When it comes to studying politics, I’m a bit of a nerd. I love reading trends, election results and breaking down polls and surveys. While the quick “eye grabbing” headline is usually what dictates the narrative of our news, these stories don’t often tell us what’s really going on.
But as I take a step back and just assess what’s going on in this country, both economically and socially, everything in my gut tells me that within the next 8-12 years we’re headed for a massive breaking point in American politics.
And that’s not good news for conservatives.
Because when I look at where the GOP is headed, with the tea party almost constantly threatening to rip the party in two, the Republican party is in a whole lot of trouble.
Let’s just look at social issues.
What are the bigger social issues conservatives oppose? Well, let’s see:
- Same-sex marriage
- Abortion rights for women
- Gay rights in general
And on every single one of those issues, their party currently stands on the opposite side of what the vast majority of Americans support. Not only that, but with each passing year Americans are becoming more liberal – not conservative. But this is during a period of time where the Republican party, specifically the tea party, continues to try to push itself further and further to the right.
Not only that, but many younger Republicans are more liberal than older conservatives. In Texas I’ve met quite a few conservatives who were 35 or younger that support same-sex marriage, sensible immigration reform and gay rights. Though, to be fair, abortion rights remain one of the issues that is still strongly opposed by many conservatives, and I don’t see that changing.
And even when you take a look at gun rights, these far right-wing open carry activists are doing more harm than good. Because it seems that many individuals are quickly realizing that even though they might be pro-gun, that doesn’t mean they want to see ordinary citizens walking around with semi-automatic rifles strapped to their back.
Like I’ve said before, there’s a difference between gun rights activists and gun nuts.
Not only that, the Republican party is realizing that it’s struggling to appeal to minority and women voters. And those are two key voting blocs they need if they ever want to send someone from their party back to the White House.
Oh, and let’s not forget that more Americans are abandoning Christianity every year. Considering Republicans often use religion to manipulate voters, that’s another really bad sign.
Now, what does all of this tell us? Well, it’s pretty simple. The Republican party is in a lot of trouble.
They’re trying to become more conservative during a period of American history where most Americans are becoming more liberal; many of their younger voters are much more moderate than their elder counterparts; the number of people identifying themselves as Christian is shrinking; they can’t attract minority voters; women voters are finding the GOP more and more outdated; nearly every social issue that they currently stand on is on the opposite side of what most Americans support, and even gun nuts are starting to cause concerns among many gun rights activists.
And let’s not ignore another reality that it’s getting more and more difficult for conservatives to defend trickle-down economics. It’s been nearly 35 years since it was implemented and the middle class continues to fall further and further behind. The rich in this country are doing fine. So, when does that wealth begin to “trickle down”?
So the future I’m seeing is that either:
- The Republican party is going to be ripped apart by the tea party as more “moderate” Republicans realize that they can’t win supporting such outdated, and increasingly unpopular, ideologies. – or –
- We’re going to see many moderate Republicans be cast out of their own party, join up with Democrats, then run for office the next election cycle by appealing to liberals and more moderate (and often sane) conservative voters who feel as if their party has become too radical.
Because I’ve already seen it. I’ve met several conservatives these last few years who aren’t fans of Democrats, but say that the GOP has simply become too hateful and too radical.
We just have to remember that change often happens slowly. So while my prediction of 8-12 years might seem fairly distant, in political terms, that’s right around the corner. And unless the GOP makes some drastic shifts in their ideology (by acting more like liberals on several issues) the future for their party looks very bleak.