With all the mayhem in the Republican Party this election cycle, it’s worth looking at the history of the GOP and how we got to where we are today. More importantly, we should ponder why we are looking at what just may be the demise of the GOP.
Republicans have been riding the Reagan wave for the better part of three decades and to this day candidates talk as if he were the founder of the Republican Party. To put it blunt, GOP candidates openly idolize him to the point of embarrassing themselves. With that said, let’s look to see how the Reagan worshipers have done since he left office twenty-eight years ago.
1988: G.H. Bush beat Dukakis
In 1984 G.H. had just spent the past eight years as Reagan’s VP and he rode that wave into his Presidency. He won the election against an extremely weak Dukakis who would have likely lost to whomever he ran against. I could write volumes as to why Bush didn’t do well during his time in the oval office, but in the end, all that matters is that he had a rough four years.
1992: G.H. Bush LOST to Clinton
In 92 G.H. lost and, to be honest, the Republican Party has never recovered.
1996: Dole LOST to Clinton
In 96 the GOP nominated the third Right Wing Christian Conservative in a row. He did not do well. Clinton won easily and a pattern began to form.
2000: G.W. Bush LOST to Gore (Bush won on a politically decided technicality)
In 2000 the GOP got a break. They once again put an Old Guard Christian Conservative up for election and there’s no other way to put it. He lost. In reality he won it on a technicality when Republican, Katherine Harris handed G.W. the White house. Gore won the popular vote, and if we are honest, he likely won Florida.
2004: G.W. Bush beat Kerry
In 04 G.W. won again, but the United States was in a state of war in the Middle East and changing Presidents in war-time is almost unheard of. Bush rode the military and American patriotism to his re-election.
2008: McCain LOST to Obama
In 08, yet one more establishment Republican made what could be called, at best, a halfhearted effort to win the election. If he ever had a chance to win, it dwindled when he chose Right Wing Christian Conservative, Sarah Palin, as his running mate. McCain was an establishment Republican, but did not come across as perfectly right wing as some of his predecessors. Palin filled that void.
2012: Romney LOST to Obama
In 12, the party, apparently obsessed with sending Right Wing Christian Conservatives to their demise, nominated Mitt Romney as their candidate. He was right-wing, rich, establishment and on the surface, seemed completely out of touch with mainstream America. He not only lost an election he was predicted to win, but he lost badly.
Here we are in 2016 and the field is wide open. Surely by now the GOP elites have learned vital lessons from the past and are ready to support a candidate the American people can bond with and support. Right out of the gate there were only two names that carried such a negative connotation that they could never be nominated or supported if the GOP hoped to regain the White House this time around.
First, nobody with the last name “Bush” could be the candidate. Jeb’s record and reputation were irrelevant. Whether he was a good guy or a likeable guy, it didn’t matter. The multi-trillion dollar mess left behind by G.W. was too heavy a load for anyone to carry to victory.
The second was Mitt Romney. He had already run and lost twice, but more importantly, most people believe that he blew the last election. It should have been an easy victory. But he didn’t win. He choked. He came off as a stiff, rich, arrogant white man who did not and could not comprehend the day-to-day struggles of average Americans.
Taking those two out of the picture was seemingly no big deal as there were sixteen other candidates seeking the highest office of the land. Unfortunately Bush threw his name in the ring and that name was who the Republican Establishment chose to support. As absurd as it may seem, they chose to support someone who’s family had in all reality lost two out of the last three Presidential elections they had run in.
While only a few candidates were making a serious run at the nomination, a crazy, loudmouth, intriguing, millionaire named Trump was stealing the show. “Not to worry,” the establishment kept telling everyone, “Trump will crash and burn.” The big money was behind Bush and once Trump was gone, Bush would trudge on until everyone else ran out of money and the nomination would be a lock.
Unfortunately the GOP establishment has formed the habit of being wrong a lot in the past couple of decades and Trump, did not crash and burn. Jeb embarrassed himself and then dropped out. Now the establishment did not have a viable candidate they could control and the ones they could control couldn’t beat Trump.
In a desperate need to shake things up, whom does the GOP bring in? Taboo candidate number two, Mitt Romney. Romney rode onto the stage like a rich, elitist Old White Guy Cowboy and announced to the world that he and his friends have decided they are not allowing Trump to be the candidate. Voters be damned! Mitt and his friends love the voters and respect the voters, but they’re pretty sure the voters are too stupid and gullible to pick the correct candidate. Not to worry. They’re going to do it for us.
From here on in it’s all speculation as to what will or will not happen, but I have just a tidbit of advice for the Republican Establishment. If you want the party to survive into the future, step back and let the election play out. For the party and the PAC’s to spend millions of dollars to take down a candidate when you don’t have one to support, is just unwise and un-American.
And before you kick around the brilliant idea of putting Mitt up on the stage again, keep this in mind. The GOP has lost five of the last seven elections and continues to nominate candidates who have the same traits as the candidate who lost the last election. Sooner or later you’ve gotta look at the numbers and say, “Ohhh… I get it. We need to appeal to a more diverse group.”
All I can say is, the GOP has become the embodiment of the definition of insanity.