Many pundits and political wonks (including your friends here at TUP) predicted the end of the Republicans after Obama won in 2008. Turns out, that position was very premature. The narrative you hear today about the Republican Party requiring introspection isn't new, it was said in 2008. They appeared to be a party restricted to ONLY white men, land-locked and cornered off from diversity of people and thought. In 2008 there was a sense that the GOP would re-evaluate its positions and make the necessary moves to be a more inclusive party turning leadership over to a Black man. However, instead of expanding their tent, they doubled down on excluding people on the basis of who they are, commercialized it, and made it a movement.
That movement, complete with its very own media outlet, provided the GOP with defibrillation pumping life right back into the reeling party. And while the jolt made a HUGE impact turning the House of Representatives from blue to red, it re-planted the middle of mainstream politics further to the right further alienating the emerging diverse electorate.
Last night, that very same electorate sent the Republicans yet another message: We are gay, lesbian, and straight. We are Hispanic, Asian, Black, and White. We are male and female. We are young and old. We are married and single. We are Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Agnostic, and Atheists. We are the UNITED States of America and we want candidates who represent ALL of us, not just some.
You will hear MANY reasons as to why the GOP lost the White House: Obama’s superior ground game; Hurricane Sandy and Chris Christie; a better message from Obama; “Slick Willy” Clinton; Bain Capital and tax returns; or the auto bailout. While correct, those are reasons why Romney lost. But for the GOP, the problem runs much deeper than that. It goes to the core of the Republican Party. A core void of imagination and diversity of thought. A core void of true leadership pushing back on their lunitic frindge. A core that reads the 2010 electoral tea leaves as a mandate to shut down the government then spins the 2012 electoral tea leaves not as an “endorsement” of “[Obama’s] Failures” but a declaration to “restore” balanceafter the [failures] of one-party control.
The GOP is sitting at a crossroad. There are two paths: one to the right and one to the left.
To the Right:
Here you will find Ann Coulter and Rick Santorum school of thought that claim Romney was too moderate. He wasn’t extreme enough. Denying the LGBT equal rights, ending Affirmative Action, limiting the decisions of woman, anchor babies and [self] deporting folks who “looked” illegal weren’t conservative enough. This path was taken in 2010 and worked temporarily. But this path was fully rejected last night. Not only did the GOP lose the White House, they lost the majority of their Senate challenges as well. Their only success was realized in small, limited parts of various states; proof that on a national level, the country does not want their style of leadership.
Here you will find conservatives who are still desire fiscal responsibility and limited government. Conservatives that are vary in race, sex, creed, religion, and geography. While this may be a move to the left, it is necessary to get the party back to the middle. The party of William Buckley that asks for limited government economically and socially. Stay out of my wallet and stay out of my personal life.
It is up to you GOP. Today, the numbers are not in your favor: 93% of African Americans, 71% of Hispanics, 73% of Asians, and 60% of ‘other’ races all voted for President Obama and against YOU. In addition, President Obama won nearly 60% of all voters under the age of 40. The GOP is no longer a national party and without change they find themselves playing a very dangerous game of becoming defunct.
Think about this: every month 50,000 Hispanics turn 18. That means there are 600,000 new Hispanic voters every year. Losing 70% of those voters will make the GOP politically irrelevant.
It’s up to you GOP. Do you follow the Tea Party to being insignificant or do you take a stand and become the Grand ‘Ol Party that this country needs? Are you happy with just winning gerrymandered House seats or do you have any aspirations to win the White House or the Senate majority. After a while, simply trying to suppress the vote won't work. By 2050, you may have a serious problem; I hope yesterday’s results become a beacon to light your path.
After losing for a second time, does the Republican Party risk becoming irrelevant?
Can the Republican Party increase its diversity? If so, how?