I’ve been hearing lately that the Republican Party (note: I am not a Republican) is “in decline” because of this, that, or the other thing. The funny thing about that decline being that according to Gallup, the American populace has been trending away from Democrats and toward Republicans the last few years, and both parties are pretty much at parity. Which looks suspiciously like a decline for Democrats and like two parties that are pretty much even nationwide. Which is where they’ve been most of the time for the last decade and a half or so.
It would seem wise to ask why Republicans would listen to people who tell them that their message is bad and they are alienating people when all they have done is increased in number and support for the last few years.
The truth of the matter is that some Republicans have managed to alienate me, but Democrats in the past have often alienated me as well. It strikes me that it is usually a mistake to assume that our own feelings on the issues are the “centrist” or “mainstream” view or that what repels or attracts us is what repels or attracts everyone else. For all the handwringing of the poor fortunes of the GOP, someone might want to notice how well they did in the last elections (hint: they made significant gains) and to notice how many Americans identify as Republicans now as compared to four years ago (hint: Republicans have grown, not shrunk, in political affiliation among voters).
We appear to be in an era of American politics of high polarization, with two parties fairly evenly matched in popularity. Whether that’s good or bad is up to you to say, but it’s what’s actually happening.