Has the Republican Party already lost?
While it may be too early to pronounce the Republicans and the principles they stand behind dead, it certainly does seem as if things could be heading that way.
For one, the party’s own members are revolting against it. The persistent popularity of candidates like Ben Carson and Donald Trump show just how fed up people are with the GOP establishment.
Part of this disgust is likely over the party’s ineffectiveness in recent years. The most recent failure, at least in the eyes of conservatives, was the recent passage of the budget framework for the next two years. While it avoids another shutdown, this budget fails to reduce the spending and additions to our national debt that have been the cause of so much conservative agitation.
And speaking of shutdowns, that seems to be all that the GOP has managed to accomplish in the past five years. 2010 saw the surge of the Tea Party and seats in the House and Senate swung into Republican control. This seemed like a wave of hope for the waning GOP, but all that they have managed to do since is elicit some scares and government shutdowns. They do not seem to have made many meaningful steps towards achieving conservative goals.
Although the two party system has been around for so long that it would seem unthinkable for one of them to pass away, the Republicans could conceivably be on their last leg.
If they lose this election and there are another four to eight years of Democratic control under Clinton or Sanders, the nation will have drifted so far from the principles that the Republican party adheres to that they may never win another national election. Or if a Republican candidate wins and continues the party’s inability to accomplish any of its goals, what good would come out of electing another member of the GOP in the future?
I shudder to think of the damage that Donald Trump could do to the Republican party’s reputation (and possibly already has) if he was the president-in-chief of this country for four long years.
With that being said, this election could be a turning point for the Republicans. But I am not about to start dancing in the ashes of the GOP along with all of the Sanders supporters nationwide. I do think our government needs a party that has the voice of reason and restraint in spending, coupled with a drive to keep our nation safe overseas and a strong foreign policy – a role the Republicans have long served. But we shall see if they can turn things around and continue to uphold this role after this major election cycle or if the party will pass away for good.