let's face it, the highly religious, the ones we here have the biggest problem with, is the base of the Republican Party.  given this, news of its imminent demise should thrill most Atheists.  and make no mistake, barring a gargantuan shift in policies and rhetoric, they are absolutely on the path towards extinction.  

it's common knowledge that the GOP is an old, white party.  while not an absolute, that is an accurate enough description of the Republican Party today.  two trends to keep in mind here.  one, old people tend to die at a faster rate than young people.  two, white people are shrinking as a percentage of the electorate.  they are running out of supporters, and it's happening quicker than many thought.  

take yesterday's election.  President Obama won over 90% of the black vote and 70% of the latino and asian vote.  Romney did well with seniors and whites overall.  meanwhile, the country is getting browner.  the GOP may end up becoming a whites only club, a nativist and pale collection of isolationists who choose to ignore the changing demographics of the country.  worse, they may choose to keep it this way.  if they choose this path, their extinction is all but guaranteed.  their option would be to abandon their social issues, immigration policies, and economic austery programs and to open up their tent through real policy change.  

anyone wanna bet which way they go?

for Atheists, either way is a win.  if the GOP becomes irrelevant then the power of the religious right goes with it.  if they truly make changes to make more people inclusive and begin to part with their religious base Atheists will celebrate.  yesterday's election is better for Atheists than most people would think.  

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Quote, from Jim Schultz:

"Do you think the Republicans should embrace some form of comprehensive immigration reform, i.e. close the borders, reform the legal immigration process (exp - more temporary worker visas, encourage college grads in scientific disciplines from foreign countries to stay) enforce work place rules, and offer a pathway to legalization for long time immigrants that have remained crime free, serve the military, etc. ???"


I don't think that it would be necessary - or even practical - to close our borders in order to defend them.

That said, we absolutely have to deal with the fact that there are more than twenty million foreign nationals inside our borders illegally, and we have every right to see to it they go home.

Don't care where they come from, be it China, Ireland or Mexico.

They sneaked in, or they stayed beyond their permissions, and they are nothing more than trespassers.

They should in no way be considered immigrants.

As for legal immigration, I have no problem at all with that - and again - it matters not at all where they come from.

I will applaud anyone who is willing to stand in line and wait their turn to undergo what should necessarily be a fairly difficult process to become an American.

We as a Nation have every Right to vet and scrutinize those Individuals in order to know who is being allowed into our home.

"Sealing" the border would be expensive and impractical. I think we could do a better job than we currently do though. A pathway to "citizenship" should involve going home, getting in line and paying a penalty, I totally agree. A pathway to "legalization" should not be that different, except the going home part. 

I think what would help Conservatives/Republicans would be to soften the rhetoric on illegals. We should not have a position that we are going to "round up" millions of illegals. Sending them home is also not practical, especially if they have a family, job, home, have not committed a crime, etc. I would rather have them come out of the shadows and apply for some type of legal status that does not include citizenship, voting, etc.

I may be too soft on this issue for hard core conservatives. I think most illegals from south of the border came here for a job and a better way of life. Our businesses encouraged them and our government did not stop them. Right now, I would like to see us move past this issue, but my position is not that hard and I could be swayed. Romney's position probably hurt him, but was just one of a number of issues, including the difficulty of defeating an incumbent who was in the Oval Office during a natural disaster. Having most of the media/entertainment complex as cheer leaders is also very helpful.    

Yeah, Mike, our current immigration policy is failing.

In the 1600s, a previous immigration policy failed.

In one corner we have the conservative Mike; in the other corner we have the conservative Jim.

Should be a good fight.

What fight, Tom?

Jim and I are merely engaging in an exchange of opinion.

I would also caution you against trying to instigate...

who's really doing the instigating?  this is a thread discussing the GOP's faults, yet you've hijacked the thread to espouse conservative principles.  i've remained mostly silent on this, but i'm thinking that the conversation between yourself and Jim belong elsewhere.  it's one thing to defend your position as a conservative and disagree with the premise of this post, but it's another thing altogether to drown out any dialogue that may move the conversation further.  

I see.

You engage in libelous propagandandizing, and you expect to do so without rebuttal. 

I'm not allowed to set the record straight in order to defend my position.

I see.

Well Mr Greenberg, my original post was directed to you, and I apologize for not making that more clear.

Since I received no answer from you to that original post, I merely responded to those who did answer, and I simply followed the lines of conversation as they progressed.

It was not, and is not, my intention to hijack anything.

If you want me to, I will leave you to your thread.

But do have to say, that if you have a problem with free exchange of ideas Matt, then you might want to re-think that free-thinker thing...

no need for formalities Mike, please call me Matt.  i must have missed your original post in the flurry of activity.  i'll go back and look for it.  as far as having a problem with the free exchange of ideas - no, i don't have a problem with that.  which is why i was largely silent in your discussion.  it wasn't for me to intervene in conservative in-fighting, so i let it be.  however, the tone of the discussion was starting to deteriorate so i decided to speak up.  

you don't have to leave. i think my statement kinda spoke for itself, which is to say that your conversation had veered well off topic and might be more useful in it's own dedicated thread.  

and btw, i DID respond to your first comment.  here is what i said:

you, my friend, are an anomaly.  i have no doubt that conservatism is here to stay, but what form or party it ultimately takes root is somewhat up in the air.  that said, the republican party can save itself, but only if it leaves the Religious Right behind.  given that they make up some 30+% of their party i'm not confident they are capable of getting enough votes to remain viable without them.  a big shakeup is coming, and watching how it shakes out will indeed be fascinating.  

So you did Matt, and again I apologize.

The only reason I have as much time here as I do, is that I'm off work right now to deal with a case of cellulitis I picked up while working in the field (I work on communication towers).

Hope to be back to work tomorrow, but it's kind of amazing what a tiny scratch can lead to.

At any rate, I'm not exactly one hundred percent mentally at the moment and I'm not real used to that.

Might be a bit grumpy (and always ornery).

Pardon my passion.

no problem at all.  i had that years ago from a dog bite.  it sucks.  get well, and i'm sure i'll see you around here.  

I have said nothing about mass round-ups.

As you state, there are numerous businesses that hire illegals.

Nothing that a few very stiff prison sentences wouldn't cure.

Seriously, make an example of a few of the worst of those offenders, and the remainder will fall into compliance pretty quickly.

Then of course, we need to deal with all the enticements offered by the Left...

Put an end to all the taxpayer-subsidized hospitalization, all the welfare checks, driver licenses, and fraudulent voting, to name a few, and most will get the message.

They got here under their own power, they can leave the same way.

I am unalterably opposed to any amnesty of any kind.

Ronald Reagan tried that a while back, and it was an unmitigated disaster.

The only thing it served was to clear the way for successive waves of even more illegal foreign nationals.

Also, I'm not singling out those from south of our border.

It is estimated there there are roughly 75,000 illegals of Irish origin in this Country, and probably an equal number from Russia. A large number of those are former IRA and former officials and functionaries of the old Soviet Union who have come here to become officials and functionaries of organized crime.

We damned sure don't need them.

If those who have entered this Country illegally are really seeking a better life, then the best thing they could possibly do is to go home and put their own houses in order.

Mexico as an example could start by cleaning out that cockroach nest that passes itself off as a government....

There are costs associated with rounding up illegals and deporting them. One estimate is about $12,500 for all the expenses involved—police work, judicial hearings, etc. If there are 12 million illegal aliens, that amounts to a substantial bill of $150 billion. Other estimates put the total cost at between $94 billion and $215 billion, estimating that about one fourth would leave on their own and only 9 million would need to be processed through legal channels. Whatever it is, the direct costs of such a program will be substantial.

A large program aimed at removing illegal aliens would of course provide new jobs for law enforcement and court workers or else our police and courts would be swamped and unable to deal with other—perhaps more important—matters.

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