“The Republican party is now facing a great crisis. It is to decide whether it will be, as in the days of Lincoln, the party of the plain people, the party of progress, the party of social and industrial justice; or whether it will be the party of privilege and of special interests, the heir to those who were Lincoln’s most bitter opponents, the party that represents the great interests within and without Wall Street which desire through their control over the services of the public to be kept immune from punishment when they do wrong and to be given privileges to which they are not entitled.”
Those words were uttered 101 years ago and they are just as applicable to the Republican party today as when Theodore Roosevelt uttered them. Why have the conservatives not learned from this?
What this great Republican had (and which contemporary Tea-Party badly lacks) is an appreciation of what it means to be conservative. Conservation entails a protection of the environment- not an appeal by the likes of Rep. Eric Cantor to exploit it, nor to lease protected lands to corporations for fracking for gas, drilling for oil or stripping mountains for coal without EPA approval. Teddy Roosevelt wanted to save America for posterity not sell it for profit. Republicans are now in such a confused state that they cannot even accept such a basic concept as “the public interest.” Until this once great American political party shakes off its indebtedness to narrow corporate interests, I firmly believes there can be NO HOPE for its renewal.
See : Al Gore, The Future, (2013), pp. 92-140
Yorick Blumenfeld, Dc (2003)