As it stands right now, and I am fairly certain that no bones can be made about it, the Republican Party is in serious trouble. From nominating a racist mail order meat salesman, candidates that say stunningly stupid things whilst out on the trail campaigning to deep divisions between the various factions that currently make up the group; it can be called anything but effective at the Presidential level. Though most people my age and various minority communities around the country welcome the hobbling of this organization in favor of the Democratic Party which shares more of their values, this sort of mass political change is actually bad for our society in more ways than one, I’ve witnessed it firsthand.
When one group starts to monopolize and be seen as the natural positive authority in the nation or area where their candidates seek public office, they then unjustly start to get a stranglehold on good ideas put forth to the public. At the expense of those on the other side of the aisle and the things they believe, Party X will start to become egotistical and believe they’re never wrong.
This has happened in my former nation of residence. Up in Canada, the nation’s Liberal political group is seen as the country’s “Natural Governing Party” by academia and some members of the press. In the 20th century they held power for nearly 70 years, have been responsible for legislation that has shaped the nation as a whole and effectively know how to appeal to a broad swathe of demographics in the most populous regions and electorally rich areas of the country. That may seem good, but sometimes that sort of power can go to one’s head.
An example of that being the Canadian Long Gun Registry, originally introduced in the early 1990’s after a spate of high profile gun incidents, the database was seen by the Liberal Party and other Canadians of a left of center perspective as being an effective tool to combat gun crime in the nation. Though they felt it had a positive effect, the data collected after years of use shows that notion to be incorrect and at best unclear. From cost overruns to the majority of the public believing the program had no effect on crime, the database was not exactly the best thing around.
Thankfully in 2011 the then Conservative led government passed legislation to scrap the bad point of policy. Now, you’d think that when presented with data that shows the program is not as effective as it could be that the left in Canadian politics would support replacing it something better, but you’d be wrong. Instead, then leader Michael Ignatieff whipped his caucus and forced every member to vote according to the party position or face discipline. That’s crazy dear reader and a prime example of what I said earlier, when you have a lot of success as a political party, you start to believe that you can do no wrong and that all you do is right and morally sound.
Turning our attention back to the land below the 49th parallel, let’s take a look at the state of Texas. Formerly a Democratic stronghold, the GOP has increasingly come to dominate state politics in the modern era. Much like their Liberal cousins to the north, the local party also has become maddened by their electoral success and believes that they can do no wrong policy wise.
Now we all remember the abortion legislation that Wendy Davis notably filibustered against, so I won’t bring that up again, instead I point you towards another piece of lunacy. In 2015, the GOP controlled State House passed a law allowing people with a concealed carry permit to bring their weaponry to an airport and not face charges so long as they immediately leave airport security if found with any. A Democrat did sponsor the bill, but we all know the group most likely to vote for the thing are fastidiously conservative individuals. How it hasn’t led to a number of bad incidents so far is beyond me, you’d think it would have at this point, miracles happen I guess.
Outside of other countries and the state level politics that occur in America, another recent example of this was the political conversation that occurred after the Pulse shooting in Orlando. The Democrats, sensing they finally had a gun issue they could win on, “heroically” led a fight to bar people on the no fly list from purchasing weapons. What they didn’t tell you in that debate and what my friends on Twitter and other social networks didn’t realize is that the GOP wanted the same thing, but like the ACLU rightfully had concerns about the accuracy and fairness of such a listing that is kept secret by the federal government. When a five year old child can be mistakenly put on the database shared between the US and Canada, it’s clear that the American right is correct to be cautious about laws that hurt or perhaps unfairly target those on it.
Bottom line is this, though some are happy that the conservative political party in the United States is sliding down a path towards irrelevance at the national level, they are wrong to do so. Such a change is bad for our society, allows less than noble Democrats to get away with far more than they presently do and leads to a dearth of good ideas in the public space. It has happened in Canada, is prominent a lot of the time in Mexico and is increasingly occurring in states all over the nation. Voters and rightists need to wise up and make dammed sure it doesn’t occur at the federal level. If you think the two party system is bad now, imagine how much worse it could be.
Disclaimer: I am neither Conservative nor Liberal in my outlook. I’m sure people will assume so, but I try to avoid such foolhardy ideology as thinking so narrowly can destroy your daily life.