The current GOP simply cannot win democratic elections, or at least not for much longer, under the current American system and with its changing demographics. Faced with those facts, the question becomes what to do. Especially from the party that always likes to talk about running government like a business, you would think they would realize that the market is changing and modify their product mix to accommodate the changing demand. Sorry to use all the business metaphors but that’s my academic training.
For some time now the Republican party has been the party of old, white, heterosexual (or at least not out of the closet) Christian males. They, along with the women they dominated, was a sufficient force to win elections. (They did and still do a great job of showing up at the polls.) However, as the oldsters die off the new voters replacing them are decreasingly falling into these demographics. The change is especially pronounced among the more well educated and women in particular. Today’s women think for themselves and aren’t bullied into voting the way hubby (assuming them have chosen to have one) tells them to.
It doesn’t take a crystal ball to tell them if they play fair and by the existing rules, they will win fewer and fewer elections. Instead of changing their ways to appeal to the changing electorate they have opted to game the system. Let’s briefly explore a few of the ways in the following paragraphs.
Gerrymandering has been around in American politics since at least 1812 and both parties have committed that sin. Basically, it is reconfiguring a district or districts so as to maximize your party’s representation and minimize the electoral strength of an ethic group(s) that tend to overwhelmingly vote for your political opposition. At R-20 Jim Jordan’s Ohio-4 is a good example of a congressional district gerrymandered to be friendly. A lot can be derived from there but I’ll let my readers do that on their own. State legislatures and state supreme courts are actively playing the gerrymandering game; I need look no further than my own “backyard” of North Carolina for proof of that. I could go much deeper but I need to move on and in this game gerrymandering is relatively a venial sin.
One of the big Republican (it used to be a Democratic decades ago in the South) strategies is simply to suppress the vote of groups that generally oppose you. Jim Crow is to a great degree alive and well it is just (on the surface at least) more subtle. Voter ID laws are at the forefront of this fight. First off voter fraud is close to non-existent in American voting. Donald Trump’s Big Lie to the contrary, it has been repeatedly proven that the voter fraud found in the 2020 election didn’t even come remotely close to changing the outcome. In fact, it appears that the documented cases of voter fraud actually slightly favored Trump and he still lost by a substantial margin. Voter ID laws disproportionally disadvantage Blacks, Native Americans and women; three groups that tend to vote Democratic. The GOP push for Voter ID has nothing to do with election integrity and everything to do with voter suppression.
A well educated electorate is the Republicans’ worst fear and in their minds an obstacle they cannot overcome. (Who famously said, “We love the less well educated”?) Public education is an enemy of the Republican party because, where allowed to, it deals in the truth and tries to teach critical thinking skills. Have you ever pondered the fact that red states tend to fund public education less well that blue states? It is a case of cause and desired effect, not coincidence! Under the guises of parental control and opportunity Republicans are trying to divert public education dollars to their cronies who run Republican friendly indoctrination centers.
My last point today will be the appeal to the less well-educated masses. The strategy can be boiled down to “scare ‘em and then give ‘em a slogan”. We must find something that links them; in the case of today’s Republicans it is white skin and Christianity. Then we make them fear what they do not know. This is why the strategy works particularly well in more homogeneous rural areas. Non-whites, homosexuals (Bubba never admits to being other than straight!) and non-Christians are the “other”. They are not well known and easily taught to be feared. This is simply a case of fear born of ignorance which is very common among the lower common denominator.
Now we have to make Bubba sound smart so we come up with some quick to say and easily remembered buzzwords. The latest is “woke”. Listen to a right winger and you’ll soon hear them say “woke” with great authority. Want to have some fun? Just ask them to define it. The same game can be played with “critical race theory” (which they had to shorten to CRT). I could go on but you get the idea by now.
Couple the changing demographics and their refusal to change and the Republican party is destined for the ash heap of history. Its only chance of survival is to change the rules of the game until they can take over and then make the changes permanent. Have no doubt about it; today’s Republican party is the anti small “d” democratic party! They are in their last gasps and getting increasingly desperate. Only you can prevent them from succeeding.
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