Some definitions of the word grand are: stately, dignified, highly ambitious or idealistic, esteemed, complete, comprehensive e.g. -- grand ideas for bettering the political situation. Which of these definitions apply to today's Grand Old Party, the Republican Party; for that matter to the Democrat Party or any other political entity in the U.S.? You'd be hard pressed to find many who would use those words to describe any of them. Certainly our U.S. Congress wouldn't garner many accolades with its favorability ratings hovering near 10 percent.
Adding salt to their wounds is the question of ethics of our elected representatives. Case in point: in Utah a high school coach may lose his job because he benefited financially from an athletic training camp. In the same state a newly elected high state official benefited financially from making "introductions" for a well-placed business man; apparently what he did was legal but smacks of questionable ethical behavior. Unfortunately this behavior is all too prevalent in the world of politics and government; you don't have to search far to find recent examples of unethical, illegal, or immoral acts of politicians.
On the federal level we see a former Obama Administration official gearing up to collect hundreds of thousands of dollars for speaking engagements. People at the Federal level earn fees for outside consulting, writing books, poems, songs, etc. which doesn't even register on the ethics "smell-o-meter;" apparently all quite legal.
Is it any wonder that the average citizen has such low regard for the people in Washington? Does anyone think that going years without passing a budget is a good thing? That ignoring the national debt is a prudent course of action? Of course we don't; at least not anyone who is paying attention.
Isn't it time to put the grand back into politics? There had to be a reason that such a fine word was ever combined with -- "old party." Surely it stood for something at one time in our history, one would hope, or was it just some hype peddled by a political shyster? There is talk about Republicans re-marketing themselves, of projecting a new image, a bigger party that welcomes all, the party of the future, and so on. If this is serious talk then party leaders would do well to consider how to make grand apply to Republican ideology and actions.
Republicans may have nothing to worry about in the 2016 presidential election. Historically, most two term presidents have been followed by one from the other political party. There is reason to claim that Obama's election is a special case, that in part, his election was to make a check mark on a "bucket list," that of electing an ethnic, liberal/progressive to the presidency.
If the economy doesn't improve substantially in the next three years Republicans can blame Democrats; if it improves they can make the case that economies always rebound and that they were part of the turnaround.
It would be unwise for Republicans to rely on either of these scenarios; instead they should concentrate on being a party of inclusion that still honors the Constitution and believes in all that is right about America. There is a strong case to be made for believing in the values that made this a great country and there are enough people willing to support that position with their votes.
It's obvious that in the "peoples" House of Congress and in state governments Republicans attract voters. The national scene is a different animal with voters more susceptible to being influenced by liberal bias in the mainstream media.
The actions of Republican leaders in the next two to four years must demonstrate what makes their political party "grand." They must act with integrity and thoughtfulness. Perhaps some supporters should tone down their bombastic, bellicose, bravado; leave that to Uncle Joe Biden and his Democrat cohorts. Party leaders must completely understand the word grand because within its definition are the qualities that will bring success in the coming elections.
They must reveal their "grand ideas for bettering the political situation" in a way that appeals to the most voters, and that would be grand.
Reynolds lives in Pleasant View.