The Republican Disconnect

In an election when the electorate desperately wanted to bring in a new President and upset the applecart of the Overbearing Bureaucrats in DC, the Republican choice was a light year away from any experience of the People.

He never made a connection on any level with the mind and mood of the voters.  Many voted for him out of frustration or by making the decision that anything is better than what was there.  But this demographic would not be enough to make the change.  His life experience was truly the life of a “one percenter” and he could not find any point of connection with the lives of the everyday Person.

Growing up in a blue collar world until college provided my break and football opened new doors of opportunity, I viewed my world from a “working man’s” point of view.  I still do.  That being said let me offer my humble opinion of the nature of the “disconnect” that I see between the Republican Party and the People.

The Republican Party took an inordinate amount of time to crown their candidate.  The process showed the level of doubt in the minds of the Party elite as to the acceptability of Mitt Romney as their candidate.  After beating up all of the other Republican candidates the last man standing got the nod.  Then he pressed on around the nation with the Republican mantra of no new taxes, reformation of the Social Security system, expense cutting for things like NPR, Planned Parenthood, and other meaningless cuts that would make “Republicans” feel good.  The Party never shifted gears to touch the concerns of the general electorate.

But let us back up.  The “disconnect” has deeper roots.  George Bush, in his last three years of office must have fallen off the wagon.  He spent money like a drunken sailor.  Things were so loose in terms of financial spending and oversight that Madoff and many on Wall Street ran rampant without the slightest threat of accountability.  Many were suspicious but there was no Whitehouse (Republican) fortitude to monitor and do something about it.  Lying and cheating by multi millionaires and billionaires sent financial markets into a spin.  False values of dreamed up assets and bigger dreamed up profits to come all conspired to bring about a crash.

It was in fact under the umbrella of the Republican Party that the smoke and mirrors financial sleight of hand experts ran the Nation into the ground.

Then, when the truth began to creep out, and “TARP” was put into motion, the man on the street watched in amazement when companies were given billions to make up for the cheating and lying while at the same time the management of those companies still received their personal millions.  Obama got chastised by the Republicans relentlessly, millionaires keep making millions, and the common folk took a hit personally that devastated the majority.

The Republicans then offered up a millionaire who supposedly knew just how to take the country out of the mess that was substantially caused by “other” millionaires.  The Man on the Street however was standing there and saying, “Whhhat You must be kidding.”

In spite of all the apparent disbelief the Man on the Street stood there for months hoping and waiting to see if it was at all possible that this Republican answer, which so greatly benefitted during the tremendous downfall of others, could possibly be the answer? 

As the months went by, what we saw was a decent man, a family man, but the words that left his lips never connected with the ears of those who would choose.  In politics, it is the one with the words who is responsible to the one with the ears to give them something they can hear.  Social Security, in trouble, yes, but hardly anyone outside the choir has any idea what the changes proposed meant. 

The gaff of the “47%” put the nail in the coffin.  What the masses “heard” was that the Republicans gave up the common Man to the Democrats – nearly half the country!  Other things “heard” were, Romney was going to clean the closets the first chance he got.  We should vote for him because he will throw out or close or cancel things that will save us a few dollars.  “I wonder if when he starts cleaning house will I get thrown out with the trash?”

Obama on the other hand, when he ran in ’08 made no mention of “Obamacare.”  Hmmm, the biggest and most far reaching government program ever put forward in 250 years was suddenly thrust upon the electorate – not during the campaign – but from day one in office.  So the competition spent months and millions identifying with the common man with no intention of disclosing their agenda.  The Man on the Street heard the voice and was willing to take a chance and let him do whatever he wanted.

Then in 2012, Obama once again ran on nothing.  He offered no new programs, he offered no solutions, he spoke in platitudes, he took credit for good things and he blamed the Republicans for every bad thing.  Amazingly he got the ear of the voters.  It was nothing he did, it was the perception that by comparison, neither man was connecting so the prevailing wisdom seemed to conclude – why change now?  “Yeah, I would like to put someone new in, but how on earth can I put in someone who has so benefitted while most of the rest of us have suffered?”

Sadly, the choir was hoping and assuming that the need to change was so obvious, that anyone else would be better.  But what they did not realize was that the choir director was standing there with his back to the congregation.  The congregation kept hoping that the choir director would turn around and make sense.  He said he could help them but they could not “hear” it.  They never believed he could step down from his pulpit and care for them.  They heard nothing that resonated.  They did not hear anything that gave them one shred of hope.

The age of tolerance in which we live makes no provision for those who want to declare their will and impose their will to correct our problems.  Romney’s declarations fell on deaf ears.

Beyond the headlines of the last two years underlies perhaps the biggest reason for “the disconnect” between the Republican agenda and the People.  This topic will slap us right in the face.  It is War!  While it is not talked about directly it is just below the surface and not one voice in the Republican Party recognizes the significance.

The Korean War served minimal American interests at great American expense – in lives lost and money spent.  The Vietnam War was a tragedy beyond tragedies.  We knew at the time that it made no sense.  The problem the People had was they could not put forth a meaningful alternative.  Free love did not seem a legitimate way to redirect the energy of this country.  Ironically the McNamara’s came out 30 years later and confessed that the People were right.

The Iraq War still makes no sense.  Why overthrow an idiot?  In what mind was he ever a real threat to America or for that matter any western interest?  We had already seen his impotence in the so called “Gulf War.”  The Afghanistan War makes less sense.  We watched the Soviets mired in the morass and yet arrogantly decided we could do better.  Better at what?  Are we going to stop Al Qaeda or for that matter the Taliban in Afghanistan?  We have no clue of the Tribal mentality of the People in the Mideast.  We don’t know what it means, or how they think, or what is important, or how to bring change.  For some reason the Republican’s have become known as the party that throws money and guns at all the world’s problems.

The effects of just the above mentioned wars has killed or wounded 388,534 PEOPLE!!  People – People – People are the essence of life.  We need to raise the value we place on life.

The American People are no longer buying the notion that war is answer to anything other than in response to attack.  War is not a solution and since the Republicans have carried that “War Banner” the cry of the People of America is “No More War.”

Many think there is a great need to “re-energize” the Republican Party.  The real need is a new breed of political leader who can “re-engineer” the Republican Party.  We need a party of the people, by the people, and for the people.