Saturday, October 29, 2005

GOP Blowing Titanic's Whistle

©1999 Harrison Information Systems
February 23, 1999

The Republican Party has aimed another shot at its foot. While the CNN Internet poll about the most influential U.S. President of the 20th Century may not seem like much of an event, Republican faithful were notified by the Republican National Committee that Reagan was trailing Roosevelt and, sure enough, here comes the deluge of E-mail that placed Reagan in first by far.

Somewhere, out there, are gnomes hunkered over keyboards waiting for commands to send forth letters of ire to the Internet, the local newspaper, and the windshields of America. Without dwelling on Liberty magazine’s telephone poll too much, everyone should bear in mind that the average American first of all doesn’t have Internet access and second of all doesn’t care. So why try to rig an Internet poll? Are there too many liberals out that gawking in cybergeekdom? I don’t think so, but what this little incident illustrates is the GOP’s problem with mainstream America.

I’ve tried hard to be a Republican since the Democrats stomped on my toes and poured hot coffee on me. But, the Republicans keep slapping me upthesideofthehead with rich-man-first policies and, worse of all, just plain meaness. Why do so many Americans side with Lewd Bill and against Righteous Starr? It’s simple, GOP. Pay attention.

I thought the world had ended when Reagan was elected President. It didn’t. I got over it. I was moderately pleased when Clinton was elected, though I truly did like George Bush. The difference between this latest incarnation of the two parties is this: the Democrats got over Reagan; the Republicans did not. Probably cannot. In fact, the Republicans still haven’t gotten over Lincoln, though they’ve certainly convinced the South that they are the party of choice. But where the bullet hits the bone is the relationship between Nixon and Reagan. Various GOP politicians and, certainly, some Democrats, have engaged in enough negative campaigning to ground a lightning bolt. Reagan was the master at letting others do his dirty work. It worked and kept the GOP in power for a decade.

But now they’ve run into a politician who has a better Teflon coating than even Reagan. And, brother, are they mad. And that’s where they lose. The more the Republicans pile-on Clinton, the more sympathy he gets. The more stunts like the CNN poll that they pull, the more the public moves away from them toward… something.

GOP! Give me a chance to like you again. As a popular T-shirt says, "Get Over It! The Boat Sank!" Remember those annoying relatives who keep nagging-on about Uncle Joe’s drinking even though he’s been dead for 20 years? Let Starr set. Worry about Social Security. Worry about taxes. Become the party of grand visions, not the party of dirty tricks. Otherwise, instead of guiding the Enterprise to the stars, the GOP will be steering the Titanic with Tricky Dick at the helm.


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