Categorized | Election, Opinion

The Dysfunctional Republican Party: Can It Prevail?

The world of Republican politics differs greatly from the world of Democrat politics, primarily because Republicans and Democrats really do live and think differently from one another.

CO-GOP1On the one hand, you have a Democrat Party that marches in lock step, democrat voters who will vote for any candidate so long as they are running on the Democrat ticket, and who conform to a general and broad system of beliefs. On the other hand you have Republicans, who are much more independent, more likely to vote on a single issue, and feel represented by particular factions within the party at large, as opposed to the Republican Party itself. The Republican Party is forced to hold together a divisive collection of contradictory philosophies, personalities, and purposes, while competing with a Democrat Party with much less friction between their voters. Now, that is not to say that there is not a great deal of friction at the top of the Democrat Party, since whoever controls the party, controls the voters. But that’s a Democrat problem the Republican Party simply never experiences.

It almost seems impossible for a Republican Candidate to represent the majority of registered Republicans, were it not for the fact that the alternative to voting for a Republican usually means the election of a Democrat. Not electing Democrats is pretty much the only thing that Republicans can agree on. Unfortunately, this makes life much harder for the Republican Leadership. With social media and instantaneous news, the Republican Party can no longer hide the inside the beltway sausage making from the folks back at home. Because there really are more Republicans than there are Democrats, and because the only thing Republican voters agree on is not electing Democrats, despite all the chaos and differences within the party, there are an awful lot of Republican on Capital Hill.

Despite Republican majorities in both Houses of Congress, the Republican Leadership is paralyzed by dysfunction and disagreement. There are those who believe that Republican voters need to allow the Republican Leadership to lead and to back their play, regardless of whether or not they fully agree. There are others who believe that the Republican Leadership needs to represent the will of the majority of Republicans back in the States, and that compromising with Democrats is certainly not what they sent their Representatives to our nations’ Capital to do.  So what do they do?


Therefore, with the Republicans in Congress unable to accomplish anything, the minority party still controls the agenda. And since the minority party still controls the White House, advancing that agenda has been relatively easy.

This leads us to the 2016 Presidential Race. If you want to get an idea just how dysfunctional the Republican electorate really has become, you need look no further than the lead up to our Republican Primary. Donald Trump, who isn’t a conservative, a constitutionalist, or even really a Republican, is dominating the polls and drawing unprecedented support for lambasting the media (who everyone hates), Congress (who everyone hates), Illegal Immigration (which everyone hates), and failure (which Republican voters are, frankly, sick of). So running on a platform of promises of success, many Republicans are jumping on the Trump train. That the Republican Party, the media, and the Democrats apparently despise Donald Trump, has only helped him draw support for more Republicans. Sorry Fox NEWS – like Gail Wynand, you must have now realized that there is no real power in building an empire on the basis of telling your audience what they want to hear. The second you stop, they’ll turn on you; and turn on you they have.

The Libertarians seem to be sticking with Rand Paul. The Conservatives seem to be sticking with Ted Cruz. The angry people are going to sink or swim with Donald Trump, and everyone else is still trying to make a name for themselves. Of course, the media is looking for candidates looking for headlines.

Here’s the formula: Candidate goes looking for headlines. Candidate gets headlines. Candidate poll numbers go up. Media spends day after day, hour after hour, attacking Candidate. Candidate poll numbers decline. Candidate runs out of money. Candidate drops out of the race. Now, if your a Corporatist Billionare, this formula doesn’t apply to you. Which really infuriates all the powerful people in this country that can’t control you – which delights everyone who hates the powerful people.

Honestly, I’m not sure what’s going to happen. I mean, the Democrats appear prepared to nominate the least repulsive blast from the past they can find – and whichever relic of liberal marxism they nominate will get at least 40% of the vote. If only the Republicans could find a candidate that could win the other 60%. Sadly, this is beginning to look impossible and I am beginning to attempt to conceptualize the probability of a President Bernie Sanders or a President Joe Biden. It seems unfathomable. I do see a way out, but that isn’t what I’m writing about today. I merely wanted to describe just how complicated the Republican Party has become and all of our parts and responsibilities in causing it. I’m not even sure its a bad thing, in principle. It’s simply having negative results.




About Steven Brodie Tucker

Graduated with a degree in Philosophy from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Also studied economics and political science at George Mason.

6 Responses to “The Dysfunctional Republican Party: Can It Prevail?”

  1. Gary Porter

    Very insightful analysis, as always.

  2. Ronnadae says:

    I think you accurately described the different factions within the Republican voting base. I’m a little more cynical when it comes to the cause of so-called republican leadership in DC helping to pass and then protect Obamacare, funding an illegal amnesty, funding PP…shall I go on? Based on their actions, I would argue that there are few Republicans in DC at all.

  3. David Jackson

    I am a member of the Republican Party and a local Tea Party group. I have had a rather long life and I have been one of those weird creatures that have been following the political events since JFK. Your views and mine are pretty much the same but we seperate on our strategies for bringing this country back from the abyss. We both know there is a war going on in the Republican Party but I’m not certain you truly understand what this conflict involves. I think most people think it’s two groups where each side hold a particular ideology for example some feel one side is strongly conservative or strict constitutionalists and the other believes in a more liberal position on social issues and particularly more willing to compromise. Of course some of that is true but that is not the core issue. The conservative side, which is my position, strongly believe that words matter. If the Republican creed has any meaning those getting elected should govern by those principles. The liberal wing of the party are only interested in the party remaining in power, very much like the Democrat Party. To compromise on this difference is truly an oxymoron. I too love Cruz, Paul, and Carson but based on my life experience none of these have a chance unless they compromise or become more like the progressives. I am tired of those coming out of the Ivy League universities and for the most part in the legal field. But I may meet you at the polls voting third party if Jeb Bush is selected. The Republican Party must change or go away.
    Best of luck. David Jackson

  4. robert shannon

    Great insight Mr. Jackson. I like you have been around awhile and share both your basic philosophy as well as your pessimism as regarding the future of the republican parties survival.

    Eisenhower tried to warn us when he spoke of the Military-Industrial complex becoming the monster that it has. The 30 year example of weapon systems we don’t need , the various branches not wanting them is one of the more clear examples of what happens when pols discover they can use tax dollars to enrich their donors , themselves and their pals.

    The lack of integrity among elected officials is at a almost universal all time high. I honestly believe absent perhaps a dozen or so in DC, the total absence of that characteristic is at the core of our problem. I fume when I hear any of them refer to themselves as “public servants”. Public whores is a more apt depiction.

    Most troubling is how today it is out in the open, the obvious example being what just transpired here in Virginia when the issue of “ethics reform” came up last GA session. I personally have been pursuing a criminal complaint against an elected official who in my view broke the Virginia Conflict of Interest law in not disclosing or recusing themselves when voting on a issue that came before the board this year.

    I am stymied every step of the way, the local County Commonwealth Attorney , who is the first step in filing a complaint of this nature naturally would not go after one of his pals, insisting the law wasn’t broken , when I believe it was. I then head on to the Virginia State Police which have a unit that is assigned the specific task of investigating this, only to be told ” at best ,it’s a misdemeanor and a $50 fine. obviously trying to discourage me from pursuing it. The investigator I spoke with was almost visibly annoyed that I continued to push, refusing to just throw my hands in the air and quit.

    The republican party establishment has no integrity left, and subsequently I find myself writing in candidates names at election time, a suitable alternative to assisting or enabling the status quo.

    I conclude with commenting that your hint at the dissolution of the republican party itself is indeed the most likely outcome. Voter registration across the country clearly indicate vast swaths of voters registering as Independents or re-registering as I did in 2004 after the Bush administration passed the Medicare part D . No new revenue, CBO estimates of 1 trillion the first decade, and onto the back of a program already financially unsustainable. I had had enough.

    With 13 grandkids I only hope I now live long enough and have the energy to continue to assist in the revolution certain to come.

    Bob Shannon

  5. Paul Thiel says:

    I too am conservative and have been involved and followed the political landscape since LBJ took over after JFK was assassinated. I became particularly enamored with the Republican Party during the reign of Jimmy Carter. You see I was just out of college with my degree in Business Adm. and started a manufacturing business with a friend and partner with a sizable line of credit secured by our not overly large assets and signatures. The interest rate we had on the startup loans was tied to the Federal Reserve Prime Rate which fluctuated and our lender charged based on a quarterly average at prime plus 3 percent. If you were around and followed our countries finances you will remember that Mr. Carter and the Democratic Party so mismanaged the money supply that Prime, which was at about 9 or 10 percent , when we started in business, went up to “19”percent. Our monthly interest payments went from 11 to 12 K per month to 25 or 26 K per month. Had interest rates stayed at 9, 10, or even 11 percent we would have added several hundred thousand to the bottom line during the rise and fall of the Prime Interest Rate.
    This long story is to show how obviously I will never be and never vote for a Democrat as they don’t even remotely have a clue on managing this countries finances-nothing has changed! I could go on and on but a statement David Jackson made about Ivy League Grads, especially Lawyers, reminds me of an attorney from one of Richmonds finest when we were putting together a rather large IRB (Industrial Revenue Bond) in Spotsylvania County. The lawyer-Princeton Educated-asks how do you know how to do this? To which I reply you put your “nuts on the line” and work like hell ! We paid our bills by selling, producing and shipping our butts off and cash flowing our debts with the next sales.
    This story is to “emphasize” that attorneys cannot run our country and we are in “serious” financial trouble-18 trillion in debt, printing 80 billion $ per month, 40 percent interest on our debt, over 120 billion in unfunded liabilities and cash flowing all this on the backs of working Americans. Without Corporate Payroll Taxes ( 7.65 percent) matched by your employer and your income taxes this Country would technically be broke.
    Call him not Conservative or whatever names float your boat, this Country of ours needs a Business Man to Make it Great Again!

    Sorry folks, “Trump is The Man”


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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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