Republicans

How Political Conventions Went From Selecting Party Nominees to Pageantry and Partying

Barbara Norrander

Presidential primaries became somewhat more influential after World War II, when some candidates adopted a strategy of running in presidential primaries. Other candidates avoided running in primaries and relied on a traditional strategy of courting the party’s elite who would be delegates at the convention. Running in presidential primaries was a risky strategy: A candidate who lost in a primary could see their presidential bid end, but even someone who won every single primary would not earn enough delegates to secure the nomination.

A New Path Forward for the Democratic Party

Sly James and Winston C. Fisher

These questions, while separate, are indelibly intertwined. If the American people react to Donald Trump’s presidency with even a fraction of the disgust and anger the two of us feel, he’s almost sure to be a one-term president. But if we intend to sustain a Democratic governing majority over the long term, we’ll need an agenda (and an accompanying narrative) that stands on its own. Without a compelling message, we won’t be able to hold on to the power that the public’s revulsion to Trump may help us win. Then we’ll be back at square one.

Democrats vs. Republicans: Why the Two-Party System Will Likely Stay

Alexander Cohen

Parties address an important issue in democracies: People have the freedom to ask government to do things, yet the voice of any single individual is quiet. Parties amplify individual voices by combining them into a louder, cohesive message. Such organized input is necessary for reasonably effective governance, which prevents rebellion. Second, particularly among voters with little political knowledge, party affiliation simplifies voting.

The GOP Is a Greater Threat to Free Elections

Jesse Jackson

Too often lost in the furor, however, is the far more damaging TrikiLeaks – the tricks and laws used to suppress the vote by partisans, largely Republicans here at home. After the Supreme Court’s right-wing gang of five gutted key sections of the Voting Rights Act in Shelby v. Holder, Republican-controlled states immediately ramped up efforts to create obstacles for voting, particularly for people of color.

GOP Voter Suppression and the Threat to Democrats

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

Voter suppression is a well-documented fact of life in American politics. The GOP has welded it as a potent weapon to assure its continued domination of American politics. The even more terrifying reality is that voter suppression has the force of law behind it. Kemp in Georgia was the crudest example of that. As secretary of state, he could legally make the call about which votes could and couldn’t be counted. The lawsuits that were filed against his blatant voter suppression were at best stopgap efforts to blunt some of the damage.

The Republican Latino Is Only Partly a Myth

Angelo Franco

It must be noted that the overall percentage of Latinos who voted for Trump is about 26-29 percent, compared to the Cuban-American vote. This wide gap in the Latino demographic is one that has plagued both major parties as they strive to grab this much desired bloc. If Republicans can claim over half of the Cuban-American vote in a key state like Florida, is there hope yet for a stronger Latino base to lean towards the GOP? After all, as Ronald Reagan infamously quipped, “Hispanics are conservatives; they just don’t know it yet.” 

Donald Trump: The Worst President on Minority Issues in Decades?

Lauren Burke

Trump says "there were very fine people on both sides" at the Charlottesville White nationalists rally, during a Trump Tower press conference. Never mind that one of the largest gatherings of racists in America since the end of the Civil Rights Movement occurred only eight months into Trump’s presidency. Put that aside. Trump’s “both sides” comments on who was to blame for the public street fight in the college town was all anyone needed to understand regarding the thinking of America’s 45th president on the issue of race.

For GOP, Incompetence Is a Feature (Not a Flaw)

Mike Lofgren

The national security functions of government have long been a subject of mystification: The public and the press have a tendency to regard its practitioners as a kind of priesthood possessing an arcane and special knowledge. But long before Trump, the GOP treated it as a political reward for crackpot ideologues whose credentials were thin or nil. Bill Kristol, whose only qualification for anything was being the offspring of Irving Kristol, somehow blossomed in the late 1990s as a Republican national security expert. 

So Why Are Republicans in Office, Exactly?

Neal Gabler

Of all the myths the Republicans have perpetrated, and there are a lot of them, perhaps none is more powerful or insidious than the foundational one that this is an overwhelmingly conservative country and that progressives are outliers in it, along with its pernicious corollary that conservatives are “real” Americans while liberals (and the minorities who support liberal policies) are somehow counterfeits.

The Art World Takes a Stand Against Trump

Adele M. Stan

On August 3, long before the conflagration at Charlottesville marked a turning point in Donald J. Trump’s presidential career, Norman Lear threw down a gauntlet. Though Lear would accept the Kennedy Center honor to be awarded to him in December for his unique role in American society as the pioneering creator of politically charged situation comedies, he announced that he would not attend the White House reception preceding the event, a decision Lear said he made in protest of Trump’s denial of funding to the arts. 

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