Misconceptions of the Republican Party

Last Tuesday night was tough to swallow for conservatives across America. A lost presidential election, coupled with down-ballot down results, can only be looked at as a catastrophe for the Republican side which is now looking for anything redeeming to take out of Tuesday. Election night also proved that the old Moral Majority which propelled men like Reagan and both Bushes into the White House has been tapped out, and is even in retreat across the country, giving way to an electorate that is more diverse, younger, and above all, less socially dogmatic. Rather than run from the new social landscape, or complain about the social “depravity” of the country, the Republican Party should find ways to work with the new social order while still retaining tried and true conservative principles.

The exit polls tell the story. Mitt Romney lost the Hispanic vote by nearly 50 points to Obama, and was trounced in the 18-29 demographic by equal margins to 2008. This is a recipe for disaster, especially when the Hispanic vote continues to grow at its current rate. Capturing just the white vote is not enough anymore; we have to become a bigger tent party that is more inclusive and responsive to the concerns of minority groups. For Hispanic support, this should mean that Republicans should take the lead on immigration reform.  Since the Democrats only talk about immigration reform, Republicans can actually take the lead on implementing the policy, which has been coveted by many pro-business groups that want more people to come work in America. If House Republicans take the lead on crafting a pro-business, pro-legal immigration platform that makes it easier to come here legally and incorporate some amnesty for those brought here illegally not on their own free will (i.e. their parents made them come), it could serve as a meaningful gesture to the Hispanic community, as well as a means to force the Democrats’ hand on the issue.

Take the McCain-Kennedy bill of 2006, which was the last serious attempt at immigration reform on the federal level. It was praised by President Bush, mainstream Republicans, and mainstream Democrats, but was scuttled by a combination of nativists and union leaders who didn’t want guest workers “stealing” jobs from Americans. As a result, it failed, and the perception that the Republican Party was a nativist party struck more at the Hispanics than the nativist elements of the Democratic Party. You can blame media spin or anti-Republican attack ads, but the fact that this was easy for the left to do should be very troubling.  Republicans should revisit that bill, make a few adjustments to streamline visa requirements and guest worker policies, and tone down the rhetoric about having a big huge wall on the US-Mexico border that costs money and does very little. It would make us proactive on immigration, and it pressures Harry Reid to call a vote on it in the Senate. As long as Republicans pursue it in both chambers and take the lead on the issue, it will not only help solve a serious problem America faces, but also dramatically improve our relations with Hispanics.

Another way to rebuild the coalition: Soften up the social dogma. The GOP has become the “mean party” recently because of hard line social attitudes on things like gay issues. Last week, three states: Maine, Maryland, and Washington, passed gay marriage referendums by popular vote. It is clear that popular attitudes on the issue have changed greatly since 2004, and the GOP has to recognize this. It doesn’t mean religious officials have to marry gay couples if it goes against their religious practices, because that is a violation of separation of church and state.  Furthermore, pending the Supreme Court’s decision on the Defense of Marriage Act, there is a case to be made for the states determining the conditions of civil marriage on their level. If the federal government doesn’t have a constitutional right to rule on marriage, it should be determined by the states in the manner they see fit, which promotes the GOP’s small government philosophy on an issue Americans care more about with each election cycle.

I’m not saying this is easy to do, but many of the GOP’s mistakes lie in tact and tone; and its fate hangs in the balance.

John McKenna | Fordham University | @BosConservative 

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23 Responses

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  1. The Political Informer
    Nov 13, 2012 - 09:30 PM

    What I find as of late is that a lot of people (you, the author included) think that by switching a few policies and downscaling on our anti-social-benefit rhetoric we will gain more votes from minority groups and such.

    This is such a naive idea.

    Who would buy into the superficial aspect of our party if they don’t believe in the root ideas and beliefs that we hold dear. Those beliefs being small government, Founding Fathers’ principles, and government that doesn’t coddle everyone from birth to grave.

    Throwing some new policies at people who obviously voted for Obama because they like the idea of “free stuff” will not help our plight. Please don’t be so naive as to think it will.

    • Jim Prokop
      Nov 13, 2012 - 10:06 PM

      Sorry to burst your bubble but not everyone who voted for President Obama just wants free stuff. The issue is much more complicated than that.As you know their are many wealthy and successful people who voted for President Obama. Did everyone who voted for Ronald Reagan do so because they just wanted stuff such as a tax cut? I doubt it. Watching too much Fox Noise. Of course they have to put forth a very simple explanation so their average viewer can grasp it and spout it to their friends. However, you seem to grasp the fact that the problem with the Republican party is complex as well. Fox Noise rhetoric (as well as talk show rhetoric)might play with the base but wont necessarily win elections.

    • Chelle
      Nov 13, 2012 - 10:17 PM

      Hey, I just recommended rethinking your stance on abortion, gay marriage, immgrantation and college funding options. But if you want to keep losing the women, minorities and college kids vote, feel free to disregard.

      Besides, you’re acting like the Republican’s stance has been the same since the very begining of your party’s origins. It isn’t.

      Society will always become more progressive. I don’t get what its in for people who drag their feet on that. You’ll just end up on the wrong side of history.

    • Chelle
      Nov 13, 2012 - 10:19 PM

      Also, Romney was going to raise taxes on everyone. How is that limited government?

      At least under Obama you’re not going to pay as much.

  2. Christopher Rushlau
    Nov 13, 2012 - 07:24 AM

    What is your opinion of education in the US?

    • Jim Prokop
      Nov 13, 2012 - 05:50 PM

      If Matty is any example…it is doomed. But then I don’t know for sure he is even in the US. May be on another planet! But then folks like Chelle do give me some hope.

      • Chelle
        Nov 13, 2012 - 09:26 PM

        Its funny that he says it was my fault no one commented. I think his continued off-topicness and attempts at bullying did more to stop conversation than anything I did.

  3. Matt
    Nov 12, 2012 - 04:49 PM

    I agree with most of what you say here, but am troubled with the gay marriage part. Just because gay marriage has been adopted by popular vote in a few states, doesn’t mean that the problems with a society that embraces genderless marriage go away. While we could stand to change our message and tactics, we shouldn’t cave in on an issue that so important to the survival of our society.

    • Chelle
      Nov 12, 2012 - 05:36 PM

      “we shouldn’t cave in on an issue that so important to the survival of our society.”

      Its not though. Making gay marriage legal doesn’t lower the straight marriage rate. The argument isn’t gay people want to be married just because and anyone would do – they want to be married to their partner that they’re with regardless.

      There’s also an issue with your word “genderless.” Just because someone can marry someone of the same sex, doesn’t mean they’re marrying someone of the same gender. The same goes for straight marriage – a male and female can have a genderless marriage as well.

      That’s because gender is a social construct. In one light, you could be arguing against traditional gender roles, such as the wife staying home and the husband being the main bread winner. But again, that’s not dependent on gay marriage either since its already happening.

      Further, countries like the Netherlands and Sweden have adopted gay marriage on the federal level and are rank high on list for GDP per captia and the Netherlands is called the happiest place to live.

      So I’m not sure what problems you’re talking about that we don’t already have regardless if a marriage is a man and a woman or a man and a man.

      • Matthew
        Nov 12, 2012 - 07:01 PM

        Fuck off, Chelle. Nobody asked for your bullshit opinion.

      • Chelle
        Nov 12, 2012 - 07:29 PM

        Matt, darling. You see that button that says “reply”? That means people want other people to reply to things they say.

        I’m concern that if you can’t handle that basic function of the internet that you shouldn’t be on it.

      • Matthew
        Nov 13, 2012 - 03:35 AM

        That doesn’t include you. All you have done is present your gross stupidity for all to show and it had gotten to the point nobody was commenting to anything at all until your mom and dad took your computer away.

        Chelle, you are not welcome here. This site is reserved for conservatives and reasoned discussion. You fall under neither category.

        So again, go away. Do not ever come back here. The very sight of your name pisses me off. You leave, and things will be more calm.

      • Chelle
        Nov 13, 2012 - 04:46 AM

        Make me.

        Honestly, do it. Waiting.

        Oh you can’t! Doesn’t that just make you mad?

        I love how my presense gets you upset. That’s on you dude.

        Really, what’s sadder?

        The so called “idoit” or the person who spends all their enegry on that “idoit”?

      • Joshua Cunninham
        Nov 12, 2012 - 09:55 PM

        No, Chelle, gender is not social at all. It’s defined at birth. And there’s nothing wrong whatsoever with traditional family roles. I agree that women can have a career if they wish, but it’s not for every woman.

      • Chelle
        Nov 12, 2012 - 11:25 PM

        Sigh. Sex and gender are two different things.

        And I never said there was anything wrong with traditional family roles. Can you point to where I did?

        All I did was say traditional family roles are changing. And they are – women can go off to work if they want. Which is what I said.

        So I’m not sure you are trying to pretend I said anything negative about traditional roles or Stay At Home Moms.

      • Matthew
        Nov 13, 2012 - 03:26 AM

        As you can see by her response, Chelle is anencephalic. And except for the period of time when her parents restricted her online access, she has refused to leave.

      • Chelle
        Nov 13, 2012 - 04:44 AM

        Look at you adding so much to the convo!

        Do you really think the people who run this site appericate you taking it off the topic every single time.

        I heard today that the UPS is going to stop donating to the Boy Scouts because of their bigotry towards gay people. Between that and three states legalizing gay marriage, the bell is tolling for you isn’t it Matty?

      • Jim Prokop
        Nov 13, 2012 - 05:48 PM

        Matty: Why are you picking on poor Chelle? I thought I was the stupidest person in the world and not welcome on your precious “Conservative” rag blog? Now I am sure you are bi-polar because you can’t take a position and stick to it! Please leave poor Chelle alone…I don’t want to be dethroned.

      • Chelle
        Nov 13, 2012 - 09:24 PM

        The amusing thing is Matty claims to be “pro-life.”

        And then he makes fun of anencephalics, which is a tragic thing for any parent.

        Truly he is right with the Lord!

  4. Chelle
    Nov 12, 2012 - 02:47 PM

    Actually, if the Supreme Court gets a hold of DoMA, then they could refer to the earilier case of Loving vs VA – which abloished all laws against interracial marriage.

    So people shouldn’t bank on “state rights” if the Supreme Court overturns it.

    Another part is the female vote. Like it or not, women don’t like the government interferring with their medical decisions. The Repbulicans need to back away from anything related to birth control, abortion and rape.

    • Matthew
      Nov 12, 2012 - 07:02 PM

      Bullshit. Go away.

      • Chelle
        Nov 12, 2012 - 07:27 PM

        Matt darling, you have heard of Loving vs VA haven’t you? The one that said the ability to marry is a natural right? Its a real court case.


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