There is no evidence that the conservative economic policies begun in the 1980s, from supply-side policies to the current plutonomy of tax cuts for the wealthy, have helped the American economy. Neither Carter nor Reagan had much to do with the economic events that occurred during their terms.
Myth: Carter ruined the economy; Reagan saved it.
Fact: The Federal Reserve Board was responsible for the events of the late 70s and 80s.
The Republican Party is a clamor looking to revive a compulsion. The high ground it has owned for more than thirty years will require a terrific new leadership to restore.
The vigor in the Republican effort to dismantle excess regulation, bureaucracy and overhead is gone. The vigor to ignite partnership from the marketplace is gone. The stalwart and the articulate defense of individual mobility and private domain is gone.
Today the Republican culture is a balloon of plutocrats lifting a basket of opportunists over battalions of authoritarians each increasingly unable to convince the fundamentalist, the anarchist or the paranoid to remain loyal.
The clumsy ‘War on Terror’ has dwindled our habeas corpus as much as it plucks violence. The clumsy White House graft of autocracy trades civility with mere rank.
I admire the thrust of your post and I admire the conviction of Republicans that use their affiliation as a marque of their principles and hope. And I increasingly admire a Republican courage to admit their vote against a 75 percent gale of disapproval.
But too much of what flows in the basis and creed of the Republican Party is gone. Even their vigor to supply what may trickle down is gone.
Were Lincoln here he would likely speak on behalf of the People not the Party.