The Republicans keep riding on their highway to hell as the rest of us watch in schadenfreude terror, including disgusted conservatives who tapped out long ago. Embattled Republic Congresswoman Liz Cheney, who’s facing backlash from her own party for calling out the idiocy of Trump loyalists still trying to carry out a coup d’etat, says the Republican Party is at a “turning point”.
But honey, which one? Which turning point? Just like the obstinate father who refuses to get off the highway to turnaround and admit he went the wrong way, the Republican Party needed to realign itself decades ago, even before the Tea Party movement. What is party realignment or political realignment?
It’s when the driving force of a political party no longer resembles itself and has shifted to a new ideology. There are people who remain in the party loyal to the old ideology who don’t fit in anymore. But no one gets kicked out right away, especially when every precious vote is needed. However, unless more people leave and new people come in, this car keeps going with its wheels out of alignment. Voters who align with the leadership’s ideology need to eventually match and ALIGN. Voila! Realignment! Thank you AP US History. (But I only scored a 4 out of 5. Thank you Mr. Hale. RIP.)
Call it a rebranding or an image refresh in today’s influencer terms. The last momentous realignment came when the racist pro-slavery Democratic Party (led by Southern plantation power) transitioned to the pro-labor Democratic Party (led by Northern union power). African Americans who were freed by the Republican Party of Lincoln also started to realign to the Democratic Party after Reconstruction and the early 20th Century. Need a real-life example? The crusty, white supremacist Democratic politician Strom Thurmond switched to the Republican Party in 1964 after filibustering in the Senate for a decade to block civil rights legislation.
On the flip side, the Republicans realigned to accept the Southern state-led, conservative, pro-white voting bloc and became a political paradox of representing the uber-rich white and the working class white poor. When Republicans today say they’re the party of Lincoln, please roll your eyes. As we’ve said, with realignment, it’s actually the opposite Republican Party of old.
Granted, you could argue this realignment took nearly a century depending on where you lived and where you stood politically. But do we have to watch the next slow-moving car wreck for 100 years?
The uber-rich drivers (not uber drivers) of the 20th-century Republican car were able to buy off the poor white passengers with political candy: the promise that even though the rich man’s system would make everyone poor, the whites would be protected. They’d never be affected and could lord over the minorities. Well, then the rules were softened. Maybe the worst of the white poor would be affected. But the good, smart ones would be spared.
Then, the middle class whites were promised, well, the economy’s a bit tough because of global trade so at least middle class whites will be the last ones affected. Then, it became well, out of everyone, whites, in theory, deserve to be the least affected. And since you can’t get calories from the concept of white pride, no matter how hard those January 6th capitol rioters were trying, even ‘normal’ white people are starving from the rigged game.
Now that the game is over, the poor whites and the rich whites are arguing in the car about which way to go and who has the right to drive in the first place. Do not drive near this car, y’all! Ever wonder why everyone stays away from you on the road?
Let Liz Cheney be the last exit before the next rest area for 1,000 miles. Honestly, I appreciate her bravery, but it’s obvious she’s paying for the sins of her father. Just let her live in peace in beautiful Wyoming. Meanwhile, Republicans, put your hands back on the wheel and get off the highway. Find a campsite and realign.
Personally, I think had more people followed General Colin Powell off the off-ramp when he announced his resignation as Secretary of State on November 15, 2004, you could’ve had something good now in 2021. Powell could’ve transitioned you from the war-crazy Bush cabal to a new era. And even though I wouldn’t trust her with my houseplant, had you sprinkled Condoleezza Rice in her bad-ass Ferragamo’s on top, there really could’ve been a Republican Party to write home about.