Does the Republican Party Have a Future?|
February 11, 2013
The United States, from day one, was a project about principles and ideals.
The super power that emerged and grew from the handful of colonists that began
settling here was not the product of where those colonists happened to land, but
the ideals and principles in their head and heart – applied in how they lived
The Republican Party was founded in 1854 to address one great blot on the
nation’s founding legacy – the existence of slavery in a nation founded under
the ideal of freedom under God.
Runaway slave and self-educated abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass said “I
am a Republican, a black, dyed in the wool Republican, and I never intend to
belong to any other party than the party of freedom and progress.”
Douglass called Abraham Lincoln, America’s first Republican president,
“emphatically the black man’s president.”
When some thirty years ago I told the welfare officer to not bother showing up
again at my home – when I decided that my own future would be based on the
values of scripture, work, and personal responsibility - there was no doubt in
my mind what party would become my political home.
The party of “freedom and progress,” the party of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick
But, as longshoreman philosopher Eric Hoffer once observed, “Every great cause
begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a
It‘s no mystery why the Republican Party is having a hard time today. No matter
how hard you squint and try to discern the values of Lincoln and Frederick
Douglass, or any values for that matter, in those now wielding the money and
power at the top of the party, they’ve disappeared.
These establishment Republican leaders and operatives are not about ideals and
values but business – their own business.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the latest estimate from the Congressional
Budget Office is that unemployment will “remain above 7.5 percent through next
year. That would make 2014 the sixth consecutive year with a jobless rate that
high, the longest stretch of such elevated unemployment in 70 years.”
Yet the Republican presidential candidate in 2012 could not defeat the current
occupant of the White House.
In the party that is supposed to be about freedom and personal responsibility,
party operatives want to blame everyone else for their own failures.
Worse, they want to pin it on candidates who actually take seriously the
traditional values of their party.
Karl Rove would like to weed out candidates like former Missouri congressman
Akin, who was defeated by Democrat incumbent Claire McCaskill in the Senate race
in Missouri, was a six term Republican congressman with a flawless conservative
For most of 2012 he was ahead of McCaskill in the polls. Then, in August, he
expressed himself poorly in an interview about abortion. Despite his apologies
and efforts to clarify himself, his own party abandoned him.
McCaskill ran ads, over and over, showing the Republican’s own candidate Mitt
Romney questioning Akin’s qualifications. This race could have been saved. But
the party elite wasted not a second to dump Akin because they were not
comfortable with his conservative values to begin with.
We’re living in a deeply troubled country today. Americans are looking for
answers, not a political class feathering its own nest.
There are tens of millions of conservative American patriots who seek an
opposition party to represent their conviction that America will not get back on
the path to strength and prosperity without restoration of freedom, limited
government, free markets, and traditional values.
Today’s big question is whether the Republican Party is going to be that
If not, it is not conservative values and convictions that will be abandoned. It
will be the Republican Party.
Star Parker is founder and president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal
and Education, a 501c3 think tank which explores and promotes market based
public policy to fight poverty, as well as author of the newly revised Uncle
Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can do