Republicans have an authoritarian party system that works great, but too often it reminds Cold War Republicans why we held totalitarian systems in such contempt. Younger Republicans who don’t remember Soviet totalitarianism are just turned off by similar approaches in the GOP. Working for the Republicans are talk radio hosts at all hours of the day, all of FOXNews and most of CNN, the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and most of the Washington Post. Yet no one listens to them anymore. We are too busy looking at whistleblower video on youtube.com, watching the brilliant Steven Colbert on the Comedy Channel, or debating the latest commentary by Keith Olberman at MSNBC. We are too busy watching Fox Entertainment with government-distrusting, anti-authoritarian programs like Prisonbreak, House, Justice, Vanished, and The Simpsons.
The GOP has bumper stickers, but the latest ubiquitous war on this or that, this morning’s versus last night’s fear-mongering, the superficial pro-family-while-hating-everyone message has become part of a background that Americans largely ignore.
Lastly, the GOP is terribly conflicted. The fiscal conservatives are enraged at six years of the President’s financial recklessness. The nationalists are incensed, betrayed by the President’s lack of concern over border security. The Religious Right has begun to wonder what Jesus would do, and find that His righteous anger is directed not at Muslims or terrorists, but at a faithless flock that built idols of war and created their own Caesar.