A Philosopher's Blog

Rebranding the Republicans

Posted in Politics by Michael LaBossiere on January 20, 2009

After their recent defeats, the Republicans are busy trying to figure out where they went wrong and how they can get back on the path to victory.

Based on what I’ve seen in the news, a popular view is that the Republican party strayed from its true conservative roots and this led to their downfall. This does have a certain degree of plausibility. After all, the Bush administration violated many of the classic principles of conservativism: small government, respect for basic rights, respect for the rule of law, and fiscal restraint. These violations led directly to many of the terrible problems we face now and these problems helped contribute to the downfall of the former ruling party.

Of course, it is also important to consider that people also chose the Democrats for positive reasons. That is, they voted Democrat rather than merely voting against the Republicans. As such, to capture such votes the Republicans would need to offer what the Democrats promised.

While there is reason to believe that a party can orchestrate its return to power (people often cite the Reagan era victory as an example of this), one very important factor seems to be the failures of the party in power. To be a bit cynical and to grossly oversimplify things, one party ascends as the other falls into decay. This decay often arises from the corrupting influences that the folks in power are exposed to. Naturally, those in power often fall victim to the arrogance and laziness that power can breed.

At this time, the Democrats are in power and Obama has promised America great things. This is, of course, a time of great optimism and hope. I believe that Obama will do his best to deliver and I hope that he will accomplish great things.

However, if history is any indication, the Democrats will eventually squander their victory, spiral into decay and thus open the door for the next Republican victory. Then it will be the Democrats turn to wait for the Republicans to go down the drain once more.