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The Texas Blue
Advancing Progressive Ideas

GOP Becoming Latest Party of Self-Destruction

The Republican Party has clearly stolen the playbook that Democrats drafted back in the ’70s and is following it to a T. The playbook sets forth how a political party can go about destroying itself from the inside out.

One very important element of the strategy is new faces, outsiders — lots of them. You invite them into your Party because you desperately want to win. Never mind the fact that you don't really agree with them because you can always just act like you do.

This is very important to the self-destruction strategy because eventually the new faces you didn’t really want but had to have will outnumber those with whom you agree. They will be the majority. They will be the Party.

Beginning in the ’60s, the Democratic Party extended an invitation to all sorts of different groups that had not traditionally been active. The growing pains were especially acute in the South where the Democratic Party had been the traditional bastion of white segregationists. When the "D" in Democratic started standing for diversity, that came as an awful shock to many of the traditionalists. So a huge division developed with many leaving the Party and those remaining choosing sides and fighting the political equivalent of a death match.

In places like Texas, Democrats looked up one day in the ’90s and said, "Where did our Party go?" A family can only have so many fights before it starts splintering.

But then the rebuilding process begins and most of those remaining realize they’re not there because they’re longing for some bygone day but because they agree with the newfound principles. Most Democrats today are embarrassed by the Party’s segregationist past and would rather go hunting with Dick Cheney than be a part of that Democratic Party.

Now it’s the Republicans’ turn, and all of the ugliness which marked the decline of the Democratic Party will be in plain view on the other side. The big difference is that while the Democratic Party needed to move away from its past, Republicans would be wise to return to theirs.

They were once the true party of Lincoln and some of the most zealous fighters for civil rights. But beginning with Nixon and building every year, they became the party of division. They embraced the religious right in order to have the numbers to win and placed themselves on a moral pedestal from which they were bound to tumble.

Those who were drawn to the Republican Party because of its stands on fiscal and foreign policy now don’t have to simply tolerate social conservatives, they must follow them.

The far right sets the agenda for the GOP, and it’s now all about abortion, gays, immigration — the list goes on and on. Soon, in places like Texas that have been so steeped in red in recent years, Republicans will be looking up and asking, “Where did our Party go?”

The only problem with the playbook is that it doesn’t set forth a firm timeline. It could be this year, 2010, 2014, no one really knows for sure. But based on everything we see around us today, it is going to happen.

If you find any pages of the playbook missing, let us know. We’ll help you find them.

(Originally published by Examiner Newspaper Group)

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