Tuesday, November 20, 2012
How do reasonable people get lost intellectually and fail to see what is happening around them? This is what Republican party members are asking themselves. Rather, it is what they should be asking. Some are convinced they are on the right course whether or not they win elections. But, senior party members understand they have to vet candidates better than they have. Otherwise, the party will suffer the same embarrassment it felt this year. From a PR perspective, Republicans are listening but only to a minority who think like they do. They live in an echo chamber. Lest Democrats celebrate, they do as well. That is what has contributed to polarization. Such division is not new. Southern Democrats controlled the Senate for decades before, during and after Roosevelt's New Deal. After Roosevelt's first 100 days, the Southerners were able to block legislation -- and did. One wonders why one party or the other seems bent on committing political suicide. If they could learn to listen to the broad electorate, they could do better, but they never will. Parties are made up largely of activists and ideologues who have a grand vision of the country and aren't willing to give it up. They bend facts to support their view, and compromise is a dirty word. Hence, sooner or later, Democrats will move too far left and will suffer in the same way Republicans are now. It is up to a few men and women in the middle to forge coalitions of the moment. It is frustrating but that is the way democracy works.