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National Politics Tue Nov 03 2009

Palin Robocall Highlights Republican Oblivion

Virginia voters on the cusp of a gubernatorial election recently received an automated call from the femme fatale from everyone's political porn fantasies: Sarah Palin. During this robocall, Palin's nasal voice encouraged voters to "vote [their] values" and "vote to share our principles." I don't want to put words in Palin's mouth, but I'm going to go ahead and assume that she's alluding to the moral principles upon which Republicans have campaigned recently.

This campaign strategy highlights the irrelevancy of the Republican party to the group that I affectionately refer to as the "New Conservatives." Believe it or not, there are young people out there that are conservative. Not every recent college grad subscribes to John Stewart's school of economic liberalism. Unfortunately, however, the Republican party seems largely disconnected from this growing group, continuously barking out stupid, uneducated and uninformed crap like this. The increasingly urban population either doesn't or can't afford to care about the hot button moral issues of yester-year. Gay marriage? That seems pretty unimportant when you're unemployed and wondering where your rent is coming from. Abortion? That's sad, but without health insurance a lot of young people (a fat chunk of the nation's uninsured) are wondering if they themselves will survive amidst life's daily hazards and the media's "OMG" epidemic of H1N1.

It's time for Republicans to stop trying to campaign upon an irrelevant platform in an attempt to appeal to a dying generation. The small town "Joe Six-pack" has broadband internet and an iPhone now, Palin. He gets his news from the internet and reads a few political blogs. Even if he watches the rabid Tasmanian devil that is Glenn Beck, he still hears about the real issues that Republicans should be addressing--the economy, taxes and the increasing size of the government. These are the issues that the Republican party can address but doesn't. Small government, low taxes and states' rights are the issues upon which the party was founded, which I'm sure you learned while you earned your B.S. in Communications from four different colleges in the mid-'80s.

Campaigning on moralism is so 2000 and 2004, back when we had a growing, robust economy and there was hope in the air. Obama breathed some hope back into the air, but for a huge part of the disillusioned conservative base and the fence-riding independents that hope has been silenced like laughter during "The Wanda Sykes Show." If Republicans are ever going to even flirt with relevancy again, they need to get back to the basics of their party, because small government and low taxes are principles that will never go out of style.

 

Michael Hayes / November 3, 2009 4:33 PM

"States' rights"? *That's* an issue on which the Republican Party was founded?!?
I have to ask if you slept through your U.S. History classes in school, Conor. Or maybe I did, because I don't remember learning about the pro-slavery wing of the Republican Party of the 1850s.

conor / November 3, 2009 4:51 PM

While you're right that states' rights was the umbrella under which the Confederacy held slavery, you misunderstand the issue entirely. States' rights refers to a preference for a smaller federal government, placing more power with each individual state to make its own decisions based on the idea that state and local governments know what is best for their citizens more than a large federal government. It is unfortunate that you (and others) associate states' rights with the abhorrent blemish that is slavery, as it really has no ideological connection whatsoever. Furthermore, Abraham Lincoln himself was actually the first Republican president and was - thankfully - able to see that human rights surpass political ideologies like states' rights. For a quick read on the origins, you can go here to wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republican_Party_%28United_States%29

Rachael / November 3, 2009 5:04 PM

I think that moralism is still in the Republican party, only sort of disguised.

Like, the way they are painting the "bailouts" like it is immoral for democrats or whoever to spend money (in their line of thinking). I don't think I have ever seen such heated rhetoric regarding the government...and I think it has a lot to do with what is considered morally right and wrong, and it is the Republicans who have shaped this argument.

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