Cenk Uygur asked Dave Spencer the perfect question early in this interview which was why are you a Republican? With Dave Spencer answering it because he believed in fiscal conservatism and I guess what he would call social tolerance. Meaning you’re not pushing social issues generally other than supporting the right to privacy, free speech, our basic individual rights in the U.S. Constitution and you’re against racial and ethnic discrimination, as well as gender discrimination. But you’re in politics because you want government to work well and to serve the people. Not to try to do too much and just do the basics well. That was Nelson Rockefeller’s Republican Party. Add George Romney and at least to a certain extent Richard Nixon, Dwight Eisenhower as well, George H.W. Bush.
That GOP still exists even today and even in Congress with Senator Susan Collins, Senator Lisa Murkowski, Representative Charlie Dent and his center-right coalition in the House. And even though the Republican Party today is dominated by the Christian-Right and Christian-Nationalists, who believe their America is disappearing and politics to them is no longer so much about Democrats vs Republican, but European-American Protestants vs everyone else in America, including European-Americans who aren’t Protestant. Like Jews, Italians, the Irish, to use as examples. And backing Republicans who share their cultural values which is more important to them than what is the best defense policy, the national debt, budget deficit, the best way to grow the economy, to use as examples.
I don’t know Dave Spencer personally, but what I get from this interview is that Dave Spencer is still a Republican and wants to reform the Republican Party, instead of become a Democrat or try to form some new center-right third party, is that the Republican Party has a history of being a party about ideas and policy instead of cultural values and trying to divide the country based on these so-called Cultural-War issues. And saying they’re the real Americans and everyone else are the Un-Americans.
Based on the presidential campaign that Donald Trump ran in 2016, he should’ve gotten clobbered because only one racial group supported him strongly. But he was running against a boring Democrat in Hillary Clinton who struggled just to get her voters to the polls and thanks to low Democratic turnout Donald Trump is President and not Hillary Clinton.
But long-term unless Democrats just give up on voting, the Republican Party is going to have to become a party about ideas and policy that is a big tent party, if they want to stay in business not get clobbered in Congress, lose the White House and have no shot at winning either back with the current makeup of their party. Dave Spencer’s Rockefeller Progressive Center-Right coalition in the Party, as well as Conservative-Libertarians, is how the Republican Party gets back to the GOP and become a strong popular governing party again.