Election postmortem

November 13th, 2008

Everyone else has been putting their two cents in, viagra sale cure so here are my thoughts:

  1. The Republican Party and/or Conservatism is not dead. Just like the Democratic Party and Liberalism were not dead the last time the Republicans controlled both branches of government.
  2. The Republicans didn’t lose because of Sarah Palin. They didn’t lose because John McCain was too moderate (or not moderate enough), cialis canada they didn’t even lose because of the mainstream media’s relentless cheerleading for Barack Obama. As Bill Clinton would say, it was the economy, stupid. The day Treasury Secretary Paulson proposed a $700 billion bailout, John McCain lost the election.
  3. The Democrats really shouldn’t get too cocky. It took eight years under one of the least loved Presidents in history, a hugely unpopular war, and the worst economic situation since the Great Depression for a Democrat to eke out a 52% to 47% victory over a less than perfect Republican candidate. Good luck getting that kind of wind at your back again anytime soon.

But, that doesn’t mean the Republicans should relax and wait for the pendulum to swing back. There is one thing the Party really needs to do if it wants to become a real player again:

It has to stop being the party of white folks.

There is NO reason that the Republican Party can’t appeal to Hispanics and Asians. Catholic Hispanics should love the Republican’s stances against abortion and for strong families. Asian Americans believe in hard work, entrepreneurship, and strong families. The only thing keeping these two ethnic groups from joining a Republican coalition is anti-immigrant rhetoric that is often associated with the party.

That doesn’t mean the Republicans have to stop advocating for better immigration policies. But those policies have to be reframed. First of all, Republicans need to stop blaming the people who just want a better life for themselves and their kids and start blaming the businesses that encourage them to cross the border. Shift enforcement to prosecuting employers who knowingly employ illegals. But don’t call it an anti-illegal immigration measure. Frame it as a workers’ rights issues. After all, these employers are often exploiting their workers by giving them lower pay, bad benefits, and sometimes treating them as disposable people.

I also think that children who grow up in America should be eligible for financial aid and in-state tuition at colleges whether they were born here or not. To do otherwise is to punish them for the sins of their parents and deprives us of another educated member of the workforce.

Now, some of my readers will notice that I haven’t mentioned African Americans. I would LOVE to see more African Americans join the rank of the Republicans, but I honestly think it’s an almost impossible task. There’s too much history between the black community and the Democratic Party (including the historic election of America’s first African American president) for the Republican’s to ever get much traction in their community anytime soon.

My bottom line is that Conservatism is not a white person’s philosophy. Self-reliance, entrepreneurship, family values, are all things that resonate strongly with the sort of people who risk everything to come to America. Immigrants are natural Conservatives. Republicans just need to find a way to navigate between their nativist instincts and their need to be more inclusive.

OK, that may be the longest post I’ve ever written. If any of you are still reading at this point I’m grateful and more than a little bit incredulous.

I now return you to my customary two to three sentence posts. ;)

Entry Filed under: Politics

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. buzz  |  November 13th, 2008 at 11:48 am

    I liked the long post. It was insightful and well written. I’d rather see one or two of these a day than a bunch of one-liners.

  • 2. elliot  |  November 13th, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    Nah, too much like work. ;)

  • 3. Fuzz Martin  |  November 13th, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    My brain was only programmed to read three sentences and one quote on FWIS.

    After a little reprogramming, I read a great post.

    The Republicans need to repackage their brand. Perhaps your friend Michael’s company should pitch them a new plan. Make conservatism cool again (see: Reagan).

  • 4. Tim  |  November 13th, 2008 at 7:19 pm

    And can we also stop calling illegal immigrants “aliens”. I think that it is a mean spirited term that has no purpose. Why can’t we just call these people illegal immigrants rather than using terms such as “aliens” and “undocumented workers”.

    As a minority and an immigrant, I do think that you have a point. I have always voted for Democratic Presidential candidate and have been very anti-Republican party. The reason is not that I disagree with Republican party ideals. I love the ideals of Republican party but hate most Republicans that I know. It seems that most Republicans think that United States is perfect and their is no bigotry and anybody who talks about racism is just making everything up. They also seem to think that anybody who is non-white is just looking for a government handout.

    However, reality is far from the truth and immigrant groups have the highest level of education and income among all Americans. There is a still a lot of bigotry and subtle racism that people with brown and black skin go through everyday. These are just some of things that turn me off from the Republican Party. These things tend to hide the real ideals of Republican Party. So in conclusion, anger at the establishment and the society leads many people like me to vote for Democratic candidate even though our ideals may be the same as the Republican Party.

  • 5. Vinny  |  November 14th, 2008 at 9:07 am

    Do you really think that you are ever going to sell the Republican party as the defender of workers’ rights against the interests of the employers?

  • 6. Whither the GOP? « &hellip  |  November 14th, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    […] passed Proposition 8 in California, which ofter votes Democratic). I have a similar quibble with elliot on the immigration question. I believe they’re both right, but it’s easier to say we have to convince people than […]

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  • 7. Fuzz Martin :: FuzzMartin&hellip  |  November 20th, 2008 at 5:20 pm

    […] your already wasted time in places that are far less interesting. Elliot’s posts are always (well, mostly) short, sweet, and very easy to […]

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