The GOP needs to be destroyed in order to save it.

There. I mostly wanted to drop the Bến Tre reference, but let me rave a bit more: Scorch the earth, salt the fields. Perhaps some day we will be able to see…

I will be very brief. My points have been better made elsewhere.

  1. For at least the past generation, the GOP is characterized by conservative social policies and (classical)-liberal economic policies such as free trade, and the Democratic party by liberal social policies and more controlled, regulated economic policies.

  2. Trump is attractive to the nativists in both the GOP and Dem. parties, and statements like “we’re gonna get Apple to start building their damn computers…in this country” could just as well have come out of Sander’s mouth. Trump is Authoritarian in both his social and economic philosophy.

  3. So, this is a fine time for the GOP to swap out social authoritarians for those favoring economic freedom. If there are more of the former than the latter, so be it.

  4. Jeb Bush and other Rep. should explicitly tell people to vote for the D. candidate. They have to accept a loss. If actions are not without pain, they don’t have as much moral force.

  5. Even though there is a good chance Trump could hand the victory to the D’s on his own due to a 3rd-party campaign, leading Republicans should still throw in the towel now to get credit for the re-construction.

  6. The rump of the GOP becomes a bunch of feuding, single-issue groups, and Democrats the sole ruling party for several election cycles. It’s ok, moderate Republicans just change their affiliation and compete on the right side of the political spectrum.

Doesn’t this idea go well with the thread telling Democrats to vote for Trump?

A party that wants to win elections can’t be “so be it” indifferent to shrinking its base.

How about splitting it up? Put Cruz, Kasich and Rubio and senators who think rape won’t get women pregnant and those who pass religious liberty bills in the RP = Religious Party.

Keep the Bloombergs, Buffets and Romney’s who maintain conservative values, but are mainly financially conservative and give breaks to the corporations.

Can’t expect the Pubs to go for that – trading one major party for two third parties. Remember that we have a single-member-district, first-past-the-post, winner-take-all system of representation at the state and federal levels, and that mechanism tends to marginalize third parties.

Exactly. :smiley:

(my emphasis)

Somehow, somewhere, sooner or later, there needs to be a movement concerned with the working conditions and wages of employees worldwide, and of environmental protection worldwide, and so on so that the factors that have made the industrial workforce in the United States expensive are equally factors elsewhere (and if the industrial workforce is still cheaper elsewhere it would be for reasons other than exploiting the workers and/or destroying the air and rivers and hillsides etc in foreign countries).

Ultimately, the Republicans are right about free trade. Not merely because it promotes the best market and all that capitalist stuff but because people willing to work in Whereveristan should have the opportunity to compete for jobs and thereby get a stake in the interrelated global exchange of goods and services and distribution of resources. It’s more fair. Face it, an attitude of “Keep business in America, keep Americans employed” is not the most egalitarian attitude, not when we’re the wealthiest and most resource-rich nation on earth. (Or, if not, then at least one of them and a hell of an economic powerhouse and all that).

As the Democrats have embraced free trade and ditched tariffs and protectonist trade policies, while the dim coals of what used to be called the “labor movement” does nothing to improve working conditions for anyone except the ones directly paying union dues (if even then), it has left a gaping hole in the social fabric. And Donald Trump and his ilk have stepped into that gap. Not in a good way but on the side of “American jobs for American products! America first! We hate the rest of you ugly fucks! Go back where you came from! Tariffs! The rest of you can eat shit and die!”

You can’t blame middle-class and working-class employees, for whom real wages have been stagnant and job availability has shrunk and shrunk and shrunk again for getting tired of it.

Actually, there’s no need to add any more words to that, is there? :slight_smile:

The Republicans get the lion’s share of the blame for Trump’s rise, but the political class in general has also led us here with the constant bullshitting. Especially on the two issues Trump is riding hardest: Free trade and immigration. On free trade, Democrats always run opposed then support it once in office. No one believes Clinton actually opposes TPP. She negotiated it! And on immigration, Republican candidates have been egging on the nativists for years but never really engaging in any real enforcement.

The political class has been engaging in bait and switch tactics to fool the rubes for years and people have hit their breaking point. I don’t approve of Trump’s rise at all, but I understand it.

Very true, adaher. Each party has distinct ways that it keeps rhetoric apart from action. Restrictions to free trade for the Dems (among other things), and tougher immigration enforcement for the Pubs (among other things). This is part of the reason why a third, centrist party is probably unnecessary – in terms of action, something close to centrism is what we already get, more often than not (and that’s not even accounting for normal checks and balances among the branches of government – let alone the hyper-obstructionism of recent years).

There’s room for a centrist party, but I think the Reform Party hit on the main issue: truth. Truth shouldn’t just be for the fringe candidates who don’t give a damn and don’t expect to win. Telling the truth should be an aspect of moderation, whereas lying and bait and switch tactics should be defined as extremism. IMO, ideology aside, a viable third party should adopt these precepts:

  1. Reject the politics of spin. The only valuable thing Donald Trump has done for us is to show that you can break all the rules of politics if people sense that you’re the real deal. Actually, we’ve seen a similar dynamic with Joe Biden. If you have a reputation for being straight with people, your gaffes tend to be less damaging. Press conferences should no longer be games of cat and mouse between reporters and administration spokesmen. When they ask a question, it should be answered. Administration members should also not have to be “on message”. Open disagreement should be aired publicly without retaliation.

  2. Competence and accountability matter. “The buck stops here”. When things go wrong, the people involved should take responsibility. No more “I read about it in the papers” by Presidents ,or giving the Medal of Freedom to the guy who said there were WMD in Iraq and it was a slam dunk. When your administration screws up, own it, and if the screwups are numerous enough or gross enough, fire people. And acknowledge your own bad judgment in appointing idiots.

  3. Careful management of taxpayer money. We’ve gotten away from paying for what we spend. The Republicans went off on the supply side train and the Democrats apparently now think stimulus should be semi-permanent. If you prioritize tax cuts, then spending has to be cut first. If you prioritze spending increases, then the money must be raised first. That should be a hard and fast principle in normal times(recession and war can be exceptions).

  4. Inclusiveness. No scapegoating of any group, whether poor or privileged, for the problems of America. That doesn’t mean you can’t pass adverse legislation(banks do indeed need to be reined in, welfare should not be a lifelong thing), but we shouldn’t use rhetoric that whips up hate and division. Most people aren’t evil, they just respond to bad incentives.

If that is true, then, looking at the shape of the economy and society since the Great Recession, there must be something deeply wrong with centrism.

Spin is done for compelling practical reasons. Do you really think a party that took that approach would do well in elections? Maybe, to some extent – Sanders’ straight-talking image is one reason he’s doing so well against Hillary – but we both know he won’t win in the end, and neither will Trump.

Why does everything have to be so complicated? Can’t it be destroyed just to destroy it?

He won’t lose because he’s a straight talker, he’ll lose because most Democrats think Clinton has a better chance to win. If I had a nickel for every Democrat I’ve heard say, “I love Sanders, but we just can’t take the chance of a Republican in the WH”…

Spin is something that is done from a position of weakness by politicians who listen to the highly paid professionals rather than their own instincts.

Wait a minute: on free trade, do you think Trump is for it, or against it?

Against it.

Do conservatives know that?

The ones who care more about jobs being offshored than corporate profits do, and there are a lot of those, perhaps more than previously appreciated, and they are going for Trump.

Thinking conservatives know that Trump isn’t one of us.

But they will still support him if he is the Republican nominee.