The 2012 election is over. President Obama won, even though he received approximately 8 million less votes than when he won the presidency in the 2008 election. The “Whys” and “How comes” make for interesting analysis, but in the end – winning is winning!
As a native homegrown Eastern Shore Republican the realities, as evidenced in this election, reflect the changing demographics and mores taking place in America, however less so in the Republican Party. Times change.
The Republican Party cannot be the party of yesteryear, reflecting the policies of earlier decades. Where have all the moderates gone? The Republican Party I grew up in and remain a member of, could meet in a phone booth (remember them) and serve eighteen for dinner. Our roots were moderately conservative, with leaders such as Rogers Morton, Mac Mathias and J. Glenn Beal Sr. and Jr.; moderate voices long silenced and replaced by more strident voices.
New voices, new faces, and policies are necessary in order for the Republican Party to remain a viable competitor, moving forward. The party must reflect the concerns of America’s changing demographics and beliefs. In the 2012 election approximately 71 percent of the vote was white American. The reality is that this may be the high water mark for this segment of the population voting in national elections, going forward.
Significant growth in the numbers of Latino and women voters played a major role in President Obama’s re-election, as did young people thirty years of age and under. Their views and concerns were not adequately reflected and/or articulated by the Republican Party. New thinking to meet the changing realities is vital if the Republican Party expects to win the White House and Congress again.
Speaking of Congress, the second component in changing and making new policies, is the United State Congress. There were no major changes in the composition of the two houses in the new, 113th Congress. The fact that the Democrats still control the Senate and the Republicans still control the House of Representatives may prove to continue the gridlock and severe partisanship we have experienced for the past several years. However there is a great need for this division and rancor to stop as the issues facing this nation are grave and substantial. Many millions of American voices, of differing ethnicity, race and creed, cry out for practical and sound solutions.
The rhetoric, in Congress, about “doing the people’s work” has to stop. Reasonable and meritorious proposals need to be understood and advanced. Actual policies which affect the lives of all Americans have to be fought for, compromises reached when possible… Long ago Abraham Lincoln said “A house divided against itself cannot stand”. The division in America is destructive to our nation’s economy and our public’s welfare, while our image and influence in other nations is diminished by the narrow-mindedness and inaction of many of our politicians.
The two party way of governing has served the nation since the early days of the republic. This system has had its ups and downs, but our democracy survives. Splinter third parties such as the “Whigs”, “Know Nothings”, and “Dixiecrats”, have come and gone. Today we have the “Tea Party”, who is influencing a large segment of the House of Representatives, especially a large segment of Republican congressmen.
These “3rd parties” or “party within a party” forces are not helpful in getting the Congress and White House to work together and reach compromise on important issues of the day. That is the way our system has always worked.
Washington remains broken. The solution is in breaking these elongated deadlocks with good old fashioned common sense and common purpose. The fix lies in the necessity of both political parties to compromise and especially for the Republican Party to adhere to its basic principles without letting other forces dictate their positions in the halls of Congress.
Change is a fact of life; “Nothing stays the same more constant than change”! To implement change before you have to, is a hallmark of any dynamic organization inculcated with core beliefs
To be successful, politicians must change as times change; see the truth and necessities for what they are, not just the way they or their party would like them to be.
Yes folks, remaining against everything is a rapid road to oblivion. Even in a mostly Republican county as small as Kent, MD – change is inevitable. Gov. Romney won by less than 100 votes and this number may be tweaked when the absentee ballots are counted.
These new realities, and the accompanying challenges, must be faced. It is the work of a nation – its people and its government.