The Republican Party used to be reasonable. Worthy people used to be members, and leaders. The platform was reasonable. Now, in the age of Trump, and state parties built on deceit and sheer racism, all reason is gone, and the GOP has sunk to the bottom. If the party is to survive, it will have to jettison everything and rebuild based on real principles. Here are some things they might think about.
1. Quit your obstructionism and get to work. During the Obama administration you have devoted literally your entire effort to opposing everything President Obama promoted, and paid no attention to the welfare of the nation. That was your publicly stated goal, an anti-goal, and not what Congress members are elected to do.
You have been remarkably unproductive. You have refused to consider new laws. You have been on vacation for unprecedented periods. You have blocked hundreds of civil appointments, leaving dozens of departments severely shorthanded. This has cost the country hundreds of millions, contrary to your belief that it would save money. You have even failed to fulfill your constitutional mandate to consider the president’s non-controversial nomination for the vacant Supreme Court chair.
This obstructionism has made it necessary for the president to function mostly by executive authority during the past four years. The country is supposed to function by rational debate within Congress, but you have simply abdicated your responsibility and devoted full time to obstruction.
2. Create wealth for the poor, not the rich. Giving huge sums of wealth to the very wealthiest results in ever increasing inequality and poverty. The rich do not build factories and hire workers; they hoard their wealth and put it in financial manipulation investments that help no one.
The quality of democracy does not depend on how much wealth the richest have; it is determined by the quality of life for the poorest. Amazingly, the quality of life for the poorest depends most on equality of opportunity and the satisfaction of essential needs, including medical care, education, and old age security. High income is unimportant.
Several Republican governors have tried yet again to prove what has been disproven many times. Tax breaks for the rich in these states predictably resulted in reduced revenue, which then made it necessary to reduce crucial budgets such as education and public safety. It also resulted in job loss. The rich do not create jobs and economic equality. Better pay among low income folks does that.
This means that the GOP, if it is to adopt its own principles from just 70 years ago, will have to acknowledge that policies that work toward a just distribution of the national wealth will in fact create more equality, employment, and national wealth.
3. Embrace science. Science is nonpartisan. It is not necessary to “believe in” science, because science is completely independent of belief. We discover how the world works through the techniques of science.
Climate change is the best current illustration of discovering reality through science. We were warned by hundreds of scientists decades ago about the extreme danger that global warming would eventually create, because that’s what findings in their various fields indicated, and now all their predictions are coming to pass. Every year is hotter than the last, nearly every month is hotter than the previous year. Weather extremes of all sorts are creating increasingly expensive havoc and sending lives topsy-turvy.
The tragedy is that the GOP and corporations whose profit depends on climate change not happening have for decades denied what cannot be denied simply because to accept it would limit their greed. Corporations spent many millions to prove the climate wasn’t changing when it clearly was, and now we all will pay for this greed. The tragic fires and floods we are currently experiencing are two expensive ways we will pay, but far worse events are coming.
Science has something to say about religion too. Republicans can embrace the real parts of every religion that are important to people’s lives, but the Constitution forbids a state church, and we cannot conduct state business based on unsupportable beliefs.
Religion is very important to billions of people, but heaven and hell are not actual places that can be located. The GOP must accept what we know now: that the universe is 13.8 billion years old, that Earth is 4.5 billion years old, that human life evolved from the same life that everything else evolved from, resulting in the human species just 200,000 years ago, and much more.
4. Quit resisting restrictions on weapons of war. Nobody needs an assault weapon any more than they need a mortar or a flamethrower. There are very valid reasons to forbid certain persons from having any kind of gun at all. Don’t worry, the Second Amendment is not going away, but we have gotten ourselves in a hell of a fix because of so many millions of guns, too many in the hands of dangerous people.
There are plenty of other things the Republican Party can do to rejoin the real world, but these few suggestions will give you a good start. We need the GOP, but we cannot afford any more fantasy governing.