As long ago as the late sixties and early eighties, Republican leaders developed a unique election strategy. They intentionally made politics so messy; so reprehensibly ugly; so divisive that many moderate voters became disgusted with the whole political process and tuned out. The idea was that by diminishing the votes of moderates, the primaries and elections would be decided by the most rabid conservative base.
At the same time, they attacked the mainstream news outlets in order to create distrust of the media and objective reporting. This allowed partisan talk show hosts and conservative pundits to confuse voters and control the political message.
This strategy was at the heart of many GOP victories over the past 40 years. It was never more obvious than in the events leading up to the 2010 mid-term elections. And it would have worked again in 2012 if not for an energized Democratic majority and a bartender who captured Mitt Romney’s comments about the 47 percent.
Not content with demoralizing and repulsing a large number of moderates, the GOP and its Tea Party parasites have set about passing voter ID laws designed to diminish the participation of other segments of the electorate…including the poor, the elderly and minorities. The fewer of these Democratic-leaning voters who participate, the easier it will be for conservatives to win elections.
Combine these strategies with the financial backing of large corporations and wealthy contributors such as the Koch brothers, and we might see a conservative landslide in 2014.
Given the changing demographics of our nation and the coming minority majority, these cynical GOP strategies can’t work for long and Teapublicans know it. But they can create a lot of mischief in the meantime. You need only look at the ultra-conservative bills that have been pushed through states with a Teapublican majority in the legislature and a Teapublican governor.
Arizona, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Texas and others have acted like States Gone Wild with their anti-woman, anti-abortion, anti-tax, anti-union, anti-minority and pro-gun legislation. Many of their measures are unpopular with a majority of their citizens. But the majority is helpless to do anything to stop the bills or overturn them until there’s a change in state governments. And change is unlikely anytime in the near future because of Teapublican gerrymandering designed to keep them in power for years.
The only chance for change is for moderates to become re-engaged; to tune out the relentless negative campaign ads; to look beyond the headlines; to ignore the sound bites; to approach elections by studying the candidates and their policies with the same attitude as studying for a college final; then vote!