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And From the Ashes Shall Rise?

Good day friends. I’ve been off, a bit of travelling and a bit of “other” things (published a paper on the “origins of consciousness” which I’ll post about soon) and, sigh, FaceBooking… What a sea of mixed madness that last one is, you’ve got your “Friends” and they’ve got theirs and the twisting threads that spin off from these nodes pick up trolls. It’s like using a huge fishing net in a sea of cod. No matter what you do you always end up with a couple of inedible or, worse, poisonous critters.

Anyway, as usual these days, my thoughts spin around the presidential election which lawyer Alan Dershowitz has dubbed the season of “Electile Dysfunction.” By now it looks pretty clear, Trump in going down. The remaining questions are by how much and can his fall be dramatic and “sticky” enough so that it takes down enough down-ticket Republicans to give the Democrats at least the Senate, if not the House.

If Hillary wins but the GOP holds both houses of Congress nothing will change. They will treat her with the same disrespect as Obama and we’ll be even closer to that constitutional crisis where the president begins assuming more and more authority because that will be the only way to get anything done. (BTW, if the GOP doesn’t figure out soon that this is going to be the outcome here we could all be in trouble.)

I can’t answer these questions, I’ll leave it up to Nate Silver and the stat-gurus at fivethirtyeight. Instead let me take a shot at the other hovering issue: What happens to the Republican Party after Trump?

There are many opinions, some thoughtful, some not. We need to start with the current sordid mess they’re in. The party is now a cesspool of their own making, the end of a decades-long effort to stitch together a coalition of racists, nativists, Evangelicals, backward-looking, delusional social misfits and, of course, the classical fiscal conservatives. This diseased entity is no longer a political party. It has no core values, no coherent political philosophy and no decency. It is not a happy place. Its future looks pretty grim — and this does not make me happy either.

I’m a big fan of the two-party system. Frankly, I don’t trust governments where one segment is in total control — and that includes my guys.

But unless the Republican Party can find a way to shed the intolerance that their social conservative faction embraces they’re doomed. The country is changing. Hispanics and Asians are the fastest growing minorities and increasingly moving away from the hatred spewed by Trump. The millennials are comfortable with biracial couples, gay and lesbian couples and don’t give a rat’s ass about transgendered folks in their bathrooms. They are multiculturalists, fans of ethnic foods and music and, critically, are less likely to belong to any organized religious group.

The Democrats are in a position to become the dominant party over the next several decades. The classic economic conservatives who champion smaller government, fewer regulations and fiscal restraints are an increasingly smaller segment of the current party and will, over time, come to claim a smaller and smaller percentage of the electorate.

The more I think about whether there will be any coherent Phoenix-like rebirth the less I understand. Frankly, I have no clear notion about what will replace the post-Trump GOP. It could go full, alt-right and slink into the woodwork with the neo-fascists and white supremacists. It could try to survive with its shrinking demographic. It could…, maybe, perhaps …, pull its shit together, recall its roots and come back as the real “Grand Old Party.” You know, the one that Lincoln founded, the one that persuaded Eisenhower to run under its banner or the vigorously progressive, pro-environment one of Teddy Roosevelt. Heck, even the small-government, fiscally-responsible one crafted in the vision of political theorists like William F. Buckley would be tolerable.

Of course I’m not holding my breath … Every time I click on a “conservative” blog site that sharp widow’s peak on Paul Ryan’s forehead pops up and I get unhappy again …

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