When I wrote my book, It’s My Party Too, in 2005, I indicated that the Republican Party was approaching a cliff. Little did I know how steep the precipice would be or how willingly the party would throw itself over. Today, those who define themselves as Republican leaders have rendered the party unrecognizable from the party of Lincoln, Eisenhower, and Reagan.
No longer do Republicans care about balanced budgets save when spending is proposed by the Democrats (witness the 36% increase in the national debt during the Trump Administration). It’s not that Democrats are any more fiscally responsible, it’s just that they never claimed to be. The party that used to argue vociferously about government creep is now content to have big government insert itself into people’s bedrooms. Lincoln’s party that fought against slavery is now systematically try to ensure that the freedom to vote is severely curtailed for people of color. 43 states controlled by Republican legislatures are proposing (and in many cases passing) bills that range from limiting mail-in ballots and early voting, enacting stricter ID requirements , limiting hours for voting as well as curtailing the eligibility to vote absentee, all because Donald Trump lost the election and not because of any wide-spread fraud. In Arizona, the Republicans have hired a private firm to recount the votes for a 4th time. This time with no published guidelines, no access by the press, limited, if any observers, no cameras or recording devices in an effort to perpetuate the “Big Lie”. It’s not a winning strategy and registration numbers tell the tale.
In a poll taken in March 2020 by Gallup, registered Republicans represented 25% of eligible voters, Democrats 32% and Independents 41%. Given the outcome of the 2020 election it is safe to say that the Independents broke slightly for Joe Biden, but it was enough. Shrinking the voter base to only those who may support you is unconstitutional and just plain wrong.
Perhaps the saddest thing about the path on which the Republican Party is heading is that it is narrow, bigoted and irresponsible. Our country, I believe, function best with two national parties – preferably a center right and a center left. We seem to be losing that on both sides of the aisle, and the American people are the ones left hanging.