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Comments about ‘Michael Gerson: The GOP needs to capture the populist impulse’

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Published: Sunday, March 2 2014 12:00 a.m. MST

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Hutterite
American Fork, UT

It'll be interesting to see if the republican party can become the party of sound ideas again. Or will it remain the party in front of wherever the parade is going.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

The opening sentence, along with the quip about Sarah Palin shortly after, should win Mr. Gerson the Pulitzer Prize… brilliant!

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The GOP can be a populist party or it can be the party of the plutocrats. You can't have it both ways.

ThornBirds
St.George, Utah

Those trying to organize all of these groups and events don't seem to be having much impact on the country.

Schwa
South Jordan, UT

As long as the GOP aligns itself with the religious right, and the corporate oligarchy, they will never win a presidential election. Only gerrymandering is keeping them in control of the House.

one vote
Salt Lake City, UT

Why is he advocating ditching the tea party?

Baron Scarpia
Logan, UT

No question that both political parties have taken a beating in their images and lack of functionality in Washington. However, as ObamaCare and increased minimum wage starts to help the working and middle classes, the tide is destined to swing to the Democrats as the party with ideas that benefit the country.

The government shutdown hurt many small business owners and with many TEA partiers still in power, there's a real fear that the GOP is not out to help the country as a whole.

Finally, the GOP doesn't have any charismatic, unifying candidates to truly inspire the nation. Too many GOP politicians come across as angry and vindictive rather than "roll-up-their-sleeves" types that want to fix the country's problems. Christie almost was a potential leader, but bridge-gate has ruled him out for a GOP future.

As much as the GOP may hate Hilary and Joe Biden, they're beloved in the Democratic party, and my sense is that they'll inspire the nation as a whole, especially Hilary.

Blue
Salt Lake City, UT

This is fascinating. GOP strategists see that "populism" is their only hope for ever achieving real national leadership. (Sorry, GOP, but pouring sugar into the gas tank of society doesn't count as "leadership.")

But to become populists - i.e. advocates for the rights and well-being of "regular folks," and to begin making a meaningful and positive difference to the vanishing middle class (thus proving they are indeed populists), the GOP would have to financially and ideologically decouple itself from Exxon, Wall Street and the Koch brothers.

I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for that to happen.

Jamescmeyer
Midwest City, USA, OK

The tone of this article is disturbing. On the one hand are fanatical liberal democrats who have naught but bitter vitriol against any who don't embrace the full spectrum of modern social follies, but the article speaks ill only of the other hand, where there are people who seek what is right, but not in the right way.

It seeks to blame good people for the government shutdown (which senate democrats have an equal hand in), and points out poor comments by the one side while turning a deaf ear to the unending slurry of insults and threats from the other side.

Anti Bush-Obama
Chihuahua, 00

He means give the liberals all power so they can turn the country into a brutal dictatorship. Of course, we can have a libertarian party in this country. They actually believe in freedom and anarcho capitalism.

So-CalAggie
Park City, Ut

*snicker*

Mikhail
ALPINE, UT

Isn't encouraging the Republican party to abandon principles in favor of populism similar to suggesting that a cheerleader candidate to give in to the "boys being boys" football team?

There You Go Again
Saint George, UT

"...The evidence accumulates that the Republican Party is sobering up — cotton-mouthed and slightly disoriented — from its recent ideological bender...".

What evidence?

"...The tone of some rhetoric on the far right — no mercy to enemies, no enemies to the right — was pressed to an abhorrent extreme by Ted Nugent, who called President Obama a "subhuman mongrel." And almost all of the right (save Sarah Palin, who finally lost her long, sad struggle with ideological delirium) recoiled at such viciousness and bigotry...".

Recoiled at such viciousness and bigotry?

Again...where is the evidence?

"...any ideological movement that claims to be inspired by faith and morality is discredited by language that dehumanizes its opponents...".

Exactly.

"...looks...like strategic incoherence and political duplicity...".

Perfect.

JoeCapitalist2
Orem, UT

Baron Scarpia: "However, as ObamaCare and increased minimum wage starts to help the working and middle classes, the tide is destined to swing to the Democrats..."

Good luck with that Democrat talking point coming true anytime, let alone soon. The absolute disaster that is Obamacare insures that it will NEVER help the working and middle classes as a whole. Sure, some people may benefit, but two people are hurt for every one it helps.

"Christie almost was a potential leader, but bridge-gate has ruled him out for a GOP future. As much as the GOP may hate Hilary and Joe Biden, they're beloved in the Democratic party..."

Spoken like a pure partisan. Any hiccup from a Republican automatically dismisses them as a viable candidate for office, yet all of Hillary and Biden's mistakes, gaffes, and abuses of power are like water off a duck's back. Things like Bengazi, Whitewater, cattle future trading, and Hillarycare mean nothing but having someone in your administration cause some traffic backups mean everything.

Good luck with that argument in November.

JoeCapitalist2
Orem, UT

Blue: "...to begin making a meaningful and positive difference to the vanishing middle class ...the GOP would have to financially and ideologically decouple itself from Exxon, Wall Street and the Koch brothers. I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for that to happen."

I agree. Not likely to happen - any more than the Democratic Party will decouple itself from Unions, Hollywood, or George Soros. But somehow, I doubt that you will hold that against them like you do against the GOP for similar behavior.

patriot
Cedar Hills, UT

capture the populist impulse huh? I don't think so. Maybe 34 years ago in 1980 that might have been possible but the decline that has occurred over the past 30 years ...especially over the past 5 years...is so severe that the America is not even a shadow of who is once was. There is perhaps 30% of the country who still believe in the America Dream and who still hold values of traditional Americans but clearly after electing a radical Socialist twice to the White House the vast majority would rather be like Greece or France. Ronald Reagan couldn't capture the populist impulse today.

bandersen
Saint George, UT

No one will ever consider me a part of any parade. I have made all kinds of personal changes, but haven't slip one bit with what I believe politically. The Tea party has been catching up with me, as well as the Independents. Political pundits can't figure out why a majority of Americans don't "ditto" the Democrat or Republican lines. It's quite easy. The Democrats and the Republicans lost favor with the majority of Americans because they don't represent the best in the American spirit, which is constitutionally limited government and protection of individual rights. The Democrats and Republicans represent what is destructive to the future of a great America; high taxes, endless entitlement, irresponsibility, the welfare state,weakness abroad, and hollow leaders who only stand for equality of results, not equality of opportunity. They place leaders in office who are only interested in power, prestige, and money. Is it any wonder that most Americans don't trust their leaders? The Tea party didn't even exist five years ago. It is here to stay. Their votes will be filed somewhere, hopefully to run every politician out of town.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@JoeCapitalist2 – “I agree. Not likely to happen - any more than the Democratic Party will decouple itself from Unions, Hollywood, or George Soros”

Sounds like the beginning of a real conversation (instead of partisan mudslinging). And your point reminds me of the fact that the Tea Party and the Occupy Movement generally agree on ~80% of the issues. Of course you would never know it from our media, which myopically focuses on the 20% of disagreement for the sake of ratings (makes you wonder when Americans are going to stop being manipulated like dogs to a whistle by our “bypass the frontal cortex and go straight to the limbic brain” media).

When people truly get fed up with money in politics, gerrymandering incumbency, and party ideology over pragmatic problem solving, we will be ripe for a third party.

@patriot – “…after electing a radical Socialist twice to the White House… “

Makes you wonder though why so many of Obama’s major policy initiatives were things Republicans invented or once supported. If he’s a “radical Socialist,” he’s the worst one I’ve ever seen.

nonceleb
Salt Lake City, UT

The Republican Party cannot continue having its main priority being advocates and defenders of the 1% and critics of the 47%. Social issues will keep a large percentage of the 99% on their side, but during difficult economic times they become less important to the electorate.

Utefan60
Salt Lake City, UT

As tens of thousands of poorer Utah Citizen wait for some relief with the expansion of Medicaid, the GOP postures itself to top these programs. Good people are suffering from the GOP policies and the horrible consequences are to be directly blamed on those who stopped these valuable programs from happening. Herbert and Lockhart will still have health care paid for by taxes from Utah citizens. I'm sure they would sing a different tune if they didn't get this freebie.

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