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.
Jim, You have some points about Obama's delivery. Obama does NOT have charisma like, say, Clinton. Now Bush really did come off as ... sooooo unintelligent. Every time he opened his mouth MY mouth dropped open in disbelief. So I like the comparison in your revision of your comment.
But Obama comes off as very intelligent to me. He is just too timid. I wonder if he's too fearful of making a mistake. He has the appearance of someone who is very passionate about his responsibilities and the weight of them, not of someone just trying to pad the pockets of himself and his cronies.
Now can you tell me more about this? ->
He ran an especially devisive and nasty campaign ...
Susan - you said "He has the appearance of someone who is very passionate about his responsibilities and the weight of them,not of someone just trying to pad the pockets of himself and his cronies". You must not have followed who most of the 'green energy' subsidies went to, often to those who were big fund raisers. But that is typical of our political system, not that specific to Obama.
As to the devisive and nasty campaign. Obama and his proxies, did not run on his record - stimulus, Obamacare, green energy. He did not really offer specifics on his plan for the future (other than raise taxes on "millionares" - actually he has redefined millionaires as anyone making over $200,000 as an individual). Instead he ran 100s of millions of dollars of ads attacking Romney, saying he was just a rich and greedy guy who didn't pay his taxes (harry reid lies), closed companies that cost a woman her life, etc. They said their strategy was going to be "Kill Romney", and they were right about that. The devisive part was the constant class warfare. Looking back I do not ever remember a candidate running on class the way he did (I have been watching since the Nixon/Kennedy election). He ran as a community organizer. The country is much more divided than under Bush.
P.S. Bush was also careful about everything he said. He rarely made a blunder. You must watch a lot of Saturday Night Live :) Biden puts his foot in his mouth multiple times more than Bush ever did.
I guess we just see the world through different color lenses.
I have heard him speak when he was a Senator. The man does NOT need a teleprompter. Ronald Regan was considered a great orator and he used a teleprompter as well. It is just easier. I guess Jim always delivers speeches off the top of his head and never uses notes.
I can understand playing a game by going to church but, Jeremiah Wright!?
Wright was good practice to put up with the loonies in Congress. i'd take listening to Wright over listening to Issa, Imhoffe, Cantor, Bachman, Ryan, Paul, .......and so on.
And how much money are you offering to donate to the charity of Obama's choice in exchange for his college grades, Donald?
Jim, so what?
A very politically active lawyer once told me the LSAT (Law School Admissions Test) doesn't test intelligence; it tests compulsiveness. Having taken both the Graduate Record Exam and the LSAT, and done well and poorly respectively, I believed him.
We haven't seen Obama's grades, you might be right but I doubt it.
He uses a teleprompter, and I venture to guess you've done little or no high stakes public speaking.
Political success requires community organizing skills.
oh booklover - I love your Obama poster from the AHA - I'm gonna add that to my collection.
Also old, also white ... and a registered Democrat, so there.
My problem is that I have vague memories of a Republican party which at least attempted to be reasonable and rational and could play nice with the other side of the aisle ... and they did, until Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell came along and decided that religion should be political. The shame is that their BS was tolerated roughly up to 9/11, when all at once, at least SOME people realized that religion of any sort created more problems than it solved.
I see advocacy and two-sided debate as being necessary to any government, ours included, and so I would rather NOT see the GOP fall by the wayside. It may have to reinvent itself, recognize that its move rightward and its excessive association with radical religion has also been a move toward increasing irrelevance and impracticality. The $64 question is whether they can recognize the problems they have created for themselves and extricate themselves from them.
For myself, I hope they can.
Postscript: I was watching the Obama victory speech and Romney concession speech the other day ... and couldn't help but notice the variety of skin colors and ethnicities in the former and the near complete dearth of such in the latter. I can't be the only one to have observed that. Do you suppose the GOP can be bothered to?
regarding your PS - it has been widely noted. much of the talk yesterday was about how the GOP could address this problem. my mom and her husband are outraged that non-whites decided this election, wrongly assuming it had nothing to do with the issues. their tone was that of concern that whites are losing power. and she wonders why i told her that her party is closer to the KKK than representative of America today.
Of course I also observed the opposite - fewer and fewer white people, older people, business type people at the Dem celebration. This was a decisive but far from a "mandate" election like we have had in the past (LBJ, Reagan). One of the reasons I am not as enamored with the President is his use of devisiveness as a political tool. He had a chance to lead the entire country in his first term, when he had a true mandate, and could have reached out to the other party in a meaningful way without sacrificing core convictions, as other successful Presidents have, and again after the mid terms (course correction, ala Clinton). Instead he said 'I won, you lost, get over it'. If he does not learn to be a LEADER (effectively negotiate), we will continue to have stalemate and the country will struggle. He once said "I would rather be an excellent one term than a mediocre two term President." I would rather see him be an excellent 2nd term President at this point, vs. a mediocre two term. Time will tell the answer.
he'll need to do a better job leading, no doubt. although it wasn't for lack of trying. i'm not sure that any democrat could have effectively led this republican house. they were bratty little children, refusing to go along with their own ideas if a democrat brought it up. about 2 years in i think he gave up. this time he's going to have to find a way though. it will be a true test of his abilities, and i hope he's up for the task.
He had his best opportunity to work with the Republicans right out of the gates. four years ago. That is when the opposition is most vulnerable. Bush knew this and passed the tax cuts and No Child Left Behind early on. He needed Democrat votes to get these through, including working with Ted Kennedy. (Put aside whether these were good policies, especially No Child Left Behind). Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins are just a two examples of Republican Senators that would have worked with him. Amazingly he moved them to the right instead of getting their support. As a result - Obamacare was the first big government program that passed with no bipartisan support. Even Bush was able to get bipartisan support for Medicare Part D. He also sought no input for the Stimulus from the Republicans, telling Eric Cantor - "Eric - I won, you lost". His attitude is not one of a leader. Mitch McConnell did not make his famous statement about having as his top priority defeating Obama until mid way through the term. Perhaps if he had been a Senator for more than two years he would have learned how Congress works.
I hope he changes, for the good of the country.