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The Grand Ole Party not so grand, still old

After Republicans were routed in their attempts to maintain the presidency and gain ground in the legislative branch, it is again time to consider the future of the once Grand Ole Party.

After losing to the Obama campaign, the Republican Party began fighting amongst itself.

Fox News anchor Carl Cameron disclosed Nov. 5 that senior McCain aides stated “[Gov. Palin] didn’t know what countries were in NAFTA – the North American Free Trade Agreement” ­– and “she didn’t understand that Africa was a continent, rather than a series – a country just in itself.”

Regardless of the statement’s accuracy, it shows the level of discontent and finger pointing in the GOP.

Minority Whip Roy Blunt, No. 2 Republican in the House of Representatives, announced Nov. 6 he is stepping aside to avoid a difficult intraparty battle with protégé Eric Cantor, who was already actively campaigning for the position.

Amidst the GOP’s blame-game of off-message statements, mismanaged campaigns and its lack of a unified statement of principles, most talk concerning its path towards this road has been non-existent.

During the first six years of the Bush administration, the Republicans controlled all three branches of government, yet willingly violated every true Republican platform .

With the No Child Left Behind Act, they tripled the department of education – a department President Reagan sought to privatize or outright dismantle.

Bush vastly increased the unfunded liabilities of the government through Medicare reform, which subsidized prescription drugs for seniors through payroll taxes – another key element contradicting the Republican’s platform.

And he engaged in the wholesale nationalization of investment banks and the unprecedented intervention into the free markets – the very antithesis of limited government fiscal responsibility.

Bush and his allies in the House increased the debt ceiling by $2.5 trillion and still had a massive budget deficit, which has not been seen since the Carter administration.

Then there was the Bush doctrine of preemptive war and nation-building abroad while shoring-up the police state at home with such legislation as the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act and the FISA update.

The GOP needs to do some serious soul searching if it hopes to avoid another stint in the wilderness.

The party needs to realign itself with its core principles of limited government, personal freedom and self-determination while actively seeking the movers and shakers of tomorrow.

Congressman Ron Paul preached such a message during the primaries and attracted young voters in droves, something Obama was applauded for. If the party still intends on being relevant, it should really address what attracted the college-aged students to his message.

If the Nov. 6 meeting of Republicans to decide the future of the party is any indication of the party’s willingness to adapt, they are in for a long haul in the wilderness.

E-mail James Cannon II at [email protected].

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