The Republican Party is reeling. Fresh off a harsh campaign and an Obama victory they are left with a long list of questions. Questions that need to be answered if they have any hope of staying in relevant future elections. What seemed like a promising Romney run that everyone said “would come down to the wire,” ended in finality. Obama dominated. The only drama was Romney refusing to concede Ohio (during which time Rachel Maddow had a field day guessing as to why). Republicans everywhere were and still are stunned. I think most of us were surprised at how convincing the final result was. America elected a black, abortion supporting, immigrant welcoming, universal healthcare advocating, gay marriage wanting, community organizing, women’s rights loving, blues singing President. America spoke in resounding fashion. Obama, the President who has endured more disrespect and less bi-partisan support than any President that I have known before him is our guy. How did this happen? How were Republicans so far off? What did they miss?
In order to dissect all the questions and problems in the Republican Party I think it’s important to analyze one question. How did Obama win?
Demographics. Obama plays much better with Minorities and women in this country. A CBS poll had Obama winning the female vote 55% to 43%, the Latino vote at 69% to 29%, and “young voters” at 60% to 36%. The poll did not include African Americans but Obama polled well with this constituency. Basically, Obama seems to do well with anyone who isn’t an older white male (interesting).
Ideology. Turns out Americans like abortion supporting, immigrant welcoming, universal healthcare advocating, gay marriage wanting, community organizing, women’s rights loving, blues singing Presidents, who are black. A large faction in the Republican Party vehemently disagrees with these ideas and refuses to evolve with the rest of the nation. Romney may not have totally agreed with the “far right wingers” but he felt he had to appease them. This sentiment (anointing Paul Ryan the world’s biggest douche) lost him the vast majority of women, minorities, and young people (Americas future).
Hey Mitt, gay marriage is going to be completely legal one day. Get with the program!!! We legalized weed in two states for Christ’s sake. America is more liberal than you think.
Flip Flopping. It has been said that the Romney of the first Presidential debate could have a spirited debate with the Romney of the third debate. To his credit there is a Romney who I think could have been President. Conversely, there is another Romney who I can see eating dinner with Sarah Palin, Rick Santourum, and Michelle Bachman discussing how close Russia is to Alaska and how women are better suited staying in the kitchen waiting for their husbands to get home. Romney got caught up in saying what he believed and what he felt some people wanted to hear. I guess that’s politics (I guess) but America doesn’t trust someone who “voted for it before he voted against it.” You know what I’m saying?
Conclusion. The Republican Party is an old white mans party. This is the party of morals and tradition. The party that wants things to “go back to the way they used to be.” Take that question a little further. What are we “going back to?” What year? It wasn’t that long ago that black people couldn’t sit in the front of the bus, women couldn’t vote, and gay marriage wasn’t even a reality. What are we going back to? I think its interesting that in an age when America is experiencing rapid growth in minority communities, in terms of population and economic status, and women are becoming just as much a part of the workforce as men in this country, the party made up of primarily white men preaching tradition did not do well in these groups. Ultimately this led to Mitt Romney loosing the election.
Republicans need to fundamentally change what they stand for and modify their message. I believe that Mitt Romney, before he ran for President, was actually a glimpse of what the party could stand for and be successful. He’s smart. We saw it in the first debate. He knows the numbers and has had success balancing budgets (something we need). I thought he was a worthy opponent and it’s too bad that his base did not provide him with a clear platform to run on. It’s hard to win an election when your party is suffering an identity crisis.
Its cliché to say you’re socially liberal but fiscally conservative but that is what it is going to take for the party to stay relevant. Mitt Romney used to be that. Unfortunately, he was held hostage by outdated beliefs and a Republican Party in turmoil.
Conservatives everywhere need to think of a way to deal with the evangelical preaching, gun-toting, gay people hating, tea partying, planned parenthood bashing, 47% living voters in order to come back from this. These people are not as relevant or influential as they used to be. There numbers are dwindling. Good luck, you have four years to figure it out.