While I have political opinions, I find it hard to support a party. I support ideals. Parties are incarnations that don't always live up to those ideals, and are pulled by real world needs, mainly finding lobbyists and oligarchs to pay for billion-dollar campaigns.
I am fascinated by the Republicans, however, and how they're going to have to invent themselves. We won't know if they were right, in the Bush years, for another few decades. We know the population seems to dislike them, but that's more a game of memology and public relations than any direct correspondence to effectiveness.
Democrats have a better grasp of presenting themselves. They create hugely expensive social programs, buy off the electorate, stimulate reckless business and hobble big business, and then leave those consequences for ten years later. That's smart. It also guarantees happy voters.
Republicans try to take problems head-on, bite off more than they can chew, and as a result, never stay in power long enough to make good on their programs, which are dismantled the next election.
They need new memes and a new way of presenting themselves. Here are some ideas:
- Family-oriented: Protect the abilities of families to raise normal, non-politicized kids in a safe and happy atmosphere.
- God helps those who help themselves: Everyone knows this cliche, but societies are healthier when less effort is spent on the hopeless and more on rewarding those who rise above and do well.
- History is our guide: Historians don't pay attention to current politics. If they do, they get depressed. Look at how civilization designs in the past have affected outcome, and plan for reality.
- The scientific party: Don't get caught up in the meaningless debates on stem cells and abortion. Instead, focus on developing science and de-politicizing it, so we can get accurate truths.
- Skeptical: We should be cynical about human beings. Most of them, as we can see in abundance, are thoughtless and destructive. Let's reward the better ones and make more of them.
- Make hard choices: "I wanna do what I wanna do" is the sign of a decline. We need to come together and make things work.
- Leadership, not control: Our goal should be to set out a reasonable plan and reward those who follow it, and shift those who don't to anarchy zones. Let's not spend our time busting drug dealers/users, psycho neo-Nazis and anarchist kids. Send them to Florida, make it an anarchy zone and let the rest of us get on with life.
- Conservation: Conservatives should conserve. This means more natural land set aside, more cultures preserved, more attention to history and philosophy.
These would be somewhat of a shock to current Republicans, but if they think about them a moment, they're the ballsy things conservatives have traditionally stood for -- something interrupted recently by trying to compete with the Left in populist appeal. Populism too easily becomes demagoguery. Fight back with hard reality, and emphasize the positive aspects for those who are heading somewhere in life.