First, read this article in its entirety: Can Republicans be saved from Obsolescence?
So, can the GOP be saved?
The short answer is, of course. Nature abhors a vacuum, and a political system dominated by a single party will soon collapse. Something will happen to create a balance; it might be a resurgence of the old GOP, or the creation of a third-party, or a thousand years of darkness. Whatever. Most likely there will be some rebranding as the GOP learns to deal with the rising Latino population and popular antipathy toward social conservatism.
There is a broader issue in the article, and that is the fact the conservative movement, particularly in the Republican Party, does not take care of its own. There is no effort being made to create new leaders in the GOP. If anything, the effort is to keep fresh blood out of important posts. The people under 40 who understand the new electoral paradigm are being sacrificed to the old guard that destroyed everything the Reagan movement created.
It’s something I’ve experienced personally. I was an “activist” (I word I now hate) at college and shortly thereafter. Among the people I knew on the right, very few have progressed professionally in the political world. But among my counterparts on the left, almost all of them were able to find regular employment in left-wing political movements. The progressives are serious about expanding the talent base and letting new people into leadership positions. Republicans are not. And that needs to change.
It was clear to me that in 2012 the only candidate in the Republican Party that attracted young people at rates higher than “token” levels was Ron Paul. And this makes sense, the form of conservatism most attractive to young people is more libertarian and economic based. Ron Paul’s attitudes on war are also more attractive than the “when in doubt, go to war” attitude of the hawkish neocons. Many of the leaders in the Ron Paul campaign were younger, and there were many opportunities to move “up” and take on more responsibilities.
I’m not suggesting a personality cult will be the future of the GOP, but there are other lessons to be learned here moving forward. If we so choose to learn them.
Filed under: Political