Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Will the GOP Wake Up Now?

It's hard to believe that, back in the 1990s, when I was volunteering with the California Abortion Rights Action League, that we used to talk about supporting Pro-Choice Republican candidates. It's hard to believe because, now, they don't seem to exist.

In 1992, I was preparing to vote for my first Republican ever: Tom Campbell, who was running for Senate. I decided that it was more important to put a Pro-Choice Republican in the Senate than it was to vote for my party, because I was seeing a disturbing new trend in the GOP, one I wanted to nip in the bud. I thought he would represent California well on other issues too, and be a darn fine Senator. But I never got to vote for Campbell, because instead, the GOP chose extremist Bruce Herschensohn - and so, when the election came around, myself and many others voted for Barbara Boxer, who remains in the Senate to this day.

As I posted to Facebook last night, when the GOP leadership decided John Huntsman, Orrin Hatch, Ben Stein, Christie Todd Whitman, Dick Lugar and the like were all too "left wing" or "cooperative," they doomed the Republican party to failure. Don't get me wrong: I've had some choice words for Ben Stein when he comes on TV, especially when he says things like that people who are unemployed just aren't trying hard enough. But I respect his economic expertise, and the others have been statesmen and Americans before they've been Republicans, and I have really, really liked that.

I actually WANT a viable second, even third party - I might not ever vote for such, but I know such would make Democratic proposals better, and would introduce ideas that would give the American people even more options for success. Our country needs a diversity of ideas!

But, instead, the GOP is the anti-women party, the everyone-that-disagrees-with-me-is-a-socialist party. Instead of focusing on proposals that would improve our education system, the GOP works to defund it and calls the teacher's union a terrorist organization. Instead of focusing on jobs, they work to keep women from having access to contraception and gay people from forming legal families. Instead of saying, "Here's some proposals to make health care reform better," they say, "Let's dump it!"

David Horsey in The Los Angeles Times nails it in this commentary today:

A pragmatic fiscal conservative with an enlightened view of immigration and a tolerant attitude on social issues could do quite well... All the obstructionism and all the weird rhetoric about rape and birth control and birth certificates ultimately hurt the Republican cause. 

Wake up, GOP. Dump the rhetoric of fear and hate. Stop being the party that is against science. Stop being the party against infrastructure. Stop being the party of anti-government paranoia. Stop being the party against women. Stop being the party that believes the more wealthy people are at the top of the economic scale, the better off everyone is. Stop trying to take away women's access to birth control.

Right now, there is NO welcome mat in the GOP for single women, college-educated people, gay people, Atheists, people who aren't white, people under 40... as said, "Obama was reelected by a coalition representing what the United States is becoming." And you are ignoring many of the people that make up that coalition. You are marginalizing yourselves. You are making yourselves irrelevant. 

You are the party of Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Eisenhower. Act like it, and a future election could be yours.

Update: Meghan McCain @McCainBlogette just tweeted: "Keep calling people like me RINO's and see how many elections we keep winning.” She said in less than 140 characters what I tried to say in my blog. 

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