For the Huffington Post Page where this article first appeared, click here.
I am going to hit on some topics here that are causing the GOP to lose connection with all thinking voters. I am not a democrat, I am not a republican. I follow politics and have worked for people of both parties that I have felt were up to the job.
This article consists of three main points that the GOP is failing.
1. Cost of living vs the living wage:
2. Reality T.V. candidates:
3. Ignorance of the rights of women, immigrants:
As implied in the headline, the Republican Party is dangerously close to becoming unwinnable in national elections and they don’t seem to have noticed in the least.
America is the greatest country in the world. The legend goes that anyone can rise from their humble origins and do great and amazing things. We have all heard the remarkable tales time and again and all of us believe that one day we will strike it rich despite all our personal challenges. I am beginning to doubt this, because there is an entire political party trying to crush middle class gains.
By the numbers
Here is a statistic to share how broken our system really is, and how high of a mountain you have to climb if you want to make it financially.
The $4.03-an-hour rate recorded in January 1973 has the same purchasing power as $22.41 would today, according to Pew Research. This means that the cost of living has increased, but salaries have not increased with it.
Why is this number staggering? Because basically it means that while the price of virtually everything else has gone up extraordinarily, working wages have not. The average worker has watched rent increases, gas increases, food increases, and all the while his salary has remained behind.
The average 40-hour worker supporting a family cannot survive on one income like they could before.
In case you were wondering, CEO wages have increased by 937 percent since 1978… The average worker? 5.7 percent.
Would you like to take a wild guess at who has been blocking virtually all living wage increases?
If you guessed the Republicans, you would be right. Huffington Post contributor, Mollie Reilly wrote a terrific article on this subject last year.
What we are looking at is a middle class that is dying, literally, and a party that supposedly represents them holding their head under water. As long as the GOP fights middle class progress they will have a difficult time reaching the votes they need outside of rural areas and winning the presidency.
Reality television has been popular for a long time. However, in the past few election cycles we have begun to see more and more candidates who basically have no relevant experience coming out of the GOP woodwork as an “outsider.”
The first major politician that did this was Sarah Palin, now that champion is Donald Trump. Both candidates are thick on talking and thin on substance. Both are incredibly popular with the GOP base, both gather eye rolls from everyone else. This reality star persona is great for ten minutes, but if the candidate doesn’t know anything, they have no chance, and the Republican Party is full of them.
The all-time undisputed king of GOP case-making was Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln was able to simply articulate an idea, tell an anecdote to relate to the common person, and make people walk away ready to fight his cause. Lincoln took 272 words and etched them forever into history with the Gettysburg address.
This is the best the GOP candidates can offer today:
“Just because a couple people on the Supreme Court declare something to be ‘constitutional’ does not make it so.” -Rand Paul
“You know, something may be going down tonight, but it ain’t going to be jobs, sweetheart.”-Chris Christie
“I think the only difference between me and the other candidates is that I’m more honest and my women are more beautiful.”- Donald Trump
Now, the Democrats have their own issues and Hilary Clinton just may be doomed to fail again, but the republican party has become so far right of center, has gotten so far out of touch of real issues, and have alienated so many voters that I have to ask this question: Is this the last presidential election where the republicans will even matter?
The two biggest blocks of voters in the future will be Hispanics and women. Hispanics already have a big impact on the national races and the current GOP standard bearer Trump has called them rapists, and Bush has called them “anchor babies.” Women have been belittled so horribly in this election that I am embarrassed that other countries are watching us.
But, I always knew this day would come eventually though. To be honest I am surprised it took this long. I knew that one day our love of ‘Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, the Kardashians, Paris Hilton, The Jersey Shore and a million other trash TV shows would transcend into our garbage political system. With the official arrival of Donald Trump for President comes the first reality TV presidential candidate and the eventual end of any intellectual respect for the GOP.
But you know what? One of two things will happen. Trump will either bail on running for President and say he has nothing to prove anyone, or he is going to win the Republican nomination because he stands out, he talks tough, and pretends to know what he is doing well enough to get the average GOP voter to think he can do stuff. Thankfully our country is more intellectual than not and he will get destroyed in the general election and we will never have to face a “Trump Administration.”
So after this will the GOP open their eyes and their hearts and begin helping to rebuild the middle class? Or will they continue to divide this country and go the way of the Federalist and the Whigs?
Please be sure to comment and lets have a good discussion!
photo credit: FOX News Debate Cast: The Top Ten via photopin (license)