(Jim Clark) – Last month, I penned a column suggesting that if the GOP does not reach out more to minorities, particularly Latinos, the party may go the way of the Whigs for lack of relevancy.
Bonanza readers followed up on that theme in letters to the editor. Self-admitted progressive Richard Steinberger wrote to suggest platform changes which would have the GOP mirror the Democratic Party. Donald Schreiber recommended that the GOP split in two: moderates and the Tea Party.
Interesting thoughts, but the fact is that both major parties are composed of factions that espouse policies which range from laissez faire to moderate (Republican) and moderate to collectivist (Democrat). Both have somehow survived internal schisms by uniting behind their candidates once primary elections are over. And the GOP has controlled the White House for 36 of the last 60 years compared to the Democrats’ 24. No, I do not think it’s time to throw the GOP baby out with the bathwater but having lost the latest presidential election some scrutiny is in order.
Newt Gingrich recently suggested that the GOP could be a near-permanent minority if it doesn’t overhaul its party operations. The former House Speaker prescribed: “inclusion of minority communities and a push to compete electorally in big cities and parts of the country that lean Democratic.” He also recommended the GOP learn from the 2012 Obama campaign’s winning coalition which was “bonded by micro-communities and a sense of inclusiveness that transcended a narrow class warfare approach.” The GOP has “to understand this pattern of defining differences while being openly inclusive.”
Stanford whiz and Washington insider Grady Means submitted an opinion piece to the Wall Street Journal suggesting how a “Grand New Party” could prosper in competition with President Obama whom he styles as “The Candyman” handing out taxpayer-funded free goodies to his supporters.
A Grand New Party (“GNP”) should stand for building a great America through personal freedom and individual initiative, Means says. “The GNP must embrace Gay Americans affording them the same rights as everyone else.” “Ditto” he says “for Hispanic Americans”. And a GNP would at least endeavor to appeal to African Americans. “Republicans should tell all women and especially young single women, that personal freedom is personal freedom” he continues, “and then shut up! Single women want jobs and opportunities . . . provide them.”
“Republicans need to spend a lot more time to reassure the elderly that their retirement and security are not in jeopardy. There is a great argument for restructuring and saving Medicare and Social Security . . . make it”, he writes.
Concluding he says: “So, New Republicans, button it up! Keep focused on the biggest issues and stay on message! Get out there and talk to all 100%. And the message? Don’t take the (Candyman’s) candy. A future with budget discipline, a better standard of living, more jobs, and more individual freedom is a much sweeter deal”..
Great suggestions but having spent endless hours in GOP Central Committee meetings and caucuses I know that political party rank and file are folks with big egos and strong opinions. How do you get such diverse personalities to coalesce in a remedial restructuring?
California GOP/Romney Finance Committee member Dick Buxton has a suggestion: “Get Mitt Romney to head the Republican National Committee . . . if he can fix the Salt Lake Olympics he can fix anything!”
Now there’s an interesting thought!
(Jim Clark is President of Republican Advocates and has served on the Washoe County & Nevada State GOP Central Committees; he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)