What changes would you like to see? Are there issues they should change their position on, or have no position at all? Could they still win elections with the changes? We already have the LP.
As a liberal democrat, I’d say that the only thing that really kills me about the Repubs is their attachment to the Religious Right. Even those politicos that don’t subscribe to that POV use them to win elections.
We had this out with my son (who’s dad is a Republican)- I may hate Bush, but I’m not too proud to admit that liberal policy is isn’t always right. And I’ve known just as many good, honest statesmen that had an ® after their names as have had a (D).
But the marriage of politics and religion that the Republicans all seem to either tolerate or actively work toward is poison, IMHO.
The first thing they need to do is permanently kill the Patriot Act and try restore some kind of basic trust in the government and respect for civil rights.
The next thing they need to do is quit pandering to religious fanatics. The GOP needs to quit embarrassing itself with spectacles like the Schiavo crusade, with anti-gay marriage laws, and with the pretense that evolution is in any sort of doubt.
If they’re willing to do at least those two things, I’ll listen to them.
- Quit screwing working people. Make the necessary adjustments to save Social Security and quit trying to gut it. Change the tax codes to favor wage earners, not dividend drawers. Don’t ship my job overseas and then wave the flag in my face.
- Get the freakin’ budget under control. Don’t just * talk * about it, * do * it.
- Change the bankrupcy laws back the way they were. Reform the banking industry. Twist arms until they give up deceitful marketing, ridiculous fees and usurious interest.
- Get serious about controlling illegal immigration.
- Try to understand that Ayn Rand was wrong, and the free market is not a panacea for all our woes. (This one goes for libertarians, too.)
- Give up on the drug war. Switch the emphasis to dealing with substance abuse rather than interdicting supply.
Come to think of it, nos. 2,3,4 and 6 would apply to the Democrats, too. If you’re a Democrat, change #1 to read, “Learn to respect the principle of majority rule,” and change #5 to read, “Try to understand that Michael Moore and Al Sharpton are liabilities, not assets.”
I would like to see the Republican Party become more moderate again.
I would like them to disenfranchise the Religious right that now has very heavy control over the party.
I would like them to go back to being the party of Fiscal responsibility.
Keep being Hawkish and big on foreign policy, just also emphasize diplomacy again.
I would like to see the Republicans champion small business, over big business. Maybe even try to watch Big Business excesses.
I would also like to see the party embrace Teddy Roosevelt’s love of preserving Open space in terms of National parks.
Actually I think I have pretty much been describing Teddy Roosevelt style republicanism.
As a liberal democrat, I’d change… well, just about everything. But I recognize that having an essentially one-party state would be anti-thetical to a healthy democracy, so the only thing I’d really like to see is for them to cut off the religious right. That would go a long way towards solving the only two things about the Republican party as a whole that I feel are aboslute moral negatives: the infringement of religious belief on the legislation of the country, and the attempt to institutionalize homophobia in all levels of the legal structure of this country, from the Constitution on down. All the other shit that they do that I disagree with, I can live with. There are good arguments for their positions on most other subjects, even if I don’t agree with them. But the two things I listed, are absolutely unacceptable to me.
Of course, once we get the Republicans to stop doing them, we have to get the Democrats to stop doing them, too.
Well, that covers the changes I’d like to make.
Practically, though, I’d like to see the religion toned down several notches. Eliminating it altogether is unrealistic-- for either party.
I’d like to see them get real serious about reducing the size of the budget. The federal budget is is approaching $3,000,000,000,000. At a bare minimum, set budget increases at less than the inflation rate until we have a balanced budget.
Be consistent about federalism. If you want the states to decide things like minimum wage laws, then let the states decide about SSM, too.
Those three things would be a good start. Get those going, and we can talk about other things.
I’d like the Republican Party most of all to free itself from its disgusting entanglement with right-wing, evangelical. fundamentalist Christianty. This is the worst thing that has happened to the GOP, ever. It may prove to be its undoing.
I’d like the GOP to be what’s it’s supposed to be: champions of liberty in opposition to power grabs by the Federal Government, promoters of States’ rights (in issues beyond abortion,) and monitors of true fiscal responsibility. I’d also like it if they were a little less keen on raping pristine natural environments, and a little bit more willing to recognize legitimate science even when it might seem to go against their politics (e.g. on positions such as gobal warming and evolution). I’d also like to see the Republicans cease and desist with their Gerrymandering foolery and take some bold steps toward avoiding the kinds of demonizing rhetoric that helps keep the country politically polarized, especially on non-issues such as flag burning and the so-called war of Christmas.
There are enormous problems with the Bush administration that I do not think reflect true Republican policy, such as the emasculation of the State Department (at least pre-Condi Rice) and manipulation of intelligence to suit ideological/political goals.
A hegemony of a single party in all branches of government is a very, very bad thing. I am convinced the GOP is harming itself right now in the long term far more than anybody realizes; the extreme deviation from some of their supposedly core beliefs I exhibit as evidence of this (e.g. lack of fiscal responsibility, the bloated power of the Federal government). Time will tell.
I am also sure that the country needs both Democrats and Republicans. Debate and dissent are essential to a healthy democracy, both between the two parties and between the three branches of government. When hegemony stifles dissent, bad very stuff happens. I am glad to see that the country politically is pulling back from that: witness a growing number of Republicans having the guts to directly question Bushite policy.
And a two-party state ain’t much better. I would split the Pubs up into a business-conservative party, a social-religious-conservative party, and a paleoconservative-populist party (i.e., merge that wing with Buchanan’s America First Party). And I would split up the Dems into a neoliberal-free-trade-pro-business party, a labor-based-populist party, and an ideological-leftist-progressive-green party.
I’d also like to see less of the religious right. I was happy to see the White House criticize Pat Robertson after his remarks on Sharon’s condition. And I would also like to see the Republicans try to help the environment a little more, kinda like Teddy Roosevelt did.
I hate to admit it but you do have a point. The coalitions that we have right now are an absolute mess. A Budweiser swilling union car worker probably doesn’t have that many of the same political goals as a pagan lesibian. Likewise, I don’t see how poor rural fundamentalists find it easy to associate with wealthy businessmen politically.
History would show that when you fracture the parties into all kinds of multiples you have a quite disagreeable situation.
You typically have two outcomes:
Virtual one-party/one-coalition rule for decades at a time (see how long political dynasties last in the UK or Canada)
When a party/coalition is in power voting is much more along a strict party-line than it is in our current two-party system.
Here, Here!! Quit attacking the message because of the messenger. An unhealthy environment has serious economic costs; just ask a fisherman. Being “pro-environment” does not automatically equal “anti-business” (or wild-eyed commie vegetarian homo.)
And stay the hell out of my bedroom!!
I’d just like to give a hearty a-men to most of the comments in this thread. Especially Knorf.
I’d like to add that I want the Republican Party to once again become the party of individual dignity.
It’s going to take a lot of work.
I’m going to pile on with the Republicans should distance themselves from the religious right. The win in 2004, attributed to the “God gap.” has caused me to give the Republicans no respect. Bush’s pandering to them with the ban on stem cell research and support for creationism is simply embarassing in the 21st century.
Early 2005 showed the party eager to embrace any fringe of the Religious Right. Hopefully, the Schiavo debacle has helped a bit.
Still, it was embarassing watching Rick Perry (Gov. Texas) sell his soul to the religious right and endorse the SSM ban in Texas in order to prevent a primary challenge.
I can respect some conservatives, but when you hitch your party to Jerry Falwell, James Dobson, and Pat Robertson, I can never vote Republican.
That’s the best description I’ve seen. Except I would add “Libertarian-Republican” as a category. Believe it or not, there are plenty of Republicans who aren’t particularly pro-big business or particularly religious. They’re the people like most if not all of the Republicans on this board. People like that just want the government to have as little impact on their lives of the citizens as possible. They’re not hardcore Libertarians, they just lean in that direction.
I’d like to see them become the party of fiscal responsibility…and mean it. Cut taxes, but at the same time cut back on the size and function of the government. Privatize what can be privatized, make efficient what can’t be. Balance the budget and reduce the deficite. Become the party of reasoned compromise on the enviroment. Continue a pro-business expansive economy platform, but balance this with well thought out approaches to necessary social programs…just make them WORK. Get rid of the minimum wage laws completely, but with a real plan including realistic training and support for the working poor. Go one way or the other on healthcare but quit straddling the fence…we get hit by both trains standing in the middle, paying ridiculous amounts of money for health care while getting shitty service for our money.
I’d like them to disengage from the religious right wing factions both in deed and in tone…i.e. don’t keep playing lip service to the more radical quasi-religious agenda. Things like abortion and stem cell research should be pretty much taken off the table by the Republican PARTY (obviously individual Republicans can do what they want).
Become the party of reason where science is concerned. The US advantage is in high tech…encourage this, don’t hold things back. Have a long term plan to completely dismantle the current fucked up Department of Education with a plan to replace it with education for our children that actually works. Whether this means privatization to one degree or another or something else I don’t care…but make it work, let us get something for all the money we spend.
I think just doing those things I listed will help many other problems that we currently spend big dollars to ‘fix’.
One more thing. Either Junk NASA or make it work…and give it some real goals, some goals worthy of this country. Make the US THE nation in space exploration, both manned and unmanned.
That describes me fairly well, Sam. That link leads to an involved list of what would make me happy politically, but in brief here: Distancing the party from the religious right would be a good start; in my opinion the best canidates are only nominal religious, or closed-mouth on their stronger beliefs.
Like xtisme I’d also like NASA dismantled.
I’d also like to see more people in the party embrace a “separate but equal” stance on legally sanctified gay relationships. There are many party members who are never going to get over the semantics of the word “marriage” so I think lobbying for gay marriage is never going to work. Civil unions, on the other hand, by the magic of being a different phrase, are somehow more palatable to a lot of older republicans I know. I don’t care which passes, I’d just like to see friends have the same right to a legal union as I have.
It would be nice if they wouldn’t lie all the time. Just once I’d like to hear a politician give an honest answer to an honest question, instead of trying to tell me what he thinks I want to hear. It would also be nice if they weren’t owned by faceless corporations.
I’d settle for just budgetary honesty.
If you want programs X,Y, and Z then taxes must be sufficient to pay for them. If you want lower taxes then eliminate or decrease funding for X, Y, and Z.
You’d think that wouldn’t be a hard equation.