COLUMN: Rebooting the GOP

As it became clear on election night that Democrats would emerge victorious, Republicans nationwide ought to have had a unified moment of pause.

The Republican Party has spent the past four years waging war against the president, the American democratic process and a large portion of this country's population.

Rather than adapt to the changing political, economic and social realities of America, Republicans have loudly and proudly embarked upon a course of alienating any and all who favor even the slightest bit of progress.

The terms of their most recent political gamble reveal the GOP’s desperation. They would sour their relationship with huge swaths of Americans and cut off vital sources of political capital in hopes that, in turn, their base would reward them with enough support to push them past the finish line.

In rejecting this strategy at the polls, Americans announced their disinterest in a future guided by the jaundiced hands of the far right.

So, good for you, America.

For Republicans, the next few weeks, months and even years are critical should their party aspire to ever dominate this nation’s government again.

With President Barack Obama re-elected and Democrats still in control of the Senate, enacting the same tired strategy over the next four years would prove disastrous, not only for the Republican Party, but also for the nation as a whole.

Republicans need to come to terms with America as it is, not how they would prefer it to be.

Latinos made up 10 percent of the electorate this year, a slight but significant increase over nine percent in 2008. Latinos chose Obama by a 71 percent to 21 percent margin, the greatest margin a Democratic Party candidate has enjoyed in over a decade.

Latinos' support of President Obama is at least partially explained by the GOP’s refusal to support immigration reform not tainted by xenophobia.

As some pundits are already pointing out, if Republicans wish to have a fighting chance during the next presidential election, they’ll have to spend time revising their stance on immigration.

Republicans also need to stand up to Christian conservatives attempting to dictate policy from the pulpit.

In all four states with ballot initiatives legalizing same-sex marriage, those measures were adopted, despite Christian conservative objections.

Similarly, the defeat of anti-abortion-rights Senate candidates signaled that just as America is increasingly unwilling to deny members of the LGBTQ community the right to marry, they’re also unwilling to turn back the clock on a woman’s right to choose.

Americans aren’t interested in a government run, according to the rules of an ancient religious text or that text’s advocates. Republicans would be wise to recognize this.

The Republican Party has a choice. They can continue boxing themselves in at their own peril, or they can do what the rest of the country has already started to do—change.


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