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My last post-election screed of the week

 

It’s occured me that this little essay, which  I posted on Facebook today, probably should also be posted on this blog, which has a much wider readership:

I think the biggest problem facing some of our conservative Republican friends in the wake of this latest election is trying to get their minds around the fact that America is not what they thought it is.

America is not as white as it used to be. Nor do white men rule the roost in this country as universally as they once did. Nor does America hew to the kind of Christian orthodoxy that some people think it should.

In five of the past six presidential elections, liberal Democratic candidates have carried the popular vote. In the election of this past Tuesday, Democratic candidates for president and for seats in the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate received more votes overall than their Republican rivals. What’s more, gay rights and liberalization of drug laws were advanced by voters in several states. And the political gender gap between men and women grew to 20 percentage points, a record high.

This isn’t the America it used to be. And it’s never going to be. If Republicans can’t face that inescapable fact, their party is doomed in the long run. The changing demographics of this country are not on their side. The GOP has to change if it is to survive. There’s historic precedent for it to change. There was a time when it was the party of Lincoln and the party of civil rights for blacks and women. But then it embraced the segregationists who wanted an alternative to the Democratic Party’s increasingly liberal stance on civil rights. The GOP adopted a so-called Southern strategy. And now it finds itself a party whose strongholds are mainly confined to the South and parts of the sparsely-populated Great Plains and Mountain West.

To make matters even worse for the GOP, it’s also become the anti-science party, rejecting mainstream scientific theories regarding climate change and evolution. That’s a political dead end. Such benighted attitudes can win favor only among the lesser-educated elements of the populace. Republican politicians who know better should summon the courage to fight against such ignorance.

I say all this because I want the Republican Party to come to its senses. I want it to offer reasonable counterpoint to some of the tendencies of the Democrats. I want our two-party system to survive and thrive. I want creative and intelligent tension between the parties.

Mostly, I want Republicans to abandon their foolish pledge to “take our country back,” which only begs the unsettling question: “Back to what?”

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4 Comments

  1. Back to an era of smaller government, fiscal responsibility and thriving entrepeneurship.

    If that means African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Asian-Americans, Native Americans, Caucasian-Americans etc don’t agree with the Republican party, then so be it.

    Those are the principles the party must stick to.

    I would call on the Democratic party to get a clue.

    We CANNOT continue on the fiscal track that we are on as a nation. As easy, effective and shameful as it is to demagogue Conservatives as wanting to “kill your grandmother” or cause “children to starve”, not only is it not true, those kinds of tactics will eventually lead us to a Greek like state.

    When poeple believe that the government owes them anything (or everything) and the government overpromises beyond it’s means, social uprising will inevitably follow.

    We must figure out a way as a country to promote personal responsibility, provide equal opportunity to work hard and then celebrate success.

  2. kevind1986

    Lib pundits need to get over themselves. 50.5 to 48 isn’t a mandate, landslide or even very decisive. A few issues turn the other way, and you guys are drowning in your spittle like Matthews. Your guy won this one, but after 2008 you didn’t see 2010 coming did you? We’ll tweak a few messages, learn a few lessons, and get it right next time. The self congratulatory back slapping has grown tiresome and boring.

  3. kevind1986

    By the way Pat – find the post where I denied global warming. When you can’t – I’ll accept your apology. But you won’t – that would take a measure of honor.

  4. Brian Opsahl

    So your saying that had your side won the Senate there would be no mandate…really..in what world have you been reading whats writtin on most of these blogs before the election thats NOT what your side has been saying…Sir !! and now because of this loss i keep hearing about the end of Man kind…Wow dude…get some reading glasses

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