As much as they wouldn’t like to admit it, they hate this word, the Republican Party is changing; it’s changing more than the Democratic Party. We won’t see it really take a turn for another couple of Presidential elections, but the Christian-Conservative and Neo-Conservative movements are losing steam fast in the right-wing. Example: at the beginning of his term, President Bush tried to implement a Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriage. This, only a couple years ago, would never come close to being passed in 2008, much less in 2016. People are beginning to realize that they’re much larger issues to tackle than personal choice (laws against types of sex, for example).
Throughout the 90s, and Clinton’s tenure, these movements gained the momentum to take them into the 2000s with full force. With the exception of the Bosnia/Serbia conflict, large International paranoia seemed to be at a low (even during the Gulf War). This always results in a push towards personal morality and tastes. What happened during the prosperous 50s? Things were going, well… well. So people turned to their paranoia in the forms of gender identity, the red scare, nuclear holocaust, and worries about the ever growing counter/drug culture. The 90s, in a sense, led to the Neo-Conservative movement in this same way. A God-Send then came for them in the form of the scandal of the decade. With Clinton’s, and Dems’ and left-wingers’, days numbered, popularity shattered, this new form of Conservative was poised to take over a party, and infiltrate mainstream politics. And it did.
The early 2000s are chalked full of a plethora of wins for the movement. The robes draped over Lady Liberty, the Ten Commandments outside a courthouse, the ALMOST Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriage, etc. The Republicans gave in because, just like the Democrats, they want votes. Fast forward to 2008.
The Republican Party, and the Conservative movement, is divided. The remnants of Bible-thumping nutcases still lingers, albeit it is much much smaller than it was 5 years ago. Fiscal conservatives have become downright angry (as they should), and without a voice. Even though half the country (roughly) claims they’d vote for McCain right now, 70% of the country doesn’t like the current administration. As a result, the candidate of their choice panders to many different viewpoints and the whole spectrum of Conservatism: he’s worked across the aisle in the past so there’s your folks not far off of center, he claims to be fiscally responsible, he’s a military hero, yet he’s anti Gitmo, torture, etc., he is religious yet progressive in a way. McCain exemplifies where exactly the Party is at in 2008: unsure of himself, very patriotic, simple messages and language, and without a strong/overt political identity. There’s a reason why Brownback didn’t come close to winning, and a reason why Huckabee or Romney lost out. Huckabee and Brownback both are simply too far Evangelical and/or religious for this revolution in the party. Christ-Cons, as I said earlier, lost steam a long time ago. Romney has the fiscal-con thing going for himself, but he loses a large chunk of Republicans to a guy like Ron Paul who’s preaching an end to policing the world, bases and prisons in other countries, and continuously shipping money overseas out of the taxpayers pocket (Romney was very gung-ho on these types of issues).
If I had to money on it in Vegas, I’d bet on Obama winning the next election, but McCain does have a shot. Where I’m leading with this: regardless of who wins the next election, what will the Republican nominee look like 8-12 years from now? What will the Party look like 8-12 years from now? Another Republican dominance is coming, it’s inevitable. Like the economy always floating back and forth. With Neo/Christ-Cons very much so a thing of the past 10 years from now, history looking back at the Cheney/Bush/Rumsfeld Administration controversies, an ever declining American dollar and dominance, and the remaining financial scars of a war MUCH longer than most thought and a economic/market scare, this NEW Republican Party will look to one word: Isolationism.
We will see a push towards isolationism from not the entire Party, but a large chunk of it. The Neo-Cons took control from only a chunk at first as a result of the past 10 years of socio/political history, this could happen the same way. A movement built from the ground up. Crazy enough to inspire the same type of heads who want Creationist Museums and pragmatic enough to launch the middle to their feet. If a guy like Ron Paul can get a significant amount of the Party to sway onto his ideas, where would that lead? It’s the only way to go other than towards center. Isolationists. But Isolationism in the future has one gigantic enemy to dodge: Globalization. Could isolationism ever return into such a globalized world and world economy? It’s interesting. How would the rest of the world react? To answer that, we’d need to know how exactly the world will look in 10-15 years. Which is completely impossible when we look at how the world looked in the mid-90s, it was a totally different place. It is certain that new economies are emerging right now, as I type. India, China, Iran, Australia. And there are always those countries who will always have some sway in the world. Germany, France, Great Britain, etc.
Is American Isolationism possible in the next 15 years? I don’t know, it is a stretch… but if anyone has the ability to do it, it’s the Republicans. Then again, we could all be dead by then.