How the GOP can Start Winning Again

Mitt Romney has gone from being the toast of the town among Republicans to being less popular than Michael Moore in just a couple of weeks. Meanwhile, Karl Rove is forced to try to explain to angry Republican donors what he did with their $300 million dollars, because he certainly did not use it to win elections. The silver lining for Republicans is that 2016 may be their year. Americans do not tend to elect the same party to the presidency twelve years in a row. Clinton and Bush 43 both spent eight years in office, like Obama will. But Clinton was followed by a Republican, and Bush was followed by a Democrat. When a president has served for eight years, anti-incumbent sentiment tends to set in. And remember, I like President Obama very much, but the fact of the matter is that he was very politically vulnerable this year. He is still the president because the Republican Party propelled him to victory through its own incompetence, as I discussed in my last blog. So who are we going to see the Republican Party nominate in 2016? There was a lot of talk about Chris Christie, but I don’t see the stars aligning in his favor. A while back, I said that the advent of television had made it very difficult for short or overweight people to get elected president. That is not fair, but it is the way the political game works. Furthermore, Christie is currently in the Republican Party stockade next to Romney thanks to making his convention speech, “The Life and Times of Chris Christie,” and praising President Obama’s handling of Hurricane Sandy. Defending the “Ground Zero Mosque” probably didn’t win him any points with conservatives, and derailing gay marriage in New Jersey probably didn’t win him any points with moderate liberals. There’s been some talk about Marco Rubio, who’s younger, more fresh-faced, and of a more advantageous weight. But he has also endorsed DADT and the Federal Marriage Amendment, while opposing ENDA. Back in 2006, Florida was having so much difficulty finding families for foster children that some of them had to sleep in the state conference room. When some people suggested that the problem was compounded by Florida having one of the most stringent anti-gay adoption laws in the nation and that it might be wise to let gay couples be foster parents, Rubio flatly refused. In 2016, the Gay Rights Movement will have more momentum than it does now, and Rubio is going to get raked across the coals for his Paleolithic stance. Don’t look to Paul Ryan in 2016. He couldn’t even carry his own state in an election where the incumbent president had a tenuous approval rating and a bad economy. I could see Jeb Bush or, if the GOP is not too close-minded to have a black woman at the helm, Condoleezza Rice, as likely candidates. Will I vote for them? Not likely. But they might have a shot at winning, although I think Rice would really face an uphill battle due to racism and sexism. But in my view, the GOP needs someone completely new. Honestly, I think the best person for the nomination is Margaret Hoover. She’s a political commentator from the swing state of Colorado, and she seems like a legit social liberal, fiscal conservative. She seems to really understand racial issues. Nominating her would take the gay rights issue completely off the table. She is a member of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, a group that is trying to challenge Prop 8 before the Supreme Court and legalize same-sex marriage all over the country. If the GOP runs her against Hillary Clinton, I’m voting Republican, barring something major and completely unforeseen. She was on record as being against DADT before the policy was repealed. She wants the Republican Party to mellow on immigration. And she’s a free marketer. Can you imagine? Someone with the potential to appeal to Tea Partiers, and Hispanics, and African Americans, and gay rights activists? The Christian Right will try to steamroll over her, but she could be exactly what the Republican Party needs. The Republican Party needs to go ahead and concede all of the Democratic Party’s points on gay rights and issue an apology for past opposition. A lot of white evangelical voters are going to throw a fit, but they will get many more younger voters and gay voters. Besides, look how well appealing to evangelical voters on gay marriage worked out in this election. And remember that John Kerry agreed with George W. Bush that gay marriage was wrong and still lost the presidential election and most of the white evangelical vote. Barack Obama said point blank that gay marriage was right and beat Mitt Romney. Heck, if the Republican Party repudiates its racist and homophobic elements, it might even become competitive in the Northeast again. On the subject of race, at this point, simply believing in racial equality is not enough for the Republican Party to extricate itself from the mess it has gotten itself into with black voters. Democrats may pal around with racists and have their blatantly offensive Jefferson-Jackson Dinners, but they also do a much better job of making it clear that they believe in racial equality and understand the negative legacy of slavery and racism for African Americans. At this point, the Republican Party has to do seven things. First of all, it needs to stop associating with racist political figures like Haley Barbour and Robert Bork. Second, it needs to repudiate racist pundits like Ann Coulter, Michael Savage, and Rush Limbaugh. Third, it needs to take a stand that while quotas do more harm than good, affirmative action is necessary and should continue. Fourth, it needs to oppose the Confederate Flag and any honoring of the Confederacy, which shouldn’t be too hard, since the Confederates were Democrats. Fifth, it needs to oppose racial profiling of African Americans. Sixth, like the Democratic Party, it needs to stop honoring the Founding Fathers. Tea Party, I am talking to you. Seventh, it needs to emphasize its historical opposition to slavery and the fact that it was more supportive of African Americans’ rights than the Democratic Party until the 1960s. As for other racial minorities, one thing that the GOP should do is put its limited government rhetoric into practice to support increased sovereignty for Native American tribes. They should also support more open immigration policies and amnesty for illegal immigrants who are already here and have an otherwise clean record. What about abortion? I have a policy of never giving my opinion on abortion on this blog, so I will simply say that if the Republican Party is going to continue to be pro life, they need to make it abundantly clear that they support abortion being legal in the case of rape or to save the life of the mother. Believe me, this stance will gain them way more votes than it will lose. On other social issues, the Republican Party needs to take a basically libertarian position: pro-civil liberties, pro-drug legalization, anti-censorship. They should firmly support the right of students to pray in school, but should oppose public school teachers initiating prayer and the display of religious symbols on public property. For economics, a two-pronged strategy is needed. The party should take a strong fiscally conservative stand in favor of low government spending and against national health care. However, it will be better long term if the GOP prioritizes a balanced budget above low taxes and is open to raising taxes if it is necessary to reduce the national deficit and debt. This was the position of Republican presidents from Lincoln to Ford. The party took a detour with Ronald Reagan, started to get back on track with Bush 41, then went off the track again with Bush 43. The consequence has been massive debt and deficits. Want to know why the remake of Red Dawn changed the invading nation from China to North Korea after production started? It’s because China holds so much of our debt, thanks in part to the reckless fiscal policies of Reagan and Dubya. While some populist policies—opposing corporate subsidies and free trade agreements—are in order, Republican politicians should not go the route of Newt Gingrich in the 2012 primaries. Gingrich’s attacks on Bain Capital had the flavor of a conspiracy theory. The former Speaker of the House has made no bones about his admiration for Teddy Roosevelt and seemed to be trying to imitate the Rough Rider’s attack on fellow Republican William Howard Taft’s alleged support for corrupt big businesses. Gingrich, however, forgot that Roosevelt’s attack on Taft helped cost Republicans the presidential election that year. On foreign policy, Republicans need to enact embargoes on countries with bad human rights policies and lobby to have them kicked out of the U.N. and the Olympics, but avoid getting militarily involved unless a country is planning to attack or has already attacked the U.S. I am not a partisan Democrat. I have causes that I believe in, especially civil rights. I vote for whoever is best on civil rights. If both candidates are equal on civil rights, I vote based on other issues. And if the day comes when the Republican Party nominates better candidates than the Democratic Party, I will vote for them.

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1 Comment

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One response to “How the GOP can Start Winning Again

  1. Shannon Boyd

    It will be interesting to see what happens in the next few years. If the republican party takes note of what happened in this election and make changes. Good blog. Thanks Charles

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