Tuesday, April 07, 2009

The Future of the Republican Party?

By Richard Ivory

The blog Rocket Starinmpls has a great run down on statistics from CNN on what may be signs of a new strategy taken by Republicans as they seek to regain relevance in the age of Obama. The blog breaks down racial voting trends from last year and gives the party some suggestions on how to improve them. I personally believe that GOP strategists should study hard and seek to embrace some of the ideas of David Cameron's the current leader of the Conservative Party and in the United Kingdom.

The blog Rocket Starinmpls - 2008 Vote by Race

Total Obama McCain Other/No Answer

White 43% 55% 2%

African-American 95% 4% 1%

Latino 67% 31% 2%

Asian 62% 35% 3%

Other 66% 31% 3%

What is the future of the Republican party? Can they survive without moving their platform to a more “Centrist” view or more “Liberal” leaning. The only way they have a chance of survival is try to become the party of the Center. What makes me put forth this idea you ask; the changing face of America. In the upcoming 2010 census, the fact that the face of America is changing is going to be even more evident than it already is; our “ethnic/immigrant/non-Caucasian/poor Caucasian” population is growing faster and faster.

You add this fact to the large number of current Democrats and you get a voting block that will continue to dominate upcoming elections. I think the RNC is starting to realize this and displays their knowledge of this with RNC Chairman Steele and their new “young face of the party” Bobby Jindal. So the key going forward for the Republican Party is to figure out a way to entice the ethnic/immigrant/non-Caucasian/poor Caucasian voters to vote Republican.

So let’s take a look at the current tools/ideology they are using:

  • Add ethnic/immigrant/non-Caucasian leadership to the party

They have already started this but in my opinion, this tool will not work. Americans don’t buy the ethnic/immigrant/non-Caucasian/poor Caucasian for the sake of ethnic/immigrant/non-Caucasian/poor Caucasian maneuver. It’s the policy needs of the ethnic/immigrant/non-Caucasian voters that matter, not just merely having ethnic/immigrant/non-Caucasians within the party.

  • Lower Taxes

They keep touting this as they have for the last 8 years and still propose that the answer is “Lower taxes, lower taxes, especially on the rich so they can create jobs.” mantra. The divide between rich and poor has only increased over the past 8 years. Yeah, I think we know how that story ends. When you are making 20,000 a year, you don’t care about taxes because you don’t pay any (in comparison). Go ask the shirt presser at the drycleaners (I was once one) if he cares if his tax bracket is raised or lowered a % point, he doesn’t. He cares about paying for his kids medical coverage and keeping his job. The democrats are also lowering taxes (except for on the rich). People who hark on taxes are those that have a lot to gain from lower taxes or lose from higher taxes. I don’t like taxes any more than you do but you know what, I have no issue with helping out those less fortunate than I by raising taxes a little bit.

  • Smaller Government:

Well, I think a party should first exhibit this behavior before they tout it as one of their principles, so this is out. Bush turned a surplus into a deficit, grew the size of the government and grew government spending.Even if this was a principle the Republican Party stuck to, ethnic/immigrant/non-Caucasian/poor Caucasian voters don’t care. They actually may want larger government which means larger government programs to help the down and out. Go into your local unemployment office and ask folks if one of their top priorities for our government is to decrease its size.

  • Social Issues/Religion: Abortion, Gay Rights, Gun Rights, Religion in government, the drug war etc…

This does have some merit as the Latino population is overwhelming Catholic and thus against Gay Rights but I think it misses the boat on the others, not a top priority of the ethnic/immigrant/non-Caucasian/poor Caucasian voters.

As the aging population dies off and our culture becomes more and more tolerant of diversity, more and more liberal leaning youths are becoming voters. It appears to me that this tool will become less and less powerful.So how is the Republican Party going to grow its numbers in the face of an ever increasing ethnic/immigrant/non-Caucasian/poor Caucasian US population especially when they are losing thousands of voters from the poor Caucasian population as they are finally pulling the wool off of their eyes and realizing that the Republican Party is the party of the “Haves” and not of those that are trying to become one of the “Haves”. The Republicans have done a great job (until recently) of covering up this fact with other issues e.g. Gay Rights/Marriage, the Anti Choice Abortion movement, the “War Against Christmas”, the “war against terrorism”, “the Dem’s are going to take away your guns” etc… fear seems to be a running theme.

So I ask again, other than the Republican Party adopting Centrist views/issues, how will they ever increase their numbers at this point if they do not change their policies? Are they headed for a long decline as rich white men continue to keep control of the party?


Anonymous said...

Well written, the Conservatives in Britain are a great example to follow.

Steve-O said...

You've highlighted a very serious problem for the Republican Party. Should we court minority voters or limit government growth? That's the choice and it will not be easy. The National Debt/GDP ratio is approaching WW2 levels again.

Yes, Republicans deserve some of the blame for letting this happen. But does that mean we should abandon the issue? Politics aint tiddlywinks. Our economic policies have real impact on the lives of real people.

I cannot accept your view of the abortion issue. There is no growing consensus in favor of "choice".

Quite the contrary, there is data which suggests that younger generations are actually more pro-life than baby-boomers:


Note that this is not a call to outlaw all abortion under all circumstances. The USA currently has very liberal abortion laws, even by the supposedly enlightened European standards.

Bryan said...

In answer to the question about increasing the numbers in the Republican Party:

How do you appeal to drug addicts and entice them away from the drug?

Education. Showing them the end result of the addiction.

Medication. Sometimes the Truth is a bitter pill. They must see that they have to be independent of the pusher of the big government programs. Sure they feel great for a while but they always leave you with wanting more, and eventually destroy your body and way of life.

Live Clean. Live Right. Republican.