(Whither now GOP? I foresee a pogrom and purge. The question I have is which faction wins? – promoted by ClubTwitty)
I wrote about the challenges of the GOP 3 years ago, here: http://www.coloradopols.com/di…
From what I can see, and continue to read, the GOP has completely failed to adapt to the changing political landscape. Others have written extensively on the reasons Mr. Romney lost – and, in my view, he lost rather decisively. The race was not as close as many Republicans would like to believe, and the demographic trends are not in their favor.
The GOP’s blind and headlong race to oblivion is not a positive development in American politics. We as a country thrive when our elected representatives can talk to, and work with, each other. We need them to approach representing us not with hellfire and brimstone, but with reason and understanding of the broader context in which they work.
The GOP should be concerned that despite putting forward their best candidate in Mr. Romney that they lost so decisively. While there is talk of the need of the GOP to be more inclusive, I would point out that the same talk took place after the 2008 election. Nothing, it seems, has changed.
I wrote a letter to Senator McCain following his defeat in 2008 where I explained why I voted for Mr. Obama despite being, on the surface, a classic GOP voter. Much of the criticism is true today:
“I am also troubled by some of the positions of the Republican party, since I believe they are contradictory, and in some cases contradictory to my personal values. For example, the party claims to believe in limited government, which I agree with completely, but in the last eight years the government has expanded tremendously. The so-called “Patriot Act” is, to me, an outrageous expansion of governmental power, with no oversight, that invades and damages the very concept of individual liberty. Benjamin Franklin is exactly correct when he says that those who would sacrifice liberty for temporary security will not receive either and do not deserved either one. The balance between security and liberty must, in my opinion, come down on the side of liberty, lest we be attempting to secure something we no longer have.
Another example is the emphasis of the party on wealthy Americans at the expense of 95% of the rest of the population. (We can certainly disagree on the actual percentage, but I hope you take the point.) I believe the party lost touch with mainstream Americans with respect to economic issues, who have watched with complete disgust the unfolding of the various corporate scandals where executives walked away with millions of dollars while the employees were lucky if their paychecks cleared. And that is before the impact of the current economic challenge, and the hostility of the general public to the so-called “bail-out” bill that was so recently enacted.
Finally, I think the party let itself be held hostage by the so-called “Christian right” on many social issues, and that many Americans are turned off by such positions. For example, abortion is an issue that I believe the government has no power or right to involve itself in. Thus, the position against abortion conflicts with the concept of individual liberty. Gay rights are another example. To actively work to suppress the rights of a group of people because of how they were born is simply abhorrent. If the concept of “custos mores,” or government as “The Guardian of Morals,” is not yet dead and buried, I believe it should be. Attempts to impose a particular morality on anyone conflict directly with the claimed core principle of the party as supporting individual liberty.”
In short, I hope the GOP can adapt itself to the changing realities of American politics. Or, in other words, that it can move “forward” and prevent itself from becoming any more obsolete than it is. I think there is an opportunity for the GOP to do so, because it will only get harder to do as time progresses.