When thinking about the Republican loss November 6th, it is important to note the Republican Party lost its compass. The Republicans lost their ability to directly connect to U.S. constituents as a whole. The United States demography has change significantly and Republicans failed to understand those to whom they serve.
For example, the party platform, in and of itself, details exactly why they lost:
- Do not offer yet another made-in-Washington package of subsidies and spending to create temporary or artificial jobs.
- Pledges to reform the tax code to make it easier for businesses to generate more capital and create more jobs.
- Reject the use of taxation to redistribute income, fund unnecessary or ineffective programs or foster the crony capitalism that corrupts both politicians and corporations.
- Would extend the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003, pending reform of the tax code. It says the party would strive to eliminate taxes on interest, dividends and capital gains altogether for lower- and middle-income taxpayers. It also would work to repeal the estate tax and the alternative minimum tax.
- Constitutional amendments to balance the federal budget and require a super majority for any tax increases.
- Affirmed the rights of states and the federal government not to recognize same-sex marriage.
- Focused too heavily on voter fraud, “Voter fraud is a political poison,” the platform says. It praises legislation to require photo identification for voting and to prevent election fraud.
- Opposed legislation intended to restrict Second Amendment rights by limiting the capacity of clips or magazines or otherwise restoring the assault weapons ban passed during the Clinton presidency.
- All unborn children have a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed.
- Supported a Medicare transition to a premium-support model with an income-adjusted contribution toward a health plan of the enrollee’s choice.
- Opposed amnesty in any form for those who, by intentionally violating the law, disadvantage those who have obeyed it.
- The Republican president would use his waiver authority to halt progress in carrying out the health care act pushed through by President Barack Obama and that Republican victories in November would guarantee that the act is never implemented.
- Republicans support consumer choice, including home schooling, local innovations such as single-sex classes, full-day school hours and year-round schools.
- Renew their call for replacing family planning programs for teens “with abstinence education.
As Thomas Freidman, quoted in his recent op-ed, ‘Hope and change, part two:’
“No one can know for sure what complex emotional chemistry tipped this election Obama’s way, but here’s my guess: In the end, it came down to a majority of Americans believing that whatever his faults, Obama was trying his hardest to fix what ails the country and that he had to do it with a Republican Party that, in its gut, did not want to meet him halfway but wanted him to fail — so that it could swoop in and pick up the pieces. To this day, I find McConnell’s declaration appalling. Consider all the problems we have faced in this country over the last four years — from debt to adapting to globalization to unemployment to the challenges of climate change to terrorism — and then roll over that statement: “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”
To this end, the United States is no longer a country defined by strict conservative rule. An alliance of women, immigrants, minorities, youth, employed and unemployed mirrors the American face. The Republicans rolled the dice and went for the working-class and white elderly.
If any Republican can answer how their platform would work, then I challenge any one of them to tell me how the 2012 Republican platform would benefit Mississippi: where abortion revocation “will do little to help support that child after life begins; reduce the highest birth rate among teenagers, and the second-highest infant mortality rate; reduce the lowest life expectancy in the United States and the highest rate of adults 25 years or older who have not completed high school or equivalency degree; or decrease the lowest state in personal earnings and wages (my original post, Mississippi: Faith Without Works).”
Borrowing from Chris Matthews recent apology and the movie ‘Thirteen Days,’ as a Buddhist, may the current election bring the possibilities for good politics, where men (and women) of goodwill will sit together and work together. And that’s – that’s all there is between us and the devil.
When you can do that, you will find the connection to your base.