Looking at the chaos within the Republican Party, one cannot help but think of the boiling frog anecdote. It is a tale of slow death. The premise is that if a frog is placed in boiling water, it will jump out, but if it is placed in cold water that is slowly heated, it will not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death.
Starting with the presidency of Ronald Reagan, who famously stated at his first inauguration, “Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem,” the party of Lincoln and Eisenhower has had the heat slowly turned up on itself by a far right fringe that always existed within its ranks. The slow process of listing further right over the years culminated with the wholehearted embrace of the radical Tea Party after the election of Barack Obama in 2008.
The problem with the GOP isn’t only with what’s taking place in the House, where a small group of mostly TeaBaggers, paradoxically calling themselves the Freedom Caucus, will not support any Speaker who dares speak the word “compromise,” it can also be seen in the Republican presidential nominating contest.
The Republican frontrunner for the nomination is a TV celebrity/ real estate billionaire who is as loony as they come. The man with zero political experience is followed by a Christian fundamentalist doctor and a failed CEO… all with the same political experience: zip, nada. Could there be more of a repudiation of the party establishment than this?
But all this begs an important question: who is the party establishment? Who are the leaders of the GOP? If you were to answer Roger Ailes or Rush Limbaugh, you’re probably not far off. That listing boat is today totally rudderless.
What we are witnessing is something not very often seen … the death of a political party as we once knew it. The process leading up to its demise was slow and steady, too gradual for the Grand Old Party to notice and jump out of the pot.
The story of the frog in boiling water is a metaphor for the inability or unwillingness of someone or something to react to threats that occur gradually, such as having your political party hijacked by a bunch of political nihilists.
R.I.P GOP. Sorry, but no one will miss you.
To View / Post Comments
Image courtesy of Photography by BJWOK at FreeDigitalPhotos.net