My blog contains a large number of posts. A few are included in various other publications, or as attached stories and chronicles in my emails; many more are found on loose leaves, while some are written carelessly in margins and blank spaces of my notebooks. Of the last sort most are nonsense, now often unintelligible even when legible, or half-remembered fragments. Enjoy responsibly.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Changing of the Guard

In 1969, Elisabeth Kübler released a book called "On Death and Dying" that described the Kübler-Ross model of five discrete stages by which people deal with grief. The stages are have since been expanded to seven and include: Shock and Disbelief, Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Guilt, Depression, and Acceptance and Hope. They are not only applicable to individual grief, but to groups as a whole. We can see a living example of this right now in the Republican Party.

At first they were Shocked by the Democrats ability to stay competitive in the 2008 presidential race. Disbelief raised its head when the market slumped. Shortly there after Denial set in and they couldn’t believe that there was a chance that they may actually lose power.

We are now at the stage of Anger. The far right, neoconservative side of the Republican Party is about to be put to bed and they refuse to go quietly. Like a child who is doing everything that they can to stay up, they’ve resorted to name calling, tantrum, lies, and threats all to hold on just a little longer.

For the moderate conservative side of the party, the side that has been ignored in lieu of Christian Fundamentalist, big government through an ever ballooning military, and strong authoritarian leanings by a select group of powerful individuals, this is their opportunity to reclaim their party.

And this is where Bargaining comes in. They can keep their party strong as long as they talk to the old neoconservative mouth pieces, that are currently stuck in anger and daily trotting out how the other side is represented by the antichrist or how the left getting power is a sign of some apocalyptic communist doom, and make them feel Guilt for taking your party down that path, losing their conservative ways, and selling-out to shameful neoconservative ideals.

This reality check will indeed send some of them into Depression. Losing power is hard, especially when it was unchecked for so long. Undoubtedly some will not let go of the depression or guilt and revert to anger once again. Ostracize these people for holding your party back. Recovering your party is not too far off, but you will need the corporation of everyone to reach a general Acceptance. With luck, you can rebuild the Republican Party on a conservative platform that is not controlled by religious special-interests or neoconservative ideologues.

And as a liberal, I welcome them back. Our country works best on balance. The liberal side needs the conservative side so that the country does not pendulum too far to the left. Our strength comes from the wobble between the two sides of moderate. It is with that moderation and balance in mind that we can all Hope for a better tomorrow.

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