devastation, the Republican Party will go through a cleansing process and will once again become a viable partner in the important work of governance. Our two party system will again be in tact. Until than, we are left with a Republican party that is disconnected from reality, ill informed and based on an ideology that was discredited many years ago when it was in vogue.