The blog “4 Quarters, 10 Dimes” is run by a historian who specializes in the political culture of the early USA, so — as he says — “I actually DO know what this country was founded upon”. For most of his life, he as been an independent, voting for whichever party’s candidate he agreed with. A few weeks ago he posted a most excellent rant about how the Republican party has gone way beyond the pale, and he backs it up with specific facts. You really should read the whole post, but I’ll give you a taste with a an extended quote:
As we slide down the greased banister of politics toward the big round testicle-level newel at the bottom that is the impending election, however, it occurs to me that I can now save myself the trouble of investigating individual candidates, because an entire group of them have taken themselves out of serious consideration.
As of right now, I simply cannot foresee a time when I would voluntarily cast a ballot for a Republican candidate for any office, no matter how inconsequential. Even if I know that candidate to be a decent and honorable person individually, the fact that they have seen fit to tie themselves to that howling morass of a party would outweigh any such consideration – nobody running on the Republican ticket today is worth my vote for that reason alone, regardless of any other factors.
It’s as simple as that.
This is a shame. The United States in general and our political system in particular need an organized, responsible, adult voice for conservatives to make themselves heard. Conservatives serve the useful function of putting a brake on the random undirected enthusiasms of liberals, in the way that liberals serve the useful function of kicking conservatives out of their deep dark caves. The two sides need each other. Unfortunately the Republican Party has abdicated its responsibility to be responsible and adult. It has rushed headlong into the realm of batshit insanity thinly disguised as … well, more batshit insanity, really. It has mounted a savage attack on all who do not adhere to the new, extremist, ideological purity demanded of its members and has expelled any who dare dissent from the party line. In doing so it has become a malignant caricature of its former self. There is no responsible voice for conservatives in the US in 2012. None.
Unless you count Barack Obama, who is essentially Dwight Eisenhower without the Army uniform.
There would have to be a wholesale shift in the ideology, platform and base of the Republican Party before any responsible adult could possibly consider voting Republican, and I just don’t see that happening without a seismic and cataclysmic blow to their organizational structure. They have to lose and lose convincingly – they need to be shattered on the rock of their own malfeasance, ignorance, and treachery – before responsible conservatives can return and turn it into something useful again.
Until then, no. Just, no.