Is there always going to be a conservative party? Using the word always may seem thoughtless, but if you take into account human nature as it really is, of course the differences between people will have their influence on the social contract.
The present Republican Party does not use the word conservative through their possession of the moral high ground, however. The principles of the GOP today, such as they are, are bankrupt and no longer present a viable option to the American people--a fact that they just admitted openly this past week when they went public with their intentions to begin rigging American elections to retain power.
But in a larger sense, it simply is not true that one party is made of good people and the other of bad people (although some Republicans have it so in their public relations). What has happened over the last two generations or so is that a certain segment of the economy has laid hold of the GOP and placed them in financial debt, and then threatened to take that easy money away unless they play ball with legislation.
What we really face today is a situation in which rich, influential people have thrown their lot (which is considerable) into the Republican Party, and in turn that party represents their interests, which are primarily focused on keeping as much of their money as possible. Hence you see the middle-class Americans who have heard the talk about the party of good people who advocate against their own best interests. People on public assistance--especially in the "taker" states of the South--will shriek about raising taxes when Republicans make up a budget that guts the benefits they are presently receiving.
It has become comic to see Americans on Medicare and Social Security warning "the government" off their benefits. They actually don't know that the same government that needs someone "to kick the hell out of the place" is the government that sends their monthly checks. So said Ben Quayle, recently elected and then booted out of the House of Representatives in Arizona's last election. He ran a bold advertising campaign avowing that "Barack Obama is the worst president ever" and urged Arizonans to send him to Washington, where he did precisely nothing as far as I can tell. His incendiary words were the last thing we heard from him until he was defeated in the primary election.
In his favor I can say that, if you never saw his advertisements, he was very good-looking. I am sure he impressed voters with his brave new Republican politics--except perhaps some older voters who want the government to keep their hands off their Social Security. Such a comic mix of politics is all too common in Arizona, due to the toxic combination of low-information voters and low-information candidates.
The marriage of convenience between Republicans and the Eisenhower-era Military-Industrial Complex was in full swing when Francis Schaeffer came up with the idea of selling influence through his Moral Majority, which actually includes most of the human race, but he made it out to be the Evangelical Christian Church. Attaching the title of moral to the Republican Party opened the door to the likes of Jerry Falwell and Rush Limbaugh, who went whole hog for painting Democrats as lawless and illegitimate and the actual Democratic Party as a gang of thugs, which they have taken to the aporia of ethics and beyond. Their foolish use of grade-school name calling led them to believe their own bloviating, resulting in the present stunned panic in the GOP after they were shellacked in the 2012 election and the ceaselessly-demonized President was re-elected.
For the time being, many actual moderate Republicans, of which there are many still struggling with what to call themselves, must consider if the GOP is worth saving in its present form. I suggest that people who consider themselves Republicans send a message to the party by re-registering their names all over America.
A person whom I would describe as a typical Republican before the corporate invasion of the Sixties ought to re-register as an independent--officially. If you are someone who cares a lot about primary elections, remember that independents do not vote in them. If you are a Republican who is fed up and angry about the self-immolation that is going on in the party you grew up in, remember this: any person who is eligible to vote can vote, no matter what party they call themselves. Moderate Republicans can re-register as Democrats and still vote for Republicans in general elections.
The point is, each party keeps track of their membership. There is no louder message that can be sent to the Republican establishment at this time than a dramatic decrease in their membership. That will make them hold meetings behind closed doors, believe me. But people are liberal and/or conservative by nature; parties are a reflection of people, not the other way around. Americans right now are dealing with a party dominated by the Deep South, and it is indeed headed for the dustbin of history.
Leaving aside generalities, what I believe is about to happen is the widespread abandonment of the Republican Party by truly conservative voters, who will get their message across that massive corporate buy-outs do not serve their interests. The Reactionary Right can have the name Republican for now.
But after an interval, one of two things is going to happen. I think the more likely scenario is that some Republican leaders who are truly invested in their party will regain control of it. Men like Governor Chris Christie will shed once and for all their combative attitude towards Democrats and the African-American President, and turn towards the conservative American population. They will say that the GOP no longer has room for bigots and homophobes and invite those to go their own way. I believe that the result will be the formation of a short-lived Conservative Party, which will attract an initial flood of converts who come in for the hate but leave when they are constantly dunned for money.
Let's remember that a two-party system is not written in stone; European democracies may have many parties that form coalitions for the purpose of governing. The United States House of Representatives has several caucuses which could be forerunners of emergent parties to come for this country.
Like the Church, which has conservative and liberal elements even within denominations, politics is heading to a place that will require much more flexibility in dealing with membership. I know from my whole adult life that there are liberal and conservative elements within the Episcopal Church, and the fissures between those elements have been making news lately. The most conservative element of the Anglican Communion must be the African Bishops, some of whom are war criminals hiding the nature of barbarians under their flowing robes. They are balanced, I am happy to say, by the American Episcopalians who are in direct confrontation with them over the ordination of women, LGBT Anglicans and even transgendered individuals. But there is no disputing the disparity between the factions, which has not yet come to a point of resolve.
But the alternative--to leave the Republican Party in complete control of the Deep South's mindset--is not something they can live with, as evidenced by the fact that those same racial and political sentiments have failed the Evangelical Church and it is also being abandoned by a generation of former Baptists and Pentecostals. It simply becomes easier not to go to church than to go and argue over your convictions several times a week. Any fair-minded person will admit that the hideous spectacle of evangelical bigotry is just as offensive when you are sitting in the pews as when you see it on YouTube; the preacher who has a melt-down over homosexuality is quite likely to be doing more work to destroy the Church than dedicated atheists (I repeat).
The Republican Party has already made the same transition from racism to homophobia that the Church in the Deep South has made. White privilege has gone from daily life in segregated communities to a way of life for Republicans. They step over the dead bodies of women without a second thought, because in their mind there is no such thing as a woman who does not stand by her man. When they have intercourse they expect to see a baby, and women who want to practice birth control or terminate pregnancies simply do not understand whose baby that is. To the end of securing the future of their gene code, they will allow no woman to think that her body is her own property.
The question of rights has been settled: rights belong to heterosexual white men and in a markedly second-class way, to white women who are sometimes indulged with an appearance of respect (if they behave). Now, if you are white, you just have to answer this question: again, would you like the morality of the Deep South to be the government of the United States of America?
If you are not white, is there a reason in the world for you to support this hideous travesty of America and call yourself a Republican? There used to be a term, which I will not repeat, that was used to describe slaves who had certain privileges and responsibilities to their masters--and who defended those privileges at the expense of everything else. To paraphrase, they were known as "house Negroes" who enjoyed their questionable status and held themselves above the "field Negroes" who enjoyed nothing and were simply property.
American law no longer allows us to buy, sell and trade human beings, thank God. But the desire to hold and manipulate power at the expense of human beings is a lifestyle still unquestioned in the American South's most unregenerate communities. The Governor of Mississippi proudly asserts that reproductive health care will soon be a thing of the past in his state, unconscious of the impact that his statement has on women. It isn't about women, you see: it is about the white men who are still kings, with the rest of the world an empire at their feet.
Do you consent that this shall be the government of the United States? Do you consent that this shall be the face of Christianity to the rest of the world?