May I suggest that the resounding rejection of the modern Republican way in American politics is a far more fundamental problem than can be resolved by slicker campaigning. What is to be made of the national consensus (e.g., CNN/ORC poll) that the Republican right is dangerously extreme? How significant is the growing exasperation of Americans over the seemingly exaggerated, untenable and uncompromising positions of far-right Republicans on the likes of immigration, gun control, health care, family planning, the environment and financial appropriations? What lies behind the openly mean-spirited, fear-mongering and bellicose rhetoric that has come to define the Republican way? Is deflecting blame by accusing others of worse behavior a winning strategy for America's ultra-right?
Certainly our nation is plagued with many serious challenges. It seems that there is always something. However, particularly worrisome are the devastating consequences of the collective psychosis of fear and hate manifest in extremism. At risk are the unifying virtues of forgiveness, respect, goodwill, civility and compromise on which society ultimately depends.