When I was a kid, the Republican Party was called, "The Party of Ideas". They started NASA. It was the party of scientists and engineers. The party that worked to build the United States. The party of education. What happened? Actually, what happened explains much of their problems. First, the conservatives from the Democratic Party in the south joined the Republican Party in the middle 60's chasing out all the minorities. Then, over the last 30 years, the Evangelicals and other right wing religious groups have put their stamp on the party moving it even further to the right. Then began the "mixed messages". First and foremost is "small government". In an increasingly complex and diverse age, this call for "small government" is ill advised in some areas and ignored in others. Republicans like super big government when it's about: abortion religion war military social issues but want small government when it comes to: Education business the environment disasters economics infrastructure and that's the problem. They have it backwards. Can they understand why that's a problem?