This is my first started topic; please be kind.

I saw this link below and rather then thread-jacking, I decided to start my own thread on the subject.

Who defines what the republican party is? Is it one person, a committee, or is it supposed to be representative of those who define themselves as republicans. Does the definition define the people, or do the people define the definition?

The republican party is the sum of hundreds of viewpoints on various issues. Do republican and democratic viewpoints always have to be polar opposites on every issue? It seems that the Rush Limbaughs of the world are at a polar opposite with the nancy pelosi's, but is that representative? Is anyone else that extreme or are both really just fundamentalists who don't really represent anyone or at most a very small group?

And once either party has picked a 'side' on an issue, is that unchangeable?
Hypothetical; what if tomorrow a new piece of evidence came out that definitively showed a public health care option will be everything it is promised to be and more, and this evidence was enough to sway a majority of republicans to take the stand that we should have public insurance. Would the 'republican' stance still be that we shouldn't have a public option? If so, does that mean all the people who changed their minds had merely changed to the democratic viewpoint. Conversely would the republican viewpoint change to reflect what the majority of those who share the other republican viewpoints think?

I'm starting to agree with others I've heard, in that the republican party is going through a identity crisis. Polls show many who used to consider themselves republican are now calling themselves independent. Is this just a side-effect of the current economic and political climate, or is this a true shift in the american people? Do you think it will last, or even increase?

I think at the same time, there is backlash in the far right as they fight to keep the party from moving left. Most people who stand up as a republican are bombarded not only from the left, but from the far right for not being ' to the right' enough. With the far right unwilling to compromise, will they'll lose voters to the left, effectively killing the party, and turning america into one party system.

I've found it pretty interesting that for scores of years, the two parties have had such equal numbers of voters. Most national elections are decided by very small margins. It almost makes it seem that for all the issues at hand, the two opposing viewpoints are equally valid. Almost like how the news likes to portray 'both sides' of the story. Is the american voter merely a product of this? Has the news influenced us not only in what we think, but how we think?

Is the shift left in the republican party just a knee jerk response to the last 8 years? Is it related to religion and evangelicals? Do you think it will rebound; and or will it change? In 10 years, with atheists growing at the highest rate of any religious group, will republicans still be considered the 'christian party'? Or will the fact that it is the 'christian party' put off so many voters that the republican party will eventually become a lower tier party and will be replaced by a new party (libertarian?).

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Hey Judd, good set of questions. While I don't have a lot of time tonight to comment on this, I did want to float out the idea that national elections are usually close because the parties adjust themselves, positioning the platform to get the most new voters while keeping enough of the base engaged.

We'll see how long it takes the Christian right to fade in influence again. It comes and it goes, all the time. Currently, it's fashionable on this site to bash everything Republican and most things American. 1970s all over again. It comes and it goes. The party will bounce, readjust to the center, and elections will still be close.

Unfortunately, I'm forced to agree with those who predict a resurgence of the Republican Party. The capture of two gubernatorial seats address that fact. (Of course, the Democrats won two special house races.) Still, the Republicans are making no efforts to appeal to a broader base as of yet. The Republican Party seems in no hurry to tear down it false family values sign: Note the results in the Maine proposition on gay marriage provide evidence of the rampant homophobia on the right. Republicans are in no hurry to embrace gays and minorities. As a straight white male originally from the South who was forced to join the Democratic party, I can say that the Republic Party has made itself the party of straight white males from the South and Mountain States. Republicans from other states are considered Rhinos -- Republican in Name Only.
Fundamentalist Christian morality has always been at odds with free market ideology. Nothing destroys traditional Christian ethics faster than consumerism and dog eat dog work places. However, as long as there is nationalism, fear, power worship, hate and ignorance, there will always be a place for the Republican party.
"atheists growing at the highest rate of any religious group"

We aren't a religious group.

I think it works like a pendulum...Everything has been swinging toward the far right for the last 20 years or so and it will gradually swing to the left,then eventually back to the right.

Rinse and repeat.
"We aren't a religious group."

Thanks for the clarification.
When one boils it all down, that which separates the two parties are stances on single “moral” issues and a lot of Kabuki Theater. Most politicians are influenced by where their campaign money is coming from and the money they can make with their political power.
Dwight Eisenhower warned of the Military/Industrial Complex (a justifiable warning), but what should be added to that is the Banking/Financial/Congressional Complex, as the culprit screwing my country.
Thomas Jefferson got it right over 200 years ago when he wrote,
“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.”
Both parties are screwing us.




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