Thoughts on the GOP: Apparently, the Republican Party is concerned with their image, and seems to think that the problem lies with the public’s perceived “lack of diversity”. They are even asking for input (though you have to give them your email address to do it), so feel free to let them know how you feel!
Here’s my input (with some minor adjustments made for the transition from answering a survey to posting on a blog)…
The Republican Party needs to decide if they are going to be a party that supports a strong economy, or not. We can only support the economy in a long-term, sustainable way by supporting workers (who are, after all, the people that put the most money into the economy), through investing in the environment and education (both of which offer the raw materials that the economy is based upon), and ensuring equal rights for all citizens (which fosters the environment in which innovation is most successful). The current platform of the Republican Party denigrates women, racial minorities, and homosexuals by sticking government in places where it doesn’t belong–which seems hypocritical for a party that used to believe in small government.
Looking back, it seems that the Republican Party has been in a decline since Reagan and Bush Sr–it has become a downward spiral of intractability, ignorance, and bigotry (combined with a healthy dose of lack of common sense or compassion). In the aftermath of debacle the Tea Party became, any remaining ideas of compassion before conservatism and prudence before partisan ideology seem to have completely left the building. Once upon a time, Republicans believed in abolition, in an end to segregation, in conservation of the environment for future generations, in reasonable restrictions of firearms…now they just seem to believe in making rich folks richer.
The problem with this party isn’t a lack of diversity (although they seem to think the symptom is the disease). The problem is the platform–it doesn’t appeal to the basic needs of a diverse culture. There will never be enough women, racial or ethnic minorities, religious minorities, and/or homosexuals willing to compromise their personal and collective rights to overlook their restriction of them, even if they have ever agreed with (what used to be) a primary message of fiscal conservatism and small government. As the youth of this nation, whom have grown up in a diverse culture, get to voting age, the power of this party will only continue to dwindle, unless there is a radical change of the current platform.
Republicans: If you are really concerned with your “diversity issues”, stop the fight on reproductive rights, stop the disenfranchisement of minorities, the elderly and the poor, stop the ban of same-sex civil marriage, and start acting like grown-ups in Congress. It only serves to reinforce your image as a bunch of civil rights and social justice Luddites. And then maybe, just maybe, people in the middle can come back to your party again (because if the Republicans move back to the middle, the Democrats will have no choice but to move further to the left)…and they will have regained their edge as the reasonable party, rather than the crazy one.
Of course, if this doesn’t happen, that’s okay too. Since I’m not a Republican, I don’t care too much if you go the way of the Whigs. As long as you take Eric Cantor with you.