It is a tradition for the runner-up in any presidential election to be honored on the day that the President is sworn in. You can look through the history books and find dinners in honor of John McCain, John Kerry and Al Gore; you have to go back to Bob Dole to find one who did not at least attend festivities, although Dole himself was in D.C. on that day and held private events. To find a defeated opponent completely snubbing the inauguration, one has to go back to Walter Mondale in 1985, who left Washington D.C. prior to Ronald Reagan’s second inauguration.
Given this history, some look to the last presidential hopeful for the Republican Party to see where he is today and finds him eerily missing. Like Mondale, Mitt Romney is as far away from Washington D.C. as possible. A spokesperson said it was doubtful that Mr. Romney would be attending any events, or even watching the inauguration.
This, of course, lends credence to the claims by some that Mitt Romney did not want to be President at all. Or, perhaps, he’s just a sore loser suffering from “taking my ball and going home” syndrome. He didn’t win, so he wants to deny ever being in the race. It is doubtful that he will ever make himself a player on the national stage again.
So now we have a Republican party left without any leadership. Had Romney shown up, it would have been a sign that he could remain a leader in the party. Instead, his absence leaves the party adrift, teetering on collapse. The party’s open embrace of unpopular positions leaves them with little option but to rig elections, something they no longer even try to hide in their attempt to manipulate the process of putting someone in the White House.
The Republican Party is in decline; it could be said they were in the “sunset period.” The party refuses to adapt, to evolve, to the changing demographics of the United States. As a result, they are falling apart, as millions flee the party. If they do not resolve their issues soon, they will become the new Whig party, or the Know Nothings. Their strategy to create a permanent majority in the 1990s has, instead of ensuring the GOP sole rule of the United States, created the conditions which will lead the party to its destruction.
So the question now becomes, who will replace them?
Nathaniel Downes is the son of a former state representative of New Hampshire, now living in Seattle Washington.
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