Progress, Elections and the GOP

Obviously, the loss Republicans suffered on November 6th was crushing. As Democrats successfully re-elected Barack Obama and picked up numerous congressional seats, the GOP was horrified to watch as they were hit with massive blow after blow.

Now as political pundits and every-day citizens alike begin to weigh in, many on the right are projecting a doom-and-gloom outlook. Some are even lamenting the loss of liberty forever. Others are predicting something akin to apocolypse, as if the world we live in has literally come to an end.

I agree that the world we used to live in seems to be dying. Different than my Republican counterparts, however, I couldn’t be happier about it. No longer can a political party run a campaign based on lies, based on the promised alienation of entire groups of citizens, and expect to win.

That’s what I call Progress, and I am thrilled to have played a small role in helping to achieve it.

Curious, however, is that behind all the complaining and panic, I have heard very little from the GOP regarding changes their own party needs to make to ensure history doesn’t continue to repeat itself.

If the consequences of this election are so massive, to the point where Americans have lost their liberty, their democracy, and are now a socialist nation as conservatives seem to be claiming, why wasn’t that the focal point of the campaigns the Republicans ran? I see many on the right lamenting the fact that voters voted on social issues, as opposed to what they view as more important issues.

However, I can point to several examples of Republican candidates actively turning their campaigns into referendums on social issues. Whether accurate or not, the impression of many is that the GOP ran on issues like Akin’s and Murdouch’s rape policies, an unwillingness to support gay rights (though polls have long showed most Americans support these rights), and a perceived war on women and minorities (especially Latinos). It’s easy for some people to complain that Democrats hijacked the election, making it solely social issues, but for many of us- who feel the Republican Party at best disregarded us and at worst displayed open hostility against us- we had no choice BUT to vote on social issues.

The fact is, women, minorities and homosexuals were made to feel their very rights were at risk. 

I would have been severely disappointed had Obama lost the election, so I empathize and in some ways understand the Republican response to Romney’s loss. What I have a hard time feeling sympathy for are the actual politicians and handlers that managed these campaigns. Whether or not you agree or disagree, there were millions of people who felt completely ostracized and abandoned by the GOP, believing the only way to preserve their voice in their own country was to vote against that machine.

Republicans ran a campaign that purposefully spoke only to white male voters. Our nation is much more diverse than that. In this way may of us found ourselves voting not for one man over the other, but for a party that we felt represented us.

The GOP has to broaden its appeal, or yes, they will continue to lose.

No party- Democrat or Republican- is going to be able to win an election when the candidates are only attempting to reach a tiny subset of the entire population. Democrats wouldn’t have won the election had they ONLY catered to blacks, or ONLY gay people, etc.

You have to speak to people before you can expect their support.

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