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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Future of the GOP

If we learned anything from Tuesday night's general election it is this: American demographics have changed.  Now, I'm not one of those "doom and gloom" types who think that this change is bad. Quite the contrary.  I think that much of this change is good.  Demographically, America is NOT the country it was, and that's ok.  Throughout our history, American demographics have always been in flux.  For example, Catholics, who were largely detested by our founding generation as an undesirable segment of the population, are now the dominant religion in the nation.  Irish immigrants were also seen as an unwanted rabble who infested the countryside, eroding America's "pure" culture with each new arrival. Yes, it is safe to say that the old cliche of America being a "melting pot" has not written its final chapter.  In today's America, Latinos are, far and away, the fastest growing segment of the population.  And they HATE the GOP.

And rightfully so.

The fact of the matter is that the Republican Party has done little to nothing to accept those who do not fit their incredibly narrow vision of what an "American" is supposed to be.  In short, it seems as though anything outside of being a White, Evangelical, Bible-thumping, gun-toting, flag-waving, Rush Limbaugh-loving, Muslim-hating, meat-eating, apocalypse-loving "patriot" is unacceptable.  And guess what, the GOP has paid the price...big time.  

Last night's defeat (not just in the Presidential Election) reveals just how out of touch the GOP has become.  Instead of being the party of acceptance, they are the party of exclusivity.  Instead of being the party of innovation, they are the party of paranoia.  Instead of being the party of the future, they are the party of archaic irrelevance, and if they don't get their act together soon they will continue to pay at the ballot box.  

Here are just a few things that I believe need to change with the GOP:
-Climate change is real, Adam and Eve were not the first Homo Sapiens to walk the earth, evolution is a non-debatable fact and creating public policy based on the Book of Genesis is stupid beyond explanation. 
-Women who get pregnant as a result of rape is not God working in a "mysterious way." 
-Gay people don't cause tsunamis. 
-Corporations aren't living beings and there is nothing "socialistic" or "Marxist" about having them pay more in taxes (unless you want to call Adam Smith, Ronald Reagan, Milton Friedman, etc. "socialists."). 
-Latinos aren't "taking over" America...but they also aren't going anywhere either.They are, by far, the fastest growing segment of the population.  Get used to it. 
-Dinosaurs were not on Noah's Ark. 
-The "end of days" is not a good campaign slogan, nor is it something to gleefully look forward to. 
-The flavor of the "Tea Party" was just sour grapes and that "party" is now officially over. 
-Being smart, educated, sophisticated  etc. are virtues  not vices.   Joe the Plumber is NOT the ideal, salt-of-the-earth example to put on a pedestal. 
-Conservatives are NOT more patriotic, brave and righteous than any other American of any other "brand." 
-Your future rests not with EXCLUSIVITY but with INCLUSION.  Quit trying to define people by such a narrow and limited set of ridiculous rules. 
-Quit trying to "restore" America to some lost "glory day" when things were better.  Bottom line: America has NEVER embraced what the Tea Party was selling...NEVER!  There is nothing to restore.  Move on. 
-Obama isn't a closet Muslim Kenyan who is going to take your guns and put your family into a FEMA camp. 
-Ronald Reagan would hate your guts.  Sorry, it's true. 
-Glenn Beck is an idiot. No joke, he really is a stupid guy. 
-There is no secret Muslim plot to infiltrate the American Congress and replace it with Sharia law.
But all hope is not lost.  With all of the problems/craziness that has hijacked the Republican Party over the past decade, I still maintain that the GOP could easily become the dominant force in American politics.  Of course, changes (more than those mentioned above) will have to be made, but change is a good thing.  It is time for Conservatism to replace the crazy with confidence.  

The Republican Party is at an important crossroads.  On one hand, they could elect to double down on their wacko "we're mad as hell and not going to take it any more" message of fear, doom and gloom and pseudo-patriotism, or they could return to their "glory days" of old.  Let us not forget that it was the Republicans who were on the cutting edge of innovation in the 50s and 60s.  It was Eisenhower who created NASA, passed the Interstate Highway Act, pulled us out of Korea, avoided entrance into Vietnam, was an early advocate for Civil Rights, encouraged science, math and greater scholastic pursuits, and challenged the Russians on the battlefield of innovation and progress.  This is the REAL legacy of TRUE Republicanism.  

Plus, I still believe that the Republicans could annihilate the Democrats on economic matters.  The free market (when it is truly free for all) is an idea that the overwhelming majority of Americans support.  Sadly, Republicans have done more to damage that ideal in the past 25 years than anyone.  The notion that deregulation, tax cuts for the rich and "trickle down" economics (which is nothing more than a nice way of telling people to enjoy the scraps) simply does not work.  A truly FREE market is one that protects the Middle Class from the greed of those holding all the money.  As Adam Smith, the father of capitalism stated:
The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor...The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich, and a magnificent house embellishes and sets off to the best advantage all the other luxuries and vanities which they possess...It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion. [my emphasis].
It is also time that the GOP accept the FACT that it is time to become more inclusive of others.  Let's face the the facts: Latino voters OVERWHELMINGLY supported Obama and the Dems. last night.  This was one of the key deciding factors in the election.  The GOP has done an atrocious job of courting Latino (and other minority) voters for quite some time and now they are paying the price.  If this trend continues, the GOP can forget about residing in the White House (or taking/controlling the Senate/House) for quite some time.  It's just a fact.

But, there is hope.  To my GOP friends, let me introduce you to a man who not only would bridge the Latino gap but would avoid a lot of the pitfalls that have been mentioned above.  He is a man who is pro-life but not in the psychotic way that the Sarah Palin's of the world are.  He is a true fiscal conservative who opposed the stimulus, has passionately pushed for limited spending, cutting entitlements and defense, and demanded the balanced budget amendment.  He is in favor of energy independence, increased funding for NASA, and accepts the reality of climate change.  And though he is far from perfect, he is, in my opinion, the future of the GOP.  Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you all to the 45th President of the United States of America (yep I am calling it now):

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That's right; Marco Rubio is the front runner for the GOP in 2016.  This guy is a tough combination of good looks, eloquent speaking and hard-nosed politics.  I don't see anyone on the left who could tangle with him (maybe Cuomo?).  Plus, he delivers Florida AND closes the Latino gap (hell, he probably swings it to the GOP).  This is your guy, conservos.  Mark my words: Marco Rubio will be your candidate (if he wants it) in 2016.  

Let the campaign ads begin...just give us a few weeks.  =) 

2 comments:

Brian Tubbs said...

Brad, some of your analysis is on target. Some of it is way too oversimplified and some of it is offensive.

For example, no one in the GOP believes "gays cause tsunamis." I frankly get sick and tired of people arguing that I must embrace a redefinition of marriage or else I'm a bigot/homophobe/whatever. I deplore gay-bashing. I've preached against it and written against it. And I don't believe the government should involve itself in relationships entered into by consenting adults, whether those be gay, straight, polygamous, whatever. But redefining marriage? That's a bridge too far for me. And handing down legal, social, and economic consequences against people who oppose same-sex marriage is a declaration of war on the religious freedom of decent people, and it's got a lot of us Christians genuinely concerned about where things are headed. If your point is that Republicans need to be tolerant with respect to gay relationships, that's fine and I agree.

You also misconstrued the GOP position on Creation/Evolution. First, it's too late to go into this tonight, but it IS possible to reconcile Creation (as put forth in Genesis) with what is KNOWN by and CONFIRMED by science. But, setting that aside, no Republican is asking that public policy be based on the book of Genesis. Some of us are, however, asking that public policy reflect what the Founders respected, which is that God exists and is the Creator and that our rights come from said Creator. If that's "stupid beyond explanation," then so be it and I'm in good company with the Founders.

Having said all that...

I agree with your bottom-line conclusion that Rubio represents (at this time) the best candidate for 2016.

Naum said...

Agree that the GOP is at a crossroad so to speak -- especially on the "culture war" issues -- marriage equality, etc.…

…and on a national (and in your state), it looks problematic, but let us not neglect that GOP still has stronghold in atavistic Confederacy region (as well as other western states. With solid control of Congress, state legislatures and governorships. With that truth, I see no sign of ant relenting.

And early signs are not encouraging -- the narrative that the loss was due to all the non-white people wanting free stuff.

Also, have to dispute the economics take -- the empirical evidence is fairly clear that Democrats are better economic stewards, economically speaking -- on just about any metric: GDP, jobs, stock market indices, etc.…