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April 16, 2013

Last National Republican, Turn Light Out

Roy Meachum

The GOP’s suicide has my mind enthralled. Two more splendid examples surfaced in recent days. The Republican National Committee unanimously passed a resolution reasserting its opinion against same-sex marriages, flying in face of Americans’ opinion.


Even the ultra-conservative Fox News polling could do no better than come in with 46 percent opposed; that left 49 percent in favor. The rest had no position on the issue. ABC News-Washington Post poll was the strongest in favor, 58-36 percents. It seems every day that GOP officials come out in favor.


The Republican Party had come a long way when Abraham Lincoln won the White House; its platform was simply anti-slavery. In the post-Civil War years, a combination of forbidding African Americans the vote and revenge on the Old South kept Washington safe for the GOP. Outside Gen. Dwight David Eisenhower’s years, the party held its national prominence by fear.


The Russians whom I met on the Berlin Airlift were primarily responsible for Ronald Reagan and the Bushes’ terms. After repealing slavery, the Cold War can be cited. Barack Obama currently motivates the GOP’s spark and doom. Not himself, but the color of his skin keeps the political right-wing alive.


Prejudice doesn’t wash for many American youth. They are better educated and more technically wise than adults. In the main, they have scant interest in bigotry. Unlike the years when I was a child, they believe few “choose” to live the lavender life; they accepted medical research that most lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders are born that way.


Over the weekend, Illinois’ GOP Chairman Pat Brady emerged from another ouster attempt; he did so because of the state’s ranking Republican, U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk. The issue erupted during a conference to figure what went wrong in national elections 2012. Associated Press writer Sara Burnett captured the words of DuPage County township committeeman Mark Stern: “We need a leader people can rally around. Pat Brady chose to focus on things that are divisive rather than the 80 percent we can agree on. That’s not leadership.”


Mr. Stern lives in the past of the singularly white gentlemen that epitomized the GOP when I was growing up, before Richard M. Nixon devised the party’s “Southern Strategy.” In my youth, as I have written, I didn’t know a Republican in person, but only in history pages. The best thing going in the Elephants’ favor is the Donkeys. Will Rogers, in some Ziegfeld Folly, came up with line: “I am not a member of an organized political party. I’m a Democrat.”


Frederick’s Republican Mayor Randy McClement’s constituency is tilted in favor of the other party, which absolutely doesn’t mean he will lose to a Democrat, particularly since former Democrat Jennifer Dougherty made an announcement that she would again seek City Hall as an Independent. Democratic Party members, Karen Young and Galen Clagett, also have their chips in the ring.


Living in Frederick exactly 30 years, I know the voters are volatile. Nothing electoral is a sure thing. The GOP flag has floated over the Civil War Courthouse not far from my yellow door on North Market Street many times since Ron Young. But it always has been, as Will Rogers said, because the Democrats are disordered; frequently falling into factions. Ms. Dougherty adds her distortion to the election this year.


Locally, personality matters most. But will the last national Republican, please turn off the light?


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