let's face it, the highly religious, the ones we here have the biggest problem with, is the base of the Republican Party.  given this, news of its imminent demise should thrill most Atheists.  and make no mistake, barring a gargantuan shift in policies and rhetoric, they are absolutely on the path towards extinction.  

it's common knowledge that the GOP is an old, white party.  while not an absolute, that is an accurate enough description of the Republican Party today.  two trends to keep in mind here.  one, old people tend to die at a faster rate than young people.  two, white people are shrinking as a percentage of the electorate.  they are running out of supporters, and it's happening quicker than many thought.  

take yesterday's election.  President Obama won over 90% of the black vote and 70% of the latino and asian vote.  Romney did well with seniors and whites overall.  meanwhile, the country is getting browner.  the GOP may end up becoming a whites only club, a nativist and pale collection of isolationists who choose to ignore the changing demographics of the country.  worse, they may choose to keep it this way.  if they choose this path, their extinction is all but guaranteed.  their option would be to abandon their social issues, immigration policies, and economic austery programs and to open up their tent through real policy change.  

anyone wanna bet which way they go?

for Atheists, either way is a win.  if the GOP becomes irrelevant then the power of the religious right goes with it.  if they truly make changes to make more people inclusive and begin to part with their religious base Atheists will celebrate.  yesterday's election is better for Atheists than most people would think.  

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"Vote for revenge" BHO Nov 2012

I haven't read every reply but to add. I think the GOP is dying and the Libertarians should take their place. I think the reason they did not perform in the elections as they hoped is that people are less afraid of economic authoritarianism as they are social authoritarianism. The bat-shit rightist religious wing of the GOP is turning voters off. I figure, the wealthy will get wealthier under either major party, and my taxes are going up either way, so economics is a smaller concern to me than social justice.

I AGREE, but it will be hard to transition to a new libertarian party. The original Tea Party movement was an attempt, but the social conservatives quickly ran under the banner and screwed it up, much like Occupy Wallstreet got infiltrated and diluted by every left wing cause that ever existed.

I also agree that the super wealthy get richer under either party. The idea that all the wealthy in the country are Republicans is hogwash. Most/Many super wealthy vote Democratic (Gates, Buffett, New York elites, Hollywood types). I am no longer going to lose any sleep over those who make more than $200,000 a year. Let the Bush tax cuts expire. These people are going to get hit hard with Obamacare taxes which start Jan 1, and the income tax increases, plus State taxes in states like California, Illinois, etc. But they don't seem to care - so bring it on. Maybe the shock in a year or two will help a Libertarian effort.   

I have always been most concerned about small business owners who pay at the individual rate. We need to make it easier for them to pay at the corporate rate. Then lower the corporate rate, but get rid of most of the deductions that the big corporations get. I know that is a pipe dream, as the big corporations will find a way to get deductions (why do you think GE/Immelt is a big Obama supporter). Just musing on how to save this country from following the Greek model.

 

Jim, I'll go further than you.

Except for fees for fire/police/etc protection, take all taxes off business, whether small, medium or large.

Why?

They add the taxes they pay to the prices they charge, and I oppose hidden taxes.

European value-added taxes are a swindler's dream.

Your contention that the Republican Party is comprised entirely of racist, religious zealots is completely off the mark.

I personally know a great many completely non-religious Conservatives (myself included), as well as a surprising number of church-going Atheists who go through the motions in order to mollify their families and their friends (one was a Deacon, no less). It can be a little tough to get them to admit it, but they are there.

Racist?

Well, I started to consider myself a Republican around about 1964 (card-carrying since 1976), during the debates surrounding the Civil Rights Legislation of that year.

I well remember the opposition to that Bill, embodied in the likes of Robert Byrd, Richard Russell, and Albert Arnold Gore Senior, who were just three examples of the Democrats who participated in, and led the longest filibuster in the history of the United States Senate.

I was only seven years old at the time, but I was profoundly appalled.

That Act would not have passed if not for the support of one hundred thirty-six Republican Members of the House, and twenty-seven Republican Senators.

Of course, the 1964 Act is but a single example of a extensively long list of Republican-sponsored Civil Rights milestones, dating back to 1862.

This is a legacy of which I am INTENSELY PROUD.

You can absolutely color me Republican, Conservative and Humanist.



Oh, and by the way--

We're nowhere near extinction, and we're not going anywhere.

you, my friend, are an anomaly.  i have no doubt that conservatism is here to stay, but what form or party it ultimately takes root is somewhat up in the air.  that said, the republican party can save itself, but only if it leaves the Religious Right behind.  given that they make up some 30+% of their party i'm not confident they are capable of getting enough votes to remain viable without them.  a big shakeup is coming, and watching how it shakes out will indeed be fascinating.  

Richard, I think that GOP you referred to in your post is the one a lot of people on here, myself included, wished were still in existence. And, you are 100% correct regarding Robert Byrd (W VA), Richard Russell (GA), and Albert Gore (TN), and the old Dixiecrats of the deep south. Yes, JFK and Lyndon Johnson made a "deal with the devil" to garner the Democrat votes of the Old South. And, the wounds of the Civil War were only 100 years old - including hatred of the "black" Republicans. But, LBJ made a prescient statement after the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts were passed in that he stated "We've lost the south for a generation." While it took a little time, he was right. Those same Dixiecrats that fled from the Civil Rights Acts fled to the arms of the Republican party. Where LBJ got it wrong was "a generation."

I'd like to be able to see such great leaders as the likes of Eisenhower, Everett Dirksen, Alan Simpson, and Richard Lugar (to name but a few) back in positions of power. But I'm afraid that in today's climate, they wouldn't even be able to get a nomination, let alone hold office.

Member Jim Schultz made what I believe is a salient point.  The Tea Party started out as a group of fiscal conservatives. Good for them (seriously). However, they were quickly co-opted and morphed into something resembling a cross between a whoop and holler religious revival and and the modern version of the Dixiecrats who oppose anyone who is not a white heterosexual.  Until the GOP shakes the stranglehold of the religious right, and the associated creationists and other science deniers, I'm afraid it holds no attraction for me whatsoever.

I wish the Democratic Party was more like the Clinton era. I will never vote Democrat as long as the current bunch (Obama, Wassermann-Schultz, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid) remain in power. I think the Republican Governors are leading the way for a return of the Republican Party to the national stage. The Midwest swing states are already mostly Republican led (WI, Iowa, Ohio, Penn, Mich, Indiana plus Virginia, Florida). They are focused on fiscal sanity and you can see the results - Republican states have 1% less unemployment on average than Democrat run states.

Who is going to run for the Dems in four years - Biden ? Hillary ? The Dems have a bunch of old white people at the top. It will be a much different race without an incumbent. The eventual Dem nominee will probably get roughed up in the primary like Romney did this time. The pendulum has already begun to swing, but most are either too delerious (D) or depressed (R) to see it. Four more years and the voters will be begging for a change.     

I thought I was a lone voice in the wilderness. Most of the Republicans/Conservatives I know are not motivated by religious issues. Having said that - I am uncomfortable with Republicans like Akin who make crazy statements about rape etc., but to be a Democrat you would also need to overlook some crazy things progressives say.

Mike, you said you were seven then. I was twenty five and perceived events differently.

Why did the far-right Repubs, starting in the late 1950s, start telling moderates to get out of the party? Why did they call Eisenhower, a Repub president, a communist?

The Goldwater disaster delayed the moderates' expulsion and they helped pass the Civil Rights legislation.

Around 1970, far right Repubs resumed expelling moderates.

Where did they get people to replace the expelled moderates? They recruited the racist Southern Dems who'd opposed the Civil Rights legislation.

You were a teen in the middle 1970s when Repub leaders, having lost most of their moderates, found that evangelicals have conservative values. They were authoritarians, needing leaders they could obey. Were you paying attention?

I was paying attention; I was running in the Arizona Repub primary for the legislature. A newby, I lost but got about six times as many votes as other newbies.

You had entered your twenties when Reagan invited the evangelicals into the party. Did you know it then? I left the party.

Through the 1960s and 1970s, the Republican Party committed a slow-acting form of suicide.

Now, unless it changes, its action will have the inevitable effect.

Damn, Tom...

For a nominal free-thinker, you've certainly allowed yourself to be indoctrinated.

You've also got your timelines more than a bit skewed.

That '64 Act was passed in February, and the Presidential election did not occur until November, 1964.

As to those divine "Moderates" you keep referring to;  in an earlier period, those Moderates enjoyed referring to themselves as "Progressives".

They are one and the same.

The Progressive thing goes back to the late 19th Century, when a gradualist form of Collectivism known as Fabian Socialism, was imported into the United States from Britain.

They adopted the euphemism because they knew that calling themselves what they actually were (Socialists) wouldn't fly with the American People.

By the 1950's and 60's, those Progressives - realizing that Conservatives were on to them - changed that euphemistic affectation to "Moderate".

As I say, we were on to them.  They had no place in the Party - and yes - we started to let them know they were a lot less than welcome.

Them, along with those Birchers you referenced.

And no.  The Republican Party did NOT start recruiting White Southern racists.

The KKK-types and Republicans have been blood enemies since the inception of the Republican Party in 1860, and and that has changed not at all in the intervening one hundred-fifty years.

Ever traveled the South, Tom?

I have.

Extensively.

If I had even a quarter for every time I've heard some Cracker-Boy say something to me like:

"Mayun, yew tawk jes' lahk a feckin' Ree-publicun!"

 

Do ya' think!?

Can't help but wonder how many of those showed up to Robert Byrd's funeral.

Not all White Folks in the South are racist, Tom.

In fact, the Southern States are home to a great many very reasonable people.

There were also a great many very reasonable White Northerners relocating to the South, and in the process, changing the the demographic considerably (Gotta' love those Carpet-Baggers!).

Those are the people we recruited, and this is why Tom, the South has become a Republican bastion.

**

You've already seen my answer as to our alliance with the Fundamentalists.

Uncomfortable marriage of convenience that it is, I understood at the time why Reagan did what he did.

It is often necessary in life, to bow to pragmatism.

Besides, the Democrat Party still holds the greater portion of those.

Mike, so much of what you wrote is opinion (some of which I agree with), invective (divine moderates!!!) or invention that I will respond to very little and ignore the rest.

You're correct in saying not all whites in the south are racist; I lived, went to school and worked in the south for eighteen years--five in the urban south, the rest in the cracker south where for three years I worked with racists.

Too many historians have written of Nixon's southern strategy for me to believe your words about the Repubs recruiting white northerners who'd moved to the south, implying that they did not recruit southerners whose ancestors had joined the Dems because the Repubs had freed their slaves.

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