Don't get me wrong, prioritizing the expansion of the overseas empire and the egregious spending related to it are major, major issues in why Republicans have been unable to garner votes.
But this does not explain the Grand Old Party's loss of overall popularity in general. What does explain it, however, and I hate to say this because all through the election and up until yesterday he has been absolutely fantastic on the radio, is Rush Limbaugh. Not necessarily the man himself, but the words he spoke and the overriding sentinment that has been driving the Republican Party's populist movement that began with Reagan in the 80's.
People who don't believe in God believe in Obama. Agnostics, atheists, because believe me, a planeload of atheists on a jet on the way to Hawaii and three of the four engines go out, the atheists start praying to who? God. Not the ocean, to save 'em. Everybody believes in God at some point, but not until they face their mortality. Everybody does. They have some God. Very few people think they're it. Obama is one. I think when Obama prays, it's to himself.
Now, putting aside the fact that I personally don't believe in God and also don't believe in Obama, this statement in and of itself really encapsulates what has been wrong with the Republican Party since Reagan, and why even though their method of improving the economy via lower taxes and smaller government is a successful mix, they have yet to have been popular as a party in general.
This statement really represents the authoritarian nature of the populist "Religious Right," and its views on the way our country ought to live from a social standpoint.
This is the portion of the Right that started the War on Drugs. This is the portion of the Right that would deny even a woman raped by a thug in the street to choose to have an abortion. This is the portion of the Right that, with California staring bankruptcy in the face, would still fight the legalization of marijuana despite the fact that it would immediately become the state's highest grossing legal cash crop by a gigantic margin, simply because it would mean that more people might drive while high, while turning a blind eye to the question of alcohol's legality.
What the Republican Party has failed to realize ever since Reagan, is that they have won their elections almost solely on what has up until recently been viewed as a spectacularly successful economic policy. The American people have, in the meantime, very grudgingly accepted the GOP's authoritarian views on social issues. What the Republicans have been unable to understand over the past thirty years is that any American who believes in Liberty and Freedom for the individual not only dislikes the Republican stance on social issues, he absolutely hates it.
The authoritarian Religious Right is Pro Life. This is certainly a beautiful attitude to have. But this does not mean that they should have been pushing Pro Life as an agenda for law at the federal level. A Pro Lifer of the Religious Right would have us believe that the fabric of society itself is crumbling around us because people are having abortions. To be sure, our regulations on abortion are completely ridiculous at this point, when a teen girl can have the procedure without notification of the parent, but that same parent could see jail time for send that teen girl to school with some aspirin. However, this does not mean that it is right to eliminate the individual's freedom of choice over the matter.
I use freedom of choice over abortion simply as one of the most visible issues as to why people in general dislike the Republican Party. Similarly, the right for two people of the same gender to go before God in their own Church and their own community and be married is under attack. I can't possibly think of anything more ridiculous than stopping two people who love each other from marrying. There is no force so powerful as love and for the authoritarian Religious Right to shout from the rafters that a union of love between two people who are of age to consent to each other is somehow wrong is simply another example of how they would further limit individual freedom and liberty.
The Grand Old Party has lost its way. It is in the wilderness with no leader and no true goal, and it is there because its authoritarian nature on social issues has led it there. This bodes poorly for America as Obama and the Socialist Left in Congress now leads us down the path of an economic authoritarianism the likes of which we have never seen, and from which we will be lucky ever to recover our personal liberties.
There is a way out, however. There is a worn, hardscrabble path that we can yet barely make out. But in order to get there, those of us that believe in the true American Way, have to leave the Republican Party and its authoritarians to the vultures. Libertarians know the way forward. Take our hands and we will guide you to that path.
That path is Liberty.
That path is Freedom.