Advice for the Republicans in the wake of the 2012 election. What is wrong with their party, and the changes they need to make.
The threat of a national nightmare is over. Mitt Romney will not be the 45th president of the United States. President Barack Obama has been re-elected. Us sane, liberal minded Americans can breathe a sigh of relief. But even the conservative people of this nation--those who are sane mind you--should be happy with Romney's defeat. This victory for Barack Obama shows that the white vote is not enough, that social issues are important issues, and that the Republican Party now has a chance to regroup and find its sane voice again. This article is not for the Democrats out there. We won, we got our man for another for years. Let's be happy with this. This blog is to comfort the moderate, sane republicans out there whose party has been hijacked by the tea-party ideologues. In this defeat you can take your party back now. You have to, if you want any chance in 2016.
The white religious vote is not enough anymore. It is the evolution of this country. There are more black, brown and other colors of the rainbow voters out there now. Also religion is not as important as it was in the 1950's. Sticking to courting the very narrow white, male Christian target base may work in rural congressional districts --which is how some tea-party candidates got into congress--but it will not win in a national election. In fact keeping to that platform will automatically turn off everyone of color, and those who could care less about religion--which is a demographic that is growing every four years. The exit polling shows that. Romney won the white vote 59-41%. However, Obama took the black vote with 93%, the Hispanic vote at 71% and even the Asian vote at 73%. As for those who are not very religious we can all assume the youth of today is a lot less religious than any other generation. Obama took the demographic of 18-29 year olds by 60%. Republicans, you need to embrace all the other colors of the rainbow!
The youth vote also cares more about social issues. They care about reproductive rights, and gay and lesbian rights. Progressivism is always moving forward, and the younger generation is always less prejudiced than the previous one. In 2004 Bush 2.0 helped win re-election when Karl Rove used the tactic of getting people to also vote against gay marriage. Eight years later three states have voted by popular choice to allow gay marriage in their state. People don't tend to become more progressive as they get older, what happens instead is that younger generations become more progressive.
The 25 year-olds today as a whole are a world more open-minded and less prejudiced than 25 year-olds in 1912 (when women still didn't even have the right to vote). Younger generations care about social issues. When they hear a politician against abortion, birth control, gay marriage, they immediately write off that candidate as crazy and out of touch--to most of the youth, these issues should just be accepted and no longer brought into the discussion. Also taking this position, the Republicans lose voters like gays and lesbians who went 76% for Obama, and the largest group, women--who make up over half of this country--voted 55% for Obama.
This exit-polling information is good for the moderate republican. It is time for your party to regroup. The crazy ideology of the tea-party that aimed for the mostly white, straight, Christian, male point of view will not be successful. It can't be successful. Our country is too diverse. It's time for your party to make some changes. Here are a few. First, take religion out of your platform. I know you like the safety of the religious right in your pocket for each election, but the country has changed since the 1980's when Reagan embraced the religious right. Yes, 20% of voters vote republican because they are against abortion, but where does that leave the other 80%? The future of America is more secular, embrace that, fight for that, or your party will be done. Second, accept the needs of other demographics--basically minorities. Yes, you secure the white male vote, but you throw the Democrats every other demographic: women, gays, and minorities.
Rich, white, Christian, male is probably still going to vote for you guys anyway but you need to attract the people who don't have any of these four qualities, or again you won't be significant. And third, get back to your strength which is economic wisdom. This means give up on tax breaks for the rich. Lots of people in the middle class are against entitlement programs and people on welfare milking the system. That is your strength, but no one in the middle class wants to hear about the rich paying less in taxes. This is a democracy, the majority wins, so stop catering to the benefit of the top 1%. This election shows you they won't win you an election, so forget about them. Don't worry, whatever the tax code is they will be alright anyway.
This is why the country voted for Mobama. This is what the 2012 election should tell you about your party, and how you can improve your platform. Why I am giving advice to Republicans? Because even though I am a liberal, I am not a devoted Democrat. I want the best person for the job in office doing the best for America. To reach that position, what we need is the two best people competing for the job. I want the best from each party. I do not want what we had here in 2012 with the best Democrat competing against the winner of the clown college. Did you see who Romney beat for the Republican nod: Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Jon Huntsman, and of course their black candidate Herman Cain? Romney won the endorsement by default out of these fools, but he couldn't handle it with the big boys like Obama. I would much rather have a better, saner talent pool for the Republicans, and more quality talent competing for the highest office in the land. That is the best for America.
Drew D'Amato is the author of the novels Social Studies and Bloodlines. He also has a masters degree in history, and has taught at the high school and college levels. When not writing he spends his time getting himself into trouble.