Sunday, November 11, 2012

It Ain’t a River in Egypt

The people have spoken. This last Tuesday, President Obama was re-elected by over three million popular votes and, with the Florida results now in, by 126 electoral votes.

That’s the modern-day version of a landslide. Which, by the way, was what I predicted.

I’m not here to gloat. On my Facebook page the day before the election, I promised not to gloat after Obama won. All I asked for in return was for the Conservatives not to de-legitimize the results. He didn’t win due to voter fraud, Acorn, rigged Chicago polling machines. He also isn’t from Kenya. And I don’t care what his college transcripts say, Don. His intelligence is evident.

So the purpose of this post isn’t Obama and his historic win. Instead, it is some advice to the losing party, so that they don’t continue to lose elections.

Even as a Liberal, I have to admit America is a center-Right country. I wish it wasn’t, but me wishing for it won’t change that fact. America is a center-right country, with the emphasis on the word ‘center.’ Enter the party that used to reside there – the Republican Party. There was a time where they had strong convictions that reflect this center-rightness. Nowadays, they still have strong convictions, but not reflective of that reality. Which comes to my first suggestion –

Ditch the Tea Party. They are a vocal group emboldened by the results of the 2010 elections. I won’t get into my personal opinion of this group, as that would be a story unto itself, but let’s just say they are not representative of the overall electorate. For that matter, not even half of it. More like maybe ten percent of it. And that ten percent is the far right fringe. Republicans, anxious to be the party that represents them, slid to that fringe to cater to them, and they got their vote. Problem is, they lost far more votes than they won. In order to be a relevant party, Republicans must tell the Tea Party to take a hike; start your own party and see where that gets you. They then can nominate Michelle Bachmann as their candidate and the 90 percent of the rest of us can laugh at them.

Read on for some more common-sense ideas to return to relevancy.

Rich White Guys Isn’t a Base To Win Elections With. This presidential election was the first one after the Supreme Court weighed in on the Citizens United decision, which resulted in obscene amounts of money pouring in from outside, unidentified sources used to attempt to sway elections. Well, rich white guys have a lot of money, but all that money wasn’t enough to defeat Obama. For Republicans to rebuild a more winnable base, they must untie themselves from this money. I know this isn’t likely, but at the very least they should not take their marching orders from the Koch Brothers anymore. If the Koch Brothers want a party more representative of what they believe, they got enough money to start their own party. And this 'Rich White Guys Party' will garner exactly the amount of votes their demographic represents – less than one percent.

Which is a great segue to the next suggestion.

Expand Your Base. There is a very easy way to do this - Support Lilly Ledbetter & the Dream Act. These two bills, respectively, grant equal pay to women, and a roadmap to citizenship for children of illegal immigrants. Two common-sense initiatives that aren’t, as they would have you believe, fantasy stuff from the Left Fringe. They represent what women and Latinos want. Two groups, added together, are well over half of the electorate. If you don’t support those two bills, you are, essentially, kissing off any chance to win anything.

Govern. Lastly, those Republicans still in office have to understand how to govern. And the first rule of governing is compromise. Ideological rigidity may have gotten you into office, but it won’t get you any bills passed once you are in there. Realize that another party is represented there too. Work with them. Otherwise, your stay in power will be a short one, as those now-defeated winners of the 2010 election have found out. Defeating Democrats is a noble cause while you're running for office, but once you've won, you now must work with them. Understand the difference between campaigning and governing.

So there you have it, Republicans. If you want to stay relevant, it may be a good idea to listen to a bleeding heart Liberal for once.

Denial ain’t a river in Egypt.

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