Ted Cruz and (less notably) John Kasich recently dropped out of the race for the Republican nomination, meaning that Donald Trump will most likely run as the Republican candidate for president.
The news of Cruz’s campaign suspension sent many Americans, particularly Republicans, into a panic, plunging into a spiral of “what-if” scenarios, causing people to feign they’ll be fleeing to Canada or hiding in a bunker for the next five years.
As a result, many people fear and claim that the Republican Party is dying.
The thing is it’s not the end of the world. The sky isn’t falling. We’ve survived the past 239 years. We’ll be just fine.
This nation was built on an open exchange of ideas. And we’ve survived them all, every success and every failure. We’ve worked through the complexity of war, the hope of new political programs and the desperation of economic downturns — all confronted with varying tactics.
And we need that. Our country was founded on that. Creating the Constitution itself was a process where blood, sweat and tears were evident. Yet, those men created an ideology for a whole nation. It was forged with all the fervor those delegates could muster, even through the summer of 1787 in Philadelphia without AC.
That’s what the Republican Party needs: to take a look at their ideology and to form a new foundation to work from in the future because that’s what keeps political parties strong.
Because truth be told, even though the Republican Party could technically “die,” that probably won’t happen any time soon, and taking a look at the history of political parties might shed some light on why.
In an interview with The Washington Post, Columbia University historian Eric Foner said the last time a political party died was in 1854 when the Whigs died and the Republican Party was born.
“I don’t think the Republicans are about to literally go the way of the Whigs; a party that’s spent the Obama years gaining power in Congress and doing very well indeed at the state and local level isn’t likely to dissolve anytime soon,” Foner said.
Foner said that over the course of time, many political parties have formed. However, most of them died off almost as quickly as they arrived. Despite numerous ideological splits, the Republican Party has survived.
Historically, the party survived, especially during its early, formative years, because of its strong and defined political values, Foner said.
“The primary (reason) is that they had a very clear ideology, and it held them together,” Foner said.
The Republican Party has changing demographics, and in order to continue, their ideology must also adapt and change.
“Unless the party is able to make inroads with new voters, or discover a fountain of youth, the GOP’s slow demographic slide will continue election to election,” said Daniel McGraw, according to Politico Magazine.
The way things are now, with Republicans having a lack of younger voters, comparatively, but instead working from a voting pool that generally is much older, Republicans could soon find themselves at an anticipated 2.5-million-voter deficit, according to the article.
“Will new Republican voters — from young white transplants to states like Arizona to upwardly mobile Latino immigrants in Georgia — adopt and change conservatism to meet their needs?” said Jamelle Bouie, according toSlate.
Bouie sure thinks so, as stated in his article.
“Any Republican Party that drives in 2024 or 2028 is one that looks substantially different from the one that exists today,” he said. “No, that doesn’t mean it’s a diet version of the Democrats, but that it’s responding to a different set of voters than it has now.”
What the Grand Old Party needs is some good old-fashioned rebranding. If they ever want a shot at being in the White House again, they need to find a sound set of values that will appeal to both conservative and moderate Republicans together.
Time and time again, conservative Republicans have taken a stab at candidacy, only to fall short. Cruz couldn’t do it. Romney didn’t do it. The numbers simply won’t support this tactic.
The American people have grown accustomed to a two-party system. It’s not at all required in the Constitution, but over the past century and half, the Republican and Democratic Parties have necessitated a sharing of ideals. If the government expects to find a fair future, it should be one constructed over healthy discussion.
Republicans must go back to the drawing board for a new set of voters in order to find a way that will inspire and include all the members of their party.