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?).