Many people, some whom even write for ′The American Thinker′ and ′The National Review′, have said that the GOP is the ′Stupid Party.′ John Stuart Mill had coined the term in England referring to the Tories. He apparently did not approve of Conservatives not embracing Progressive thinking. His actual quote was, ″Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives.″ Or some derivation of that. But does this truly apply to our modern day Republican Party? Or can we instead turn to Stephen Jay Gould, the eminent evolutionist who waxed so well on the subject of the Panda′s Thumb? The thumb of a panda is not like those of other mammals, nor is it like a finger. Has the Republican Party essentially just become a political party that is slightly different than the Democrat Party?

panda thumb party

We like to think that the GOP is well rooted in core principles. A Conservative view on the basics like economics, foreign policy, social values and the Constitution. We often hear about the ′Big Tent′ approach in politics, that the objective of any party is to first, attract enough supporters and voters to win elections. But when you ′pander′ to attract non-Conservatives in order to win, what then is the point of having any principles? If the idea now is to just be a little more frugal with taxes and spending, a bit more supportive of our traditional allies or to be a tad less open to some social behaviors, what does that really say about the GOP?

One of the exit poll questions in yesterday′s Louisiana primary concerns with supporting either Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum should one of them be the GOP presidential nominee. About 4% of those polled said they would not vote in November if either one were the candidate facing Barack Obama. In other states this primary season, we have seen similar results. While many professional pundits inside and out of the Beltway contend that voters are getting tired of the primaries and want a decision now, clearly, an overwhelming majority want the contest to continue.

Perhaps some are waiting to see if Mitt Romney will implode, making one gaffe too many? Or they are waiting for him to ′seal-the-deal′ with some fantastic speech where he places before the voters a genuine reason why he should be the next president? Maybe some are hoping that Rick Santorum can also tell us why he really wants the job and what he will do as president?

One thing has become abundantly obvious in the past several years. People are losing faith and confidence in our present political system. The numbers of those calling themselves ′Independents′ is on the rise, as those who call themselves ′Conservatives.′ Both now represent about 40% of the national electorate. While there is a good deal of cross-over in these two groups, there are divisions as well. Most Independents are less likely to go along with Conservatives on matters of morality and social issues. Both groups want a smaller government that is less intrusive in their lives and in the economy.

Already we are hearing from some people about what will happen should Barack Obama win reelection. How the GOP will need re-branding and reorganizing. Perhaps like the Panda′s thumb, the GOP is becoming too unique? By splitting the narrow hairs between one position and another to be as attractive to as many as possible, the Republican Party, while trying to be a Bigger Tent, is actually shrinking. Maybe the real trick here is to make a better argument for people should adopt and become true Conservatives rather than being Conservative-Lite? If we continue down that path, then we really will become the Stupid Party as John Stuart Mill would say.