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A Party that Reagan Wouldn't Recognize

Reader has doubts over the status of Republican party.


The current atmosphere of the Republican Party presents incredible challenges for traditional Republicans. So difficult are the choices of real and sincere conservatives given the litmus tests now employed by those who drank the tea (cut services, allow the government to collapse and refuse any revenue considerations) and the other extreme faction bathed in the purity of family values. (read: intense and renewed attacks on women's right to choose.)

It has been bandied about how the patron saint of many of the current crop of Republican candidates, Ronald Reagan, would not be allowed to participate in these elections given his penchant for working with the opposition (his relationship with Speaker Tim O'Neil was legendary) and agreement to increase taxes to allow for his build-up of the military.

Newt Gingrich, another Republican revered for "his great brain" came into the 2011 race by claiming that "social engineering" of public health systems proposed by tea party-infused politicians was "lunacy." He was promptly relegated to a premature ostracism and immediately recanted his logical and first opinion in favor of drinkingmore tea and adopting the extreme positions of the extreme right. Similarly, Mitt Romney has been on his regular tap dance routine of "being against after being in favor" of so many national issues. Healthcare in Massachusetts, women's right to choose are two of the most consistent issues that Mr. Romney has to run away from based on his established record as governor of that state. Proof of his little success in doing so is his lackluster 23 percent ranking amongst primary voters, a position that consistently gets upstaged by new entrants or old ones that invent a new version of themselves.

And so it goes this Republican primary season. Rick Perry came in as the "real conservative" and savior but has quickly faded on account of his simpletonian and disjointed performances during the debates. Herman Cain, now the flavor of the week, hopes to be the nominee by being more "right" than any of the others and amazingly, appears to be getting some traction - traction coming from voters that normally could not even imagine supporting a black guy from the South.

The problem with this group is that the core of Republicans voters continue to be dissatisfied with their choices. Their candidates do not seem sincere and shift their positions to reflect the latest demand by the loudest kook. Ronald Reagan would likely leave the current Republicans talking to themselves and chart a course for himself based on his common sense and sunny personality. Or maybe even revert back to being his first love: a Democrat!

Carlos Wysling

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