The Republican Party is as dead as the Whigs they replaced. The party was born out of the northern abolitionist movement along with some other political interests of the day, such as the Free Soilers. After the death of Lincoln, the radical Republicans did their best to destroy the Democrat party in the South and disenfranchise and punish the losers in the rebellion. It could be argued that Reconstruction was necessary to some extent, but it helped create the reaction that would be visible in Jim Crow and the Segregationists. It’s impossible to imagine the difference in America today if Lincoln had not been assassinated, if the radicals could have been checked, and if the South’s return to the Union had been more of a welcoming back of the prodigal and less retribution.
We have to live with the history we have been given.
There are things I like about the Grand Old Party. They have done a better job of standing up to federal encroachment on gun rights and religious freedom than the Democrat Party. They are less likely to support expansion of the welfare state – usually but not always.
What killed the Republican Party? To name but a few symptoms of their fatal disease:
- Amnesty – an irrational desire to see our country overrun by third-worlders, a refusal to secure the borders, the feeling that we need to import housekeepers, landscapers, and lettuce-pickers to do the low-paying jobs that people with government jobs and people on welfare won’t do.
- Corporatism – Like Democrats, Republicans do not trust or understand the free market. GOPe politicians favor big corporations that are in bed with government and benefit most from a large federal budget. This includes, but is not limited to, defense contractors and agri-business giants.
- Interventionist foreign policies – What’s the use of spending billions on cool new killing machines if we can’t use them? The positive side of this is that Republicans still have respect for the military and tend to treat our servicemen and veterans better than Democrat politicians. But we wouldn’t need the defense budget we have if we would mine our own business and secure the damn borders.
- The police state – Republican politicians have a tendency to be what are sometimes called “holster lickers”, i.e., a bit too enthusiastic about supporting police in the name of law and order. They help fund the War on (some) Drugs and the NSA’s continuing violations of our privacy rights. I don’t hear much from the GOP about how the unconstitutionally of warrantless searches, highway checkpoints and seizures of assets without due process.
- Pork-barrel spending projects, getting money “back to the district”, Medicare Party D, No Child Left Alone, the EPA, etc.
I won’t miss them that much. We have a Democrat Party for big-government socialists and nanny-staters. We don’t need the Socialist-lite Party. We need a Freedom Party, someone pulling, not from the “right”, but from the mind-your-own business pole to offer an actual alternative for those of us who believe that liberty, opportunity, and personal responsibility all go hand-in-hand. We know that freedom means, first and foremost, freedom from government.