Thermopylaeing the Republican Party
I just turned one of the most famous Greek battles into a verb. Let me just enjoy that accomplishment for a moment.
Before I go on, full disclosure: my personal beliefs on abortion and gay marriage are not up for debate. I am very certain you and I disagree on some social issues, but as Mr. Erickson pointed out to me earlier today, the Republican party is more diverse on the issues than the Democrats are. But, anyway, back to the point.
What do I mean by that? “Thermopylaeing?” Well, after Tuesday’s election, everyone looked for someone or something to blame. I, for one, blamed my brother, who opened the Necrominicon, but I digress. Almost immediately, everyone turned to social conservatism and the wacky antics of Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock. These two, if you’ve been living under a particularly sound-proof rock, caught a lot of national recognition for their beliefs on abortion, and it’s believed they cost themselves their own race and had a hand in ruining the race for Mitt Romney.
Sure, to an extent, they did hurt things a bit. The president’s campaign used women’s health issues as a way to gather the women to his side. He did that with various issues, actually, and look at the coalition he amassed. A liberal friend of mine pointed something out on the day before the election that at the time I thought was just her “hatin’” as the kids these days (read: my generation) say. But after Tuesday, I realized how right she was.
“Just saying… you don’t see many who aren’t white and male in that Romney rally footage…”
She was right, actually, and it bothers me. So, what does Greece have to do with this?
For those of you who don’t know your history or didn’t see Gerard Butler die heroically but tragically while his wife stabbed that jackass senator (I mean, who hasn’t wanted to do that?), Thermopylae was one of the most famous Greek battles, like, ever. 300 (that movie I referenced) Spartan troops stood against the Persians, defending their land until every man was cut down. It was heroic, but they were slaughtered. The strategy was to funnel the Persians into a narrow valley and take out more than that tiny group could have in an open field.
There is a large number of people calling for the removal of social conservatives from the Republican party if they are to have a chance at winning elections. While I am no mathematician (seriously, I’m a journalist and sociologist), I do understand this. If you are standing in front of a large army made up of a ton of smaller groups, it does not make sense to turn around to your own army, look at the biggest group on your side and say “Go home guys. We got this.”
Why, when facing a coalition of Democrat/Obama supporters are we telling our guys to go away? If they can get a coalition of different bases who, when you think about it, have little in common and some borderline don’t like each other, why can’t we? Because Obama already has them? Do you think they’re going to stick with the Democrats when Obama steps down? Do you think that Biden is the successor to Obama’s legacy? You see, for a party’s lineage to continue, there needs to be a successor. Biden cannot do it. He’s old as it is and Stonewall Jacksoned (I am turning so many historical things into verbs today!) his own side too much. Hillary? Nope. Reid? I can’t even type out his name in this situation with a straight face. Pelosi? Plastic surgery has ensured she can never have a straight face.
Don’t chase away your own. Band together and fight. We won big in 2010. We can do it in 2014. With the way the political pendulum works, we can do it in 2016 and make a big difference.
Lastly, I want to say this because this, too, has bothered me: In the great timeline of nations, not once has a 4-8 year period made a difference on its own. There has never been a span of less than a decade that has been directly responsible for the downfall of a nation. It is always a series of decades, with one thing after another crushing the nation and its government. We are far from that point. We can recover, and we will.
Don’t lose patience. Round three is coming up.
See this post and others of mine here. Follow me on Twitter: @joec_esquire