The grumpy old party is inaction in practice


The GOP focuses more on complaining and blaming than implementing valid political reform.

I never thought I would live to see it, but a sitting President of the United States actually compared the opposition to a meme.

In case you missed it, President Barack Obama at the Democratic National Committee’s Women’s Leadership Forum likened the Republican Party politicians to Grumpy Cat.

“It does make you wonder why Republican politicians are so down on America. Have you noticed that? I mean, they are-they are gloomy. They are… they’re like Grumpy Cat,” Obama said.

Sadly, the president is not far off.

The Republican Party of late has become more like an angry protest vote than a legitimate major party.

The Republican National Committee’s official platform involves phrases like “renewing American values” and “restoring the American dream.”

Despite the legally binding ruling of the Supreme Court, the GOP officially declares, “The union of one man and one woman must be upheld as the national standard, a goal to stand for, encourage, and promote through laws governing marriage.”

Another heading reads “Judicial Activism: a Threat to the U.S. Constitution.” I even lost count of the number of times I read “the current administration’s failure” or something similar.

Essentially, the national GOP platform’s pillars represent a center-right party – if it can even be considered that anymore – that is severely out of touch with reality. They seem far more interested in complaining and finger pointing than laying out real solutions.

“If Americans want to fix our broken healthcare system, then we will need to elect a Republican president with proven ideas and real solutions that put patients and doctors back in charge of their healthcare,” RNC Communications said on Sept. 23.

The problem here is no ‘proven solutions’ actually exist. The U.S. has never had a healthcare system that manages to provide access to quality, affordable healthcare to every American. Even with the Affordable Care Act, 11.9 percent of Americans still lack health insurance, according to an April 13 Gallup Poll.

Yet, the national Republican hierarchy would rather focus on the supposed failures of the Democrats. Rather then taking America as it is and looking for valid reform, the GOP indulges in the rhetoric of national restoration, renewal and return to some nebulous golden age.

The problem, as I have outlined before, is the inability of the Republican Party to come to full grips with a changing America. This is the perpetual plight of conservatism: what to ‘conserve’ and what to change or let change.

The modern GOP suffers from paralyzing fear and inconsistency.

On one hand, they extol freedom, opportunity and family values. On the other, Republicans refuse to create or endorse the necessary governmental structures and programs necessary to truly attain these goals.

This includes universal healthcare; recognition of marriage equality for all committed couples; truly just and comprehensive immigration reform; and an all-around more optimistic view of America and Americans.

This is not a problem limited to just the American version of conservative politics, but it is, obviously, the most relevant and pressing to us. For the sake of our republic, it is urgent that political discourse start to transcend the ‘gloominess’ of the present Republican establishment.

In so many words, nothing in the U.S. needs restoring, renewing or returning. Though conditions may not be ideal, things in the states cannot go back to as they were. We must continue to push bravely into the future. Hopefully the GOP will one day soon decide to join in that endeavor.

Tyler Laferriere is a first year master’s student in applied economics and statistics from Phoenix, Ariz. He can be contacted at 335-2290 or by [email protected]. The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of the staff of The Daily Evergreen or those of the Office of Student Media.