17 October 2013

Beau from Dallas, TX  

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As a deal to end the shutdown and stave off large-scale economic destruction is reached today, it is clear that Republicans have gained virtually nothing from their faux-apocalyptic stunt. Already, many talking-heads are foretelling the end of the Republican Party and the doomsday they will surely see at the polls in 2014.

And while the Grand Old Party is hardly the same Old party, what with their new Tea infusions and such, one thing is certainly clear:  they are far from finished.

In 2008, the Republican Party fielded one of their best candidates for president since Ronald Reagan in war hero John McCain. He went on to get trounced in a national backlash against the war rule of a Republican White House. Shortly after the polls closed and Barack Obama was announced as the 44th President of the United States, every major media outlet was running pieces on "the end of the Republican Party."

Which, of course, were all foolish.

"Republicans of this age are high-stakes, tactical thinkers who are more than willing to immolate themselves in order to gain an advantage in the next election."

This provocative thesis is one Beau has held since those early days in 2008. Faced with a popular, charismatic figure, politics had changed. Republican tactics had to change, too.

"Republicans have proven adept at preserving their party interests despite public sentiment otherwise. Like Mao, the GOP's '5-Year Plan' is driven not by people, but by rigid ideology. This works well at first, but as the national debate moves forward, the GOP loses a lot of credibility by failing to compromise and seeming unreasonable."

Beau is a self-described "libertarian, like your grandfather told you about." He claims his political heroes are William Jennings Bryan and Adlai Stevenson, two popular figures who were plagued by multiple disastrous runs for the presidency. Beau has learned from their mistakes, and has his thumb on the pulse of larger errors within the political community.

"When we organize as only Republicans and Democrats, it's about ideology. What's gotten lost is the fact that governments aren't instituted among ethereal ideals; they're instituted among people. Party politics, then, is at its best when it governs by the dictates of people. We've lost that in this century."

As we face another round of blindfolded, cliff-diving-without-a-parachute economic and political rhetoric in a few months as a consequence of today's shutdown deal, it is clear that Americans need to reorganize themselves around he right people--not the right ideals.

While we argue about health care and spending, this may seem like a provocative hypothesis. But it is a basic, elemental return to our roots that is essential to re-awaken our political process. We must ensure that Abraham Lincoln's words are not lost in our time: "That government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not vanish from this earth."

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