I’m a liberal but I can live with fiscal conservatives and small-government conservatives because they’re generally sensible. They deal with issues from a position of intellect rather than emotion, and thus can be negotiated with. But I’ve got nothing to say to the social conservatives who want to tell us that our kids have to pray aloud in school, or learn religious dogma dressed up as pseudoscience, or that some of us cannot be allowed to marry who we love. Or that women shouldn’t have a choice about reproductive decisions. They don’t want to find a way forward in a spirit of bipartisan negotiation and tolerance, they want to remake America in their own bigoted image.

It’s the social conservatives and the rabid evangelicals who have destroyed the Republican party. It wasn’t Bush and McCain themselves who did it. It’s the Fox News watching, intolerant, socially conservative evangelical “base” that Rove and Co. have pandered to, and who noisily support the war in Iraq, torture of “enemy combatants”, and the government spying on citizens. They are the ones who ruined the Republican Party by being so far outside of the mainstream that they barely have any relevance at all anymore, if ever.

Reagan began this GOP fiasco by inviting these people into the tent and making them feel like honored guests. They weren’t content with a place at the table for very long. They soon emptied the GOP tent of moderates and either converted or marginalized fiscal conservatives who were not also warriors for the cultural changes they envisioned. The guest became the hosts, and the whole party changed in monumental and ultimately catastrophic ways.

But it worked for Reagan. It’s how he was elected twice in spite of reneging on almost all of his platform issues. He recruited the super-far-right social conservatives to the party, with an in-your-face “we’ll legislate our morality” attitude that drove out the most conservative core–libertarians–from the Republican party.

They stuck around through the leaner years of the first Bush, though he used them for his own purposes, and wandered in the wilderness during the Clinton years, only to come back with a vengence during the current Bush regime. Only now they were being manipulated by the neo-cons while thinking they were once again the movers and shakers of policy inside the Bush regime.

These people care about telling Adam and Steve they can’t get married, not about fiscal conservatism and limited government. They care about using power to achieve their religious goals by any means necessary. And what have we seen in every Republican presidency since Reagan? A massive increase in executive power, size of the government, and rate of spending. Now the Republican party has become so exclusive that they can’t get average Americans to vote with them anymore.

The Republican party has become a caricature of itself- a racist, fear mongering, hate spewing, elitist club of the most toxic kind. It has now become, thanks in large part to Bush and McCain, a banner under which the lowest common denominator now proudly gather. It is the party of the uneducated moron who cannot (as of yet) appreciate how their highest and best aspirations, along with their base emotions – fear and greed, are manipulated and used by the ruling elite. And now the party is seriously considering Sarah Palin to become their next and brightest hope. That would be akin to tossing a drowning man an anchor. It is a sort of divine justice to witness these people do themselves in without any help from anyone else.

This election is proving that we, as a nation, have evolved. It is encouraging to see that we are outgrowing the Lee Atwater, Karl Rove hate slandering and race baiting. And the silver lining to the collapse of our economy is that now everyone can see that unregulated free market capitalism is a fraud, a ruse set up to allow the super wealthy and the multinational mega-corporations to rob us blind.

Take Palin as a perfect example of what has gone wrong with the Republican party. The media has said relatively little about some of her far out ideology, but Palin is way, way out there. She has been personally involved in anti-witchcraft rituals, she has, as Governor, given laudatory speeches to the Alaskan separatist movement, she believes in speaking in tongues, young earth creationism, etc. But the Republican Party wanted Palin because they felt she would appeal to their base? So what does that say about the Republican base? That they are very, very far from mainstream America. Even Palin’s comments to rural, white evangelicals, that they are the true Americans, the true patriots, says a lot about where the Republican party has gone.

Republicans, this is the time to move your party back with America, back to the center. Your allegiance to Religious Zealots is what got you in this trouble. I plead with you to come back to the center before the party is destroyed.

If you believe in “Free Market”, then the amount of money Obama has raised should be enough evidence. Come back to America, there are enough countries in the world led by religious extremists. Come back to America.

Dump the Christian radical right; repudiate theocracy; return to the moderate Republicanism of a Dwight Eisenhower or a Nelson Rockefeller, even a Nixon without the paranoia. Then, and only then will there be a Republican party worth voting for.

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