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Are Republican losing their constituency? ^ | June 5, 2002 | Paul Craig Roberts

Posted on 06/06/2002 4:30:23 PM PDT by Korth

What is the Republican constituency? This fall's election, with control of Congress important to Bush's presidency, makes this question central.

There are different ways to answer the question. Partisan Democrats, policy wonks and campaign advisers have different perspectives. Democrats say the Republican constituency consists of interest groups, such as the rich and environmental polluters. Policy wonks emphasize policy goals, such as tax cuts, less government, economic growth and national security. Campaign advisers focus on the swing vote.

But interest groups, policies and swing votes don't define a political constituency. Neither does a war on terrorists. A lasting constituency is built on principles that offer a political vision of a good society. When these principles are sacrificed to pandering to interest groups and swing voters, constituencies are lost, not gained.

Intimidated by interest group politics, Republicans are deserting their principles. Ever since federal bureaucrats and judges illegally and unconstitutionally created race and gender privileges in the name of civil rights, many Americans have been patiently waiting for Republicans to reaffirm equality in law.

Equality in law means that government cannot favor groups by granting status-based privileges. Its opposite is equality of result, which is achieved by treating people differently.

Policies designed to achieve quality of result, such as race and gender quotas, contravene the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution and are illegal under the statutory language of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

The purpose of the 1964 Civil Rights Act was to bring an end to legal discrimination against individual black Americans. When bureaucrats made discrimination a group issue and defined discrimination as the absence of proportional representation, the judiciary winked at this creation of race-based preferences in college admissions, employment and government contracts.

The imposition of proportional outcomes requires legal discrimination. Universities admit minorities on the basis of preferment and require whites to meet higher entrance standards. Minority preferment trumps the low bid in government contracts.

Legal preferment has been extended to women. One result is that men's participation in college sports is limited by the participation rate of women. It is discrimination and grounds for a federal lawsuit if a higher percentage of the male student body participates in sports.

This extraordinary development is the result of one ruling by one female assistant secretary of education in the Clinton administration. Her ruling has terminated 350 men's college sport teams. Proportional representation for women is achieved by shrinking opportunities for men.

After 38 years of civil rights policy, legally imposed race and gender discrimination are far more prevalent in the United States today than during the 1950s. In those days, discrimination was private or imposed by state or local law, and customary male and female roles. Today, discrimination against white males is required by federal agencies.

The Bush Justice Department has twice intervened against those seeking redress from reverse discrimination, thus sacrificing a core constituency principle to interest groups that do not vote Republican.

Citizenship is another principle that is under attack. Aliens, both legal and illegal, and their advocates have succeeded in forcing citizens to open their purses to them and to provide them with the full range of medical, educational and income-support programs. Some states now grant aliens more rights than they grant to U.S. citizens from other states. For example, some state universities supported by taxpayers grant in-state tuition to illegal ("undocumented") aliens.

Bush is doing nothing about the assault on citizenship except furthering it. He wants to amnesty illegal Mexicans. Campaign advisers tell him it will help with the Hispanic vote. Another constituency-defining principle bites the dust.

If Republicans desert a principle-based constituency, how will the party fare in political competition? Can Republicans outbid Democrats in promising privileges to preferred minorities and benefits to the poor? Are Republicans acquiescing to the liberals' morality that the only just policy is to redistribute income and power to the oppressed?

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: affirmativeaction; assimilation; immigration; republicanparty
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Intimidated by interest group politics, Republicans are deserting their principles.

On this, and nearly every other issue as well.

1 posted on 06/06/2002 4:30:23 PM PDT by Korth
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To: Korth
Both parties have lost their one-time supporters. That's why the voter turn-out is is low. There is no party and nobody put forth to represent the ordinary peoplr.
2 posted on 06/06/2002 4:34:17 PM PDT by RLK
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To: Korth
This whole idea that the Republican party is the "party of the rich" is a load of crap. My state (Nebraska) probably has a per capita yearly income of about $25,000 a year, and yet it voted for Bush 77% in the election.
3 posted on 06/06/2002 4:37:29 PM PDT by Husker24
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To: Korth
"Intimidated by interest group politics, Republicans are deserting their principles. "

It's about as organized as a jailbreak, alright.

4 posted on 06/06/2002 4:42:46 PM PDT by gcruse
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To: Korth
"Are Republican losing their constituency?"


5 posted on 06/06/2002 4:43:22 PM PDT by Right_in_Virginia
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To: Korth
I think they are caught up in self deception. The 2000 left field POTUS campaign is proof. If Gore had not been tarnished by his own brush he would be POTUS. The GOP was not selling traditional Republican policy or principle and that is what made the election so close. The GOP needs to remember it has been the most sucessfull both POTUS and Leglislative wise running on a traditional platform and not playing keeping up with the Jones with the Dems. The Republicans simply put have forgotten how to be Republicans.
6 posted on 06/06/2002 4:46:41 PM PDT by cva66snipe
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To: Korth
Seems to me there isn't a democratic "party" or a republican "party" anymore...its more just like the democratic team and the republican "team".

You pick which team to root for (and join) and you can switch back and forth from one team to the another since neither party really has any real core set of beliefs that it is willing to live by. It seems that politicians are more and more just plain old whores (democrats and republicans) that will beleive in whatever it is that will keep them in power....

7 posted on 06/06/2002 4:46:56 PM PDT by freeper12
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I don't see eye-to-eye with Pat Buchanan on much of anything, but he did get this one right:

"Today, candor compels us to admit that our vaunted two-party system is a snare and a delusion, a fraud upon the nation. Our two parties have become nothing but two wings of the same bird of prey."
Pat Buchanan - A SPEECH FOR THE AGES: Pat Buchanan Calls For a New Patriotism

On this, at least, we agree.

Deeds, not words. Laws, not the whim of men.

8 posted on 06/06/2002 4:52:37 PM PDT by Noumenon
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To: freeper12
Here in Ohio, the conservatives are abandoning the incumbent Republican, governor Taft. His choice of a liberal, socialist, Democrat as a running mate have left many people like me sending checks to the Dems as a protest. This woman makes Howard Metzenbaum look like a John Bircher. Every time I get a request for support, I copy the checks and note explaining my distaste with Taft. Right to lifers, gun groups,etc. are all complaning and threatning to "shaft Taft" in November.
9 posted on 06/06/2002 4:57:41 PM PDT by chadwimc
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"There is no party and nobody put forth to represent the ordinary peoplr."

They have lost me, and there is no replacement. Now, this is a dilemma.

10 posted on 06/06/2002 4:58:07 PM PDT by Don Myers
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And then there's this:

On August 9, 1932, the government decreed the death penalty for those convicted of ‘political’ murder. The next night a band of Nazis invaded the home of a Communist worker in the Silesian village of Potempa and stomped him to death, kicking his larynx to pieces. When the killer s were arrested, tried, and sentenced in accordance with the new law, Hitler responded with threats and demonstrations. On Sept. 2, the government gave its answer: the death sentences were commuted to life imprisonment. The killers were freed by Hitler next year.

The civilized men in the country did not know what to do. In the words of one historian, the moderates voiced desperate "appeals to reason… [But] their techniques were distinctly out of tune with the wild emotionalism that seemed to have gripped a large part of the nation" The civility cherished by the civilized men had finally been defeated by their ideas, although they did not know that this was the cause. 

After years of preaching contradictions and of evading principles with an anti-ideological shrug, these men were astonished to see the nation conclude that man cannot live by principles, that reason is no guide to action, and that anything goes.

After years of institutionalizing interest-group warfare, which they had justified as sacrifice or collective service, these men were astonished to see hostile gangs take to the streets and demand one another’s sacrifice.

After years of undercutting the mind by preaching the primacy of gentle feeling (whether ‘progressive’, religious, or skeptical), these men were astonished to find that they had nothing more to say, and that there was no one left to listen

The moderates were helpless. The authorities were helpless. The killers were taking over.

On January 30, 1933, after due attention to every requirement of German law and of the Weimar Constitution, Nazi rule was made official… It took six months for the Chancellor to transform the country into a totalitarian state."

Leonard Peikoff - The Ominous Parallels

How long will it take here, do you suppose?
11 posted on 06/06/2002 4:59:31 PM PDT by Noumenon
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To: Korth
I am quite disillusioned with the tax-cutters in the GOP as well.

The message "you deserve lower taxes", not coupled to "we will ruthlessly cut the government" is dishonest.

No one drives a Mercedes without making the payments. Our Mercedes government has high payments.

"You deserve something (tax cuts) for nothing (keeping big government)" is a RAT message.

12 posted on 06/06/2002 5:02:01 PM PDT by Jim Noble
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To: Noumenon
>>>How long will it take here, do you suppose?<<<

Sometimes I wonder if we should measure by a calendar or a stopwatch...

13 posted on 06/06/2002 5:05:42 PM PDT by Tourist Guy
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To: Noumenon
Nope. Pat Buchanan is full of it, as usual. Multi-party representation leads to national paralysis. Read the history of France from 1900 - 1940 to see how bad it can get, or even recent history of Italy. Too many parties makes stable government impossible.
14 posted on 06/06/2002 5:12:57 PM PDT by Own Drummer
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To: cva66snipe

I might argue that it was clinton's brush, but regardless there's allot of truth to what you say.

People are quick to forget how dismal and bleak things looked before september the 11'th.

And algor, big a putz as he is and the total embarasment he inflicted on himself during the campaign (chasing dubya around the stage.. trying to intimidate him. I still laugh about that) ALMOST won.

Now, that should tell you something.

15 posted on 06/06/2002 5:17:05 PM PDT by Jhoffa_
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To: Own Drummer
Oh, I don't know, I kind of like the idea of a Free Republic Party myself.
16 posted on 06/06/2002 5:28:00 PM PDT by MissAmericanPie
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To: Right_in_Virginia
Are Republican losing their constituency?"

Well, they lost me almost as soon as Bush started moving left. At least if that preening fool ALGORE was in office he would have some hard headed opposition.

17 posted on 06/06/2002 5:39:45 PM PDT by joeyman
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To: Jhoffa_
I might argue that it was clinton's brush

Yea Gore had the sense to drink plenty of tea and leave the room :>} In spite of how we feel about the man he is a political master taught by a political master. His dad was among the worst or best depending on point of view and taught him well. Jack Kemp learned that little quirk about Al also in 96 when he was left speachless.

Something tells me Gore is not finihed politically either. People have too short of memories these days. If it comes back down to a Bush vs Gore campaign we are in trouble the next time unless the GOP puts some fast and far distance between it and the Dems on policy. Gore will either make the GOP swing further left or look like liars.

He will as well if elected not waste one second expanding on the mistakes in programs and leglislation the GOP has pushed for. The new and improved Gore faith based programs, the Gore Home Land Defense, the Gore Fast track trade, and the list goes on. This should make any conservative stop and ask are we headed in the right direction? I put Hillary as every bit as dangerous and pretty much the same type campaign would be ran by her. The GOP has given the DEMs virtually every thing they need to destroy them in 2004 unless they do some quick 180's and change direction.

18 posted on 06/06/2002 5:43:31 PM PDT by cva66snipe
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I disagree as to what causes low voter turnout. The highest turnout, EVER, was in the period 1800-1820, where there were tight restrictions (property) on who voted. Turnouts were 65-90% (although the accuracy of the 90% numbers are questioned by some). After that, voter turnout was ONLY high when there were very "hot button" issues in the election. Even third party candidates don't necessarily cause increased turnout, although turnout was SLIGHTLY higher with Perot in 1992.

As to the parties, I think people would be stunned if the Libertarian Party suddenly abandoned its pro-abort and pro-drug positions, and kept EVERYTHING ELSE the same, how overnight it would attract perhaps a majority of current Republicans. But I know that I can never in good conscience vote Libertarian on those two positions alone---they are that significant. And I think it is that barrier that keeps the LP a 1% of the vote party.

19 posted on 06/06/2002 6:14:34 PM PDT by LS
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To: Own Drummer
I agree that multi-party has a historically bad record. So what's the alternative to two parties that are basically reform-proof and whose members and operatives consider themselves above and exempt from the laws they inflict upon us?

I suppose that we'll all get to find out, as the stage has been set for a civil war that'll make the previous one look like a Tupperware party. That's the elephant in the living room that most of us dare not discuss, much less prepare for.

20 posted on 06/06/2002 6:14:42 PM PDT by Noumenon
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