Several folks like Liz Cheney, Paul Ryan, Adam Kinzinger and the ghost of Ronald Reagan have been insisting that the Republican Party needs to rededicate itself to conservative fundamentals and move away from folks like Rep. Jewish Space Laser (R-Georgia) and all the witches found in recent witch hunts.
Good luck with that. Cheney and the gang are way outnumbered. With everyone from Ron DeSantis to Elise Stefanik to Kevin McCarthy to Lauren Boebert dancing for Daddy Trump’s attention, the GOP looks like some sort of extremist version of “American Bandstand.”
“OK, kids. Let’s do the Cha Cha Slide, GOP-style. Now slide to the right. Now slide to the right. Now slide to the right.”
“Can we slide to the left yet?”
“Traitor! Let’s hang ‘em!”
On the other side of the aisle, we’ve got the party of perpetual wokeness. Every issue goes back to gender identity, race and some $500 billion program to study how everything is offensive.
“For what purposes does the gentlelady from Minnesota, Ms. Omar, rise?”
“Gentle what? Are you insinuating I’m gentle because I’m a lady? I’m offended! And I rise to demand that vanilla ice cream be banned from the Capitol deli and that Jewish space lasers also be made available to non-binary Muslims so they/them can start wildfires, too. I’m gonna need a few billion dollars to do that, by the way. It’s basic infrastructure.”
Given the extremes that have turned typical D.C. gridlock into full-fledged paralysis, can we finally admit that the two-party system has had its run and no longer works? As soon as one party gets into power, the other seeks only to block it so that it appears ineffective so that they can win the next election and be the ones obstructed at every turn.
We clearly need a viable third party, and there are plenty of castaways to at least get it started. Can you hear me now, Jeff Flake? It wouldn’t need to be just a bunch of non-insurrectionist moderate Republicans or conservative Democrats like Joe Manchin and Jon Tester, although that’s likely the default starting point. It just needs to be folks who are willing to listen, negotiate and apply common sense.
They would absolutely be the smallest party in D.C., and that lack of scale probably scares them all away. But they also would be the most powerful because neither the Democrats nor Republicans would be able to get much done without them.
They would have to believe in science, such as the actual measurements of sea-level rise and the things you can witness with your eyeballs, like the melting Arctic.
They could support strong border control but also go after the people making money by illegally employing them. In other words, get rid of the main reasons they are coming.
They would recognize that the guns-blazing drug war doesn’t work, is in fact counter-productive as it makes the drug trade more profitable, and is to blame for way more of these police shootings (Breonna Taylor, Andrew Brown Jr.) than is racism.
They would not invent problems, like trans folks going to the bathroom. They would recognize that the very folks who insist trans folks use the bathroom associated with their birth gender are the same folks who would freak out if a bearded trans man followed their daughter into a women’s bathroom — as such laws would mandate — because he was born a girl. Yeah, I’m sure y’all would be just fine with that.
They would read all the words in the Second Amendment, such as “well-regulated.”
They would neither coddle the rich, nor assault the poor.
They’d see that 20 years is enough time in Afghanistan. Yes, it’ll all go to hell the day after we leave. But if we stay 275 years, it’ll still all go to hell the day after we leave.
And they would see health care as a right. Perhaps they would support a public option that the GOP opposes and doesn’t go far enough to satisfy Bernie Sanders … or me. But it’s a start. Sick people are to pharmaceutical companies what oil wells are to fossil fuel companies, although right-wing politicians care more about oil wells than sick folks.
That’s just a start, but common sense is a good place to start.
And, therefore, it’ll never happen.