I'd like to help obsolete the Republican Party. What can I do?
November 8, 2020 7:26 AM   Subscribe

The Republican Party delights in obstruction and cruelty and stands opposed to US national and global well-being. They've lost the presidency but retain an immense structural advantage --- and they'll extend it with redistricting. For the good of everyone, the GOP needs to be consigned to the history books like the Whigs. Is anyone working to promote this vision?

For the individual voter, the best metaphor I can think of is smoking --- something that's harmful to you and to people around you, but powerfully addictive and (for a time, in many places) associated with a macho, individualist, anti-establishment cool. In the 1970s it would have been very difficult to imagine how marginal smoking has become in the United States, but thanks in part to an extended campaign of education, exposure, and (yes) propaganda, smoking rates continue to decline.

Does anyone else see strategic value in publically visualizing a post-GOP America? I'd like to think that powerful messaging starting today can help keep the party on the back foot (to the minimal extent that they are off-balance at all) and sap Republican resources from their usual tactics of anti-democratic, minoritarian sabotage. Most Americans prefer Democratic policies in blind taste-tests, and at this point the tragic costs of Republican greed and indifference are clearer than ever. While I hardly think it would be easy, I don't think there's been a better time in my life to campaign against the party as an institution, to urge a complete "reformatting" of the American center-right*, and to inject into the public consciousness the understanding of the GOP's fundamental unfitness and the not-so-radical vision of its permanent decline.

I know this reads like a manifesto, but I am really honestly wondering, and asking: is anyone working on this? Not just columnists or people tweeting #cancelgop or whatever, but people actually putting in time and effort to mainstream the idea that the GOP has run its course, that it's starting to go rotten in the fridge, and that we're better without it? Do they take donations?

* yes, I know very well that the GOP is not center-right, but that is their brand. Remember, this question is about messaging.
posted by Chef Flamboyardee to Law & Government (13 answers total) 38 users marked this as a favorite
 
A few specific things that really harm us are the Lies and the Organized Vote Suppression. To combat Organized Vote Suppression, consider donating to FairFight, Stacey Abrams' organization that was one of several helping move the needle in Georgia. The Lies? When Hillary Clinton used the term vast Far right Conspiracy, I think she was absolutely correct, and I am one to side-eye conspiracy talk. The DNC is absurdly weak. I'd be thrilled to see Stacy Abrams as DNC chair. The DNC learned from the TeaParty takeover of the GOP and made it even more difficult for individual and not-wealthy Dems to have a voice. I have lots more thoughts about this, but making the Social Democrats more effective or making the Democratic Party more responsive seem critical.

Post-GOP? Sorry to be a pessimist, but they are still gaining power. They lost the Presidency, don't have the House, but they have moved the narrative, and, arguably, drive the political narrative. Meanwhile, I try to amplify the messages that I think matter, and am active in the Dems, probaby will get active in the Social Dems.
posted by theora55 at 8:38 AM on November 8, 2020 [9 favorites]


The USA has some notable political parties that became obsolete in its history - as told here - the Federalists, the Whigs for example. My quick guess is that the biggest threat political parties is not actually their opposition (which rather helps focus them) but rather other parties that compete for the same territory and threaten to subsume them. Here in Scotland, voters for the Labour Party dramatically deserted them in favour of the SNP in recent years: both parties are progressive but the latter has proved to be much more in touch with the will of an electorate who would like independence.

Parties of the right that have recently embraced populism have only been able to do so by leaving behind their reputation as being defenders of sound business practices to drive an economy - or of a patrician responsibility for rich people to devote some help towards the poor on their patch out of duty and empathy. That leaves them with an undefended left flank. It may be the the GOP dump the Trumpists from their ranks and no longer seek them as voters - so as to return to that middle ground. If they don't then they are most at risk from a new party that does. If you are opposed to where the GOP are then promoting the foundation of such a party might not be such a bad idea (nobody is forcing you to vote for them).
posted by rongorongo at 8:39 AM on November 8, 2020 [1 favorite]


I'd argue election reform is key. Our stupidly ignorant and mathematically indefensible way of voting in almost all elections has been shown to favor two-party supremacy.

So if you want to see the end of the GOP, you have to have stronger third/fourth parties realistically competing to be in the top two, and that won't happen until we get some form of strong improvement to voting methods in many state and local jurisdictions.

It could be ranked voting, range voting, approval voting, star voting, etc. Literally any alternative that has any attention in the modern USA is objectively better, that's how obsolete the naive method we mostly use is.

FairVote.org, Starvoting.us and RangeVoting.org are places to start looking at election reform efforts.
posted by SaltySalticid at 8:53 AM on November 8, 2020 [7 favorites]


I just read this article regarding the Republican party’s destruction and distortion of vast swaths of information that the government needs in order to make critical decisions regarding the health and safety of the American people. I know you said “not columnists” but maybe consider supporting journalism in America. Not what passes as journalism on Fox News, but real journalism written and published by people with actual brains and hearts.
posted by keep it under cover at 9:39 AM on November 8, 2020 [7 favorites]


If we want to change the parties we need to start at the bottom. Very few people bother with local Party politics so it's the easiest place to break in. Go to your local Republican Party meetings. Get your friends to go. Treat it like taking over a Facebook group. Turn your local Republican Party into the Super Gay Commie Party!
posted by irisclara at 10:42 AM on November 8, 2020 [10 favorites]


Would it work if a bunch of us register as Republicans to vote in the primary to select moderate candidates, then vote Dem in the actual election?

It would be giving up the input on the Dem candidate at the individual level, BUT with the benefit of weeding out extremists in the GOP.
posted by dum spiro spero at 12:24 PM on November 8, 2020 [1 favorite]


Response by poster: Folks, I think I'm going to have to award Best Answer to N. K. Jemisin --- although she doesn't speak to whether there is anyone working on promoting the deprecation of the Republican Party, she certainly seems to get to the heart of the matter about messaging.

https://twitter.com/nkjemisin/status/1325545838500843524
posted by Chef Flamboyardee at 1:32 PM on November 8, 2020 [6 favorites]


If you are not already reading Heather Cox Richardson, I think you'd find her daily essays good at summarizing events and drawing useful conclusions. She does live videos on fb, they are archived.
posted by theora55 at 2:42 PM on November 8, 2020 [4 favorites]


After some thought: statehood for DC is very bad for the GOP, at least for the foreseeable future. And also a noble cause in general imo, no taxation without representation and all that.
posted by SaltySalticid at 3:53 PM on November 8, 2020 [9 favorites]


Become a public prosecutor. Treat the GOP as a criminal organization and use the RICO act on it.
posted by adamrice at 4:44 PM on November 8, 2020 [3 favorites]


The Republican Party delights in obstruction and cruelty and stands opposed to US national and global well-being. They've lost the presidency but retain an immense structural advantage --- and they'll extend it with redistricting. For the good of everyone, the GOP needs to be consigned to the history books like the Whigs. Is anyone working to promote this vision?

The Whigs (both US and UK versions):
1) Completely disappeared as political parties
2) Thoroughly won their respective wars of ideas and are essentially the intellectual ancestors of all major American and British political parties

I'm guessing this is not quite what you are going for!
posted by atrazine at 8:34 AM on November 9, 2020


DC statehood, but also statehood for our territories (that want it) would hurt Republicans immensely. Abolishing the electoral college would also make it nearly impossible for Republicans to be elected to the presidency without evolving a bit.
posted by chaiminda at 11:02 AM on November 9, 2020 [2 favorites]


Would it work if a bunch of us register as Republicans to vote in the primary to select moderate candidates, then vote Dem in the actual election?

It would be giving up the input on the Dem candidate at the individual level, BUT with the benefit of weeding out extremists in the GOP.


I wouldn't do this as a wide strategy unless you want to be Republican for Republican reasons. I was registered to vote as a Republican until the lead up to the primaries in 2016. Before this, both my husband and I had been registered as "Independent" in Oregon. I thought it would be interesting to get all the mailers and be a Republican who votes for the Democrats. Little did I know that Republicans don't send very many mailers to Oregon because, you know, we're Blue. The few times I voted in the primary, I picked the most odious Republican. I believe I voted for Rick Santorum. I want them to have a bad candidate. The kind of candidate that would turn "reasonable Republicans" away from their party. In the lead up to 2016, I couldn't decide who of their basket of deplorable candidates was going to get my "spoiler" vote - Cruz or Trump were my front-runners. But it felt meaningless and gross to vote for any of these ding-dongs even as a spoiler. So I switched so I could vote for a good person in the Democratic primary.

Basically, you won't get much as a few spoiler votes in Republican primaries. And while I do think infiltrating Republican interest groups might be entertaining, I think the driver of their success is pounding on those fear buttons and emotional triggers. It's one things to allow rights for gays while at the same time pressing the "baby killers" button endlessly and the "your guns?!?!" button to get compliance. This is the winning strategy behind current Republicanism so trying to make them moderate is just aiding the trojan horse.
posted by amanda at 12:43 PM on November 9, 2020


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