If you checked out some of the highlights (or lowlights as I see them) from CPAC 2013, you might catch a hint of a half-hearted admission that something has got to change in the Grand Old Party. A political party that sounds reminiscent of the antebellum plantation mentality (that still permeates much of rural America) has deduced, from election post-mortem analyses, the future looks anything but promising. This was discussed, but honestly, there are no plans to modify thinking on a scale necessary to rebrand the party to fit the needs of the majority of voters.
The most telling evidence the GOP is not ready for prime time can be found when interviewing a few CPAC attendees about what they thought of Senator Rob Portman (R-Oh) coming out in favor of gay marriage. Because he learned two years ago his son is gay he felt understandably sympathetic to the rights of homosexuals marrying and this simply did not sit well with conservatives. Please pay close attention to the comment of the woman at the 02:15 mark of the video.
The Frederick Douglass Republicans are those who have hijacked the black leader’s name because he was a successful businessman who must have espoused all the Republican and Libertarian values of our great Capitalist society. This largely unknown group thinks President Obama is nothing like this man because he is so anti-business, the Koch Brothers have only increased their wealth by 43% since 2010, so that Socialist in the White House is very anti-business. Hypocrisy abounds as the group does not emulate Mr. Douglass in most regards. At one of the CPAC forums, an audience member asked a rather shocking question with regards to the treatment of slaves.
Stunningly, many Conservatives believe not only should homosexuals stay in the closet like they did in the 1950’s, but slaves should have been grateful for food and shelter which they received from their captors. Unfortunately, this type of fringe thinking is no longer on the outskirts of the party. It’s obvious the Teaparty and Fundamentalist wing of the GOP is calling the shots. However, in a society that is evolving towards acceptance and tolerance of all and departing from Biblical Draconian law, the GOP has little hope for evolution (ironically, many deny the concept altogether).
Much ado has been made by both liberals and conservatives over Rand Paul and his espousal of the idealistic Libertarian values of freedom and liberty. After his pointless and costly 13 hour filibuster, he was the winner of the CPAC 2013 straw poll for 2016 GOP presidential nominee. The Kentucky Senator believes corporations should be free to dump as much toxic waste into our rivers as they wish, no taxes should be paid to help our fellow citizens in need (especially to receive healthcare) and education should not be paid for by the state. In a nutshell, he wants the government to stay out of our affairs.
He has sponsored the Fetal Personhood Amendment to give a cluster of embryonic cells the same rights as a human being. However, before we commend him on his “pro-life” stance, he also feels a person of color could or should be excluded from any private establishment, like a restaurant, simply because the owner should have the freedom to discriminate if he so chooses. The free market should eliminate the need for all government regulations and if active discrimination is rampant in this country once again, so be it. This is not a man who believes in the pursuit of happiness. He believes in the pursuit of happiness for a select few.
Isn’t the goal of the GOP, convening with their best and brightest as they did this past weekend, to increase their membership and numbers? Has anyone in this party considered that restricting or outlawing birth control while simultaneously cutting funding for poor and unwanted children will most likely increase the number of Democratic voters? Minorities are generally immigrants and one of the stars of the GOP, Donald Trump, even said (out loud) that naturalizing 11,000,000 immigrants will only add that many more “Democrat” voters. I’m having a hard time following their logic, as logic seems to evade this party entirely.
As long as women are not in control of when they give birth, discrimination and overt racism are acceptable and religious dogma supersedes equality for humanity, the Republicans are content. The rest of the country, however, is not of this mindset and any rebranding should include a tabula rasa for the entire GOP. This antiquated way of thinking must change, and it looks like the odds are pretty slim the hard-liners of the party will have such an epiphany.