Fewer And Fewer Americans Claim To Be Republican!
I can’t tell you how much I love this story. Results of a new Pew Research Poll shows that the Republican Party is in decline and that Democratic values are gaining wider support. I’m not at all surprised, it’s what I’ve thought for years, but it is nice to finally have some numbers to back up this general feeling of a shift in public attitudes.
What I find most interesting about the poll is that highlights the exclusive and extreme nature of the Bush administration and their policies. Under previous Republican rule, there has generally been a certain level of discontent from the fringe religious right of the Party that have always wanted their moral views, not only codified by leadership, but legislated as well. Not so under George W. Bush. It seems that since 2002, the only ones happy with the direction the Republicans have taken the country in IS the extreme religious right. Georgie Boy promised not to turn his back on them and they are steadfastly returning the favor.
So much for being a uniter, not a divider. Bush has maintained 30% support (an indictment or our educational system if there ever was one), but even that number is deceiving since that 30% most likely only includes Republicans with maybe a spattering of religious extremists that, for whatever reason, still register as Democrats. It’s more than a little ironic that the most immoral administration in the history of this country continues to enjoy the unflinching loyalty of the Holy Rollers. I just wish that these “patriots” would take the time to read their Bible AND our constitution. If they did, Bush surely wouldn’t have any support left.
So what are the Democratic values that are gaining favor with the public? Fiscal responsibility, taking care of the less fortunate among us, recognizing that healthcare is a universal right, defending our nation rather than using our military might to fight wars of aggression and protecting the planet we call home. It’s sad that the Republican Party has abandoned these values, they should be American values, but the greed and cronyism has metastasized and the public instead now understands them to be Democratic values. Republican values now consist solely of waging war against Muslims and hating gays. There’s certainly a constituency there, but not a large one. By playing ONLY to his base, Bush has damaged the country and decimated his Party. If it takes 50 years or more for them to recover, at least something good will have resulted from this disastrous presidency.
Two of the biggest crisis facing this country have been ignored and made worse during the Bush years, the reality of global warming and a for profit healthcare system that, while lucrative for those administering it, isn’t working for anyone else. The American people care about solving these problems, but not so much the Bush administration and by extension, the Republican Party. However painful their defeat at the polls this past November, they better get used to the feeling because it looks like it’s only going to get worse. Choosing an idiot to lead your Party has consequences and I’m going to enjoy watching you suffer them, for decades I hope.
The Democrats don’t get a free pass though. While the country is trending toward Democratic values, the Democratic Party has moved away from them. Call it fear of the Republican noise machine, political pandering in search of the donut hole referred to as the “political middle” or lack of true conviction, but whatever the cause, the Democrats we’ve elected to represent us have, for the most part, failed to do so adequately. 64% of Americans think the government should provide universal healthcare. 63% of the American people (and a staggering 73% of our troops serving in Iraq) want our troops out of Iraq by the end of 2008. 88% of Americans think that global warming threatens future generations. With overwhelming public support for the most critical issues we face as a nation, if the Democrats want to fare better than their Republican counterparts, they better get back to their roots and champion the causes most of us care deeply about. We’re tired of OUR government being unresponsive to our needs. We’re done having OUR government serve only the interests of the top 1%. We want OUR government back! The Democratic Party can either be the vehicle through which we do that, or they can suffer the same fate as the Republicans. I hope they choose wisely.