In the final hours of the Republican National Convention Senator McCain spoke before a dying party. Dying? Yes, dying. Understanding that the race is all but lost McCain even gave up on the "Experience" speech and echoed Senator Obama's "Change" message. The problem for McCain is he's speaking to the wrong party.
To understand what happened to the Republicans you would have to go back to the late 1960's when conservatives made a fateful mistake and abandoned Berry Goldwater for Ronald Reagan. This one move placed this party on a slow path to oblivion. Goldwater was a true conservative who understood the importance of being pragmatic. He wanted to create a larger tent for whites, and blacks. He saw no place for racism. He supported gay rights, and abortion. He was appalled at seeing the Republicans embrace the religion right. He was quoted saying:
"Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they're sure trying to do so, it's going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can't and won't compromise. I know, I've tried to deal with them."
President Reagan looking at a short term gain went after the middle class by linking their survival with that of the wealthy and linking the Party with the religious right. He was successful in convincing working middle class whites that they had more in common with the wealthy than with the poor. Reagan is responsible for the growing social classes in the United States and eventually the demise of the middle class.
Laws that protected the average citizen were defined as protection for welfare queens. Trickle down economics, or as Bush, Sr. called it “voodoo economics,” would allow dollars to be diverted from rebuilding our inner-cities to building up an already over bloated military. The Republicans who were the champion of the poor had now completely turned their backs on them. State’s rights (rebel flags and the South will rise again), guns, and abortion would become their battle cry. Instead of building a tent for all, the Republicans were kicking people out. This would be a regrettable path for true conservatives who mostly wanted less government and better fiscal management; the two things the Republicans would never give them.
If conservatives had embraced Goldwater they would have had an opportunity to capture many African Americans who truthfully are conservative themselves. Blacks are very religious, anti-abortion, and support fair law enforcement and a strong military.
What conservatives have is a Party without a message, or a messenger. The words that McCain is speaking even he doesn’t believe. Change? You’re Party had its chance and blew it. The Democrats will take this election and will hold power for many years to come.