Never has the saying “can’t see the forest for the trees” resonated any more clearly than when I reviewed the conclusions of a study just released by the Republican Party. In an effort to diagnose why the party lost the last presidential election, not to mention millions of voters who once supported many of their candidates, a study was commissioned to get to the bottom of things.
Some of the findings indicated that “women, minority and younger voters have been alienated by what they see as the GOP’s stale policies and image of intolerance.” Furthermore, the study indicated that “the party has become smug, uncaring and ideologically rigid, greatly complicating its efforts to compete successfully in a changing American electorate.” Ouch.
It seems that the Republicans probably could have saved a good bit of time and money, not to mention the last election, if they had listened to the mainstream electorate over the past few years. As someone who has voted for Republican presidents here and there since I became of age, I’m certainly one that feels this party has lost touch with the mainstream. Talk radio zealots have commandeered the party, making anyone with a moderate viewpoint the target of their poisonous venom. In addition, social media sites have also fueled the fire, promoting such hateful and disrespectful comments from those so frustrated with their own lives that it makes one’s skin crawl at their very tone.
So now, following the results of this study, indications are that the party will now make some needed changes. Changes to the agenda, such as opening their arms to minority voters, will now be made in an effort to appeal to more voters. I guess the question I have is this; are the Republicans changing because it’s the right thing to do or are they changing because that’s the way to win the next national election?
I’ve always thought that it takes a long time to build trust and about thirty seconds to break it. I guess I’m always a bit skeptical when someone says, “I’ll change”. When someone says certain things or displays various actions over an extended period of time, there is a tendency to question their sincerity, at least until they’ve once again proven themselves over an equal period of time.
It takes a good bit more to convince me of a true willingness to change than a random Republican congressman coming out in favor raising taxes on the rich in order to better balance an out of whack budget…or another isolated GOP senator coming out in favor of same-sex marriage because he found out that his son is gay. I’m not from Missouri, but the phrase “show me” is fitting as the Republicans begin to repair their tattered image among the mainstream voters. I wish them luck and Godspeed, as there is much work to be done in Washington.
There are some potential candidates in the Republican Party that can, and perhaps will, make a fine president. In unity there is strength, which tells us that a current “outlier” or someone who decides to take a moderate tone will need the sincere backing of the party in order to not only win the election, but to follow through on what they are now saying.