WASTED EFFORT? Is That What It Is to Vote Republican?

Written by Chuck Gruenwald on September 20, 2014

It’s safe to assume that 2014 has been a record year for open letters addressed to the Republican Party, with each one reaping from the fertile ground of Party mismanagement, incompetence, embarrassment of its supporters, a denial of the Party platform – if such a creature still exists – when addressing select audiences, and other actions that alienate support from potential voters and donors.

Here in Illinois, the national Republican Party may hand incumbent Democrat Senator Dick Durbin a fourth term in the Senate by refusing to offer any financial help to Jim Oberweis, the Republican challenger in this race.

There are many Illinois residents who find Dick Durbin’s pseudo-representation of their state repulsive, at best. By refusing to support their answer to Senator Durbin, is the Republican Party condoning his arrogance and his refusal to meet with citizens whose political philosophies are opposite of his? Is the national GOP establishment implying that a vote for their candidate, Mr. Oberweis, is a wasted vote?

Well, Dick Durbin is the type of politician whom Karl Rove promises the GOP will challenge “after the next election.” And just after how many “next elections” will pass before Republican strategists follow through with this promise?

If Senator Durbin wins this election, the biggest reasons are the combination of voters in three – out of one-hundred and two counties – that allowed Governor Pat Quinn to win in 2010, and the establishment GOP that refused to help Illinois voters attempt to elect an individual who deserves a chance to actually represent their state.

Speaking of Pat Quinn, it appears as though the most incompetent governor in the Union is about to defeat a Republican challenger and win another term in the Governor’s Office.
This revelation has the state-level Party leaders wondering what went wrong. According to their estimate, everything is going to plan: fill the gubernatorial primary race with nondescript candidates who will cancel each other out, thereby allowing the chosen candidate, Bruce Rauner to win the nomination. His leftist beliefs will automatically attract swing voters.

As a new, kinder, gentler Republican, he is ashamed of conservatives enough to avoid their functions – especially one attended by a conservative pastor who happens to be American of African descent. He also refuses to address specific issues in public or in print. And, he talks-down to the little people by running a campaign ad where he brags about driving a twenty year-old minivan.

When the election returns from this race are totaled on election night, keep in mind that Pat Quinn’s Republican challenger in 2010, State Senator Pat Brady – a downstate conservative – had won ninety-eight out of one-hundred and two counties. When the time comes, compare this to the results of the “perfect” candidate, Bruce Rauner.

Whoever wins the governor’s race in Illinois, will do so with a smaller than fifty percent majority; this is the result of both sides running message-less campaigns.

Now that I think about this year’s message-less campaigns, I’ve realized that there has never been an official message from Republican leadership at any level since the 1994 “Contract with America”.

Since then, the Party has depended on talk radio to broadcast a message that former GOP supporters now realize Party leaders have never embraced. This year, Republicans have all but lost talk radio; talk show hosts are tired of having to make excuses for mistruths, elitism, and contemptible treatment of not just conservative, but all potential voters.

They also are tired of being exploited for free advertising. Talk show hosts were treated like GM advertising agency employees who have to send a message that implies not all new GM cars are utilitarian appliances that are targeted toward rental fleets.

With the alienation of talk radio hosts, I’m surprised that John Boehner and Mitch McConnell have not endorsed a revived Fairness Doctrine.

If there are any questions why Republican leaders may have to settle for fifty seats in the Senate, the number six should come to mind. From 2001until early 2007 – six years — the GOP held the Executive and Legislative branches. And what is there to show for it? The destructive policies from forty years of a Democrat majority have mostly been perpetuated.

Outsourcing to foreign countries — especially China — was encouraged as a means to “keep America competitive in a global economy.” As revenue from tax cuts increased, so did spending. When any remnants of Ronald Reagan’s influence in government were attacked, it was done so under the label of neo-conservatism.

The title of neo-conservative soon defined itself as Republicans who practice pre-Reagan-era Republican elitism; where the principles of pro-government intrusion into the lives of American citizens, and retaliation against political “enemies” are embraced as the benchmark of Republican leadership. These principles were practiced by the father of the EPA, and the fifty-five mile-per-hour speed limit, Richard Nixon; the man whom many establishment Republicans revere as a benchmark president.

This arrogance has transformed the Republican Party from the Party of Lincoln, into the Party of another famous politician from Illinois, George Ryan.

No matter how many times the GOP tries to implement losing strategies to win elections, the end result won’t change. In fact, fewer voters are now accepting the scare tactic of “it doesn’t matter what a candidate believes politically, he or she must win solely due to their Republican affiliation.”

This was an intended open letter to Republican leadership. However, it most likely would have ended-up in that proverbial bottom-less suggestion box that is hung above a waste basket. In other words, this could have been a wasted letter; much like how many voters perceive voting for many Republican candidates.

Image: http://www.illinoisreview.typepad.com/


Born in Chicago and raised in northwest suburban Cook County, Chuck Gruenwald developed an unfavorable opinion of machine politics quite early in life. In addition to cars, electronics, law enforcement, and politics, Chuck enjoys writing, and is also a horse racing fan. He has recently written op-eds for uncommonshow.com