DRAFT: Advice to the Less-Deplorable Non-Pussy-Grabbing Republicans

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It is still too early to give you well-meaning advice to those Republicans who will seek to make their party less deplorable after November 2016. It is not, however, too early for us to think about what constructive advice we might give after November 2008.

It seems to me that those seeking to remove the basket of deplorables from the Republican Party--so that the Republican Party consists of several very different baskets rather than its current one basket--have two tasks:

  1. They have to get a very different activist-ideological base for the party.

  2. They have to set up institutions within which those to pick the party's candidates pick very different people than has become the case with the slow drift that really started with Goldwater, and continued through Nixon, Quayle, GWB, Palin, and now Trump.

It is definitely deplorable that, at the moment, the Republican Party's base is in substantial part a white and insular group of the relatively undereducated: fearful, misogynist, and racist; disliking Muslims and disliking Jews; feeling that they have something but that, rather then being a place of opportunity where the future is bright, America is a place of darkness, where somebody is going to try to take what they have away.

It took generations to shift the Republican base from its northern successful-striver cadre--those who thought that America was a place of opportunity where they had made something of themselves and were on the road to making a good deal more--that it was in the Eisenhower years to what it is today. It will take at generations for it to shift it back. It will be a long hard slog.

It needs to start immediately.

It needs to start immediately by abandoning the Nixon-Buchanan-Gingrich-Atwater-Aileen rhetoric of "we are going to break the country into two and hope we wind up with the larger half" for an Eisenhower-Reagan rhetoric of "every native born American and every immigrant is really a Republican at heart--some of them just don't know it yet". Politicians, advisors, and media professionals to push the first need to be blackballed at every possible opportunity. Politicians, advisors, and media professionals who push the second need to be promoted and boosted as rapidly as possible.

The message needs to be: If you are not a big tent Republican, you can vote for us, but you cannot be our candidate and you cannot have any influence on our platform or on our decisions about who to run for office. Small tent single issue people can join us at the end. But they cannot be in the core of the party.

This task will take generations. It will require constant and unsleeping vigilance. But it is essential for the long run.

And we must support the less-deplorable non-pussy-grabbing Republicans as they undertake this mission.

But in the meantime, before they can get a new and very different base, they have a task that may be even harder: that of controlling their current base and keeping it from nominating any more truly stupid candidates. Enough Trumps. Enough Plains. Even enough Quayles.

How are they supposed to do that?

I have a few scattered and probably ill-thought out ideas:

  1. Caucus memberships: You earn a caucus membership by being elected to office on a Republican ticket or by volunteering for 1000 hours for the party.

  2. Primary votes: 1/4 of primary votes given to those who would be caucus members if it were a caucus state.

  3. Primary delegates: A high bar to get any delegates--25% of votes (and if nobody gets 25% of votes, the delegates will be uncommitted and will be the elected party worthies.

  4. Cursus honorum: nobody shall be eligible unless they have already served more than four years as a governor, more than six years as a senator, or more than 10 years as a representative.

  5. Centralization of fundraising and primary campaign spending in the party: those who spend money outside of whatever framework the state party decides on will be ruled ineligible. If this requires overturning Citizens United, get John Roberts to overturn Citizens United.

  6. Swing states go first: The first primary will be the state where the popular vote split was closest to the national split in the previous election, the second primary will be in the next closest, etc.

How many of these ideas are good ideas that the Republican Party should adopt before the next presidential election cycle comes around? Which of them should we, after November 8, advise the less-deplorable Republicans to adopt?

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