Saturday, November 5, 2016

The True Failure of the GOP

As the election approaches, it is becoming clear what the true failure of the Republican Party is. Nope, not nominating Donald Trump.  It is the reliance on voter suppression.  Each day brings new stories of the Republican Party and those who are fans trying to keep likely Democratic voters away from the polls:
  • North Carolina gutted the early voting sites in/near African-American communities (and NC is not alone).  
  • Nevadan Republican tried to cut early voting hours.
  • There are memes telling people they can vote by text for HRC (no, they can't).
  • Trump is appealing a court case where the judges ruled that his campaign could not send "vote monitors" to intimidate voters.
  • Arkansas Republicans were at a polling place telling people to "shut up and go home."
  • All the voter id laws that were fairly naked attempts to restrict the ability of likely Democrats from voting.
Playing up the false believe that voter fraud is a problem, the GOP have been trying to make it harder for Democrats to vote.  This is act of desperation.  The alternative would be to develop policies and politicians who appeal to students and minorities, but that would alienate the white supremacist base of the party (no, the GOP is not entirely white supremacist, but this election makes it hard to deny that they are not a key part of the GOP's base).

There is nothing more fundamental in a democracy than the right to vote except perhaps the rule of law.  And having armed people stand outside of the polls, intimidating people probably challenges the latter as well as the former.

If the GOP can't win by attracting voters but has to win by suppressing voters, there is something very, very wrong with the party.  The main job of a party is to attract votes.  If a party cannot do that from large hunks of the population, it is broken (at least in systems with first past the post/plurality electoral systems). GOP, um, elites did figure out after the last couple of Presidential elections that they needed to appeal to Latinos, yet this is where we are.  Why?  Because it is easier to stick to the old strategy than reform and reach out.  And who showed up in the primaries?  The GOP can only fix its toxic weakness by getting better turnout in primaries from those who are more tolerant of "others" and are less focused on the imperatives of white nationalism.

Will that happen soon?  I wouldn't bet on it.

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