Republicans need to “make it work” for 2012

Jolie Krooks ('09)/Eastside Online Editor-in-Chief

November 5, 2008…

The day after the Democrats hammered Republicans in gaining control of the House and Senate, not to mention President Barrack Obama beating out Senator John McCain by 192 electoral votes.

“The battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party begins now,” wrote Republican activist Richard Viguerie.

Republicans are united in their desire to win the battle, yet divided by reformists and traditionalists in how to recover from the blow.

In order to defeat the futuristic Democrats, Republicans need to set aside their bows and arrows in order to compete with an advancing army. Times change.

Traditionalists believe that instead of reformation, the party must simply hold more true to its long-standing ideals to appeal to a still conservative nation. According to exit polls from the past election, 22 percent of voters consider themselves liberals while 34 percent consider themselves conservatives.

McCain challenged his own party in his initial opposition to Bush’s tax cuts. Additionally, in order to qualify as a Republican entrant, one must be against abortion and gay rights, but when CBS anchorman Bob Schieffer asked McCain in the third presidential debate if he would consider judges who are pro-choice, McCain said, “I would consider anyone in their qualifications.”

McCain’s own position on abortion can be considered “liberal.”

“My position has always been: exceptions of rape, incest and the life of the mother,” said McCain (New York Times, “G.O.P. Holds to Firm Stance on Abortion” by Katherine Q. Seelye, August 30, 2008).

Accordingly, traditionalists consider Sarah Palin an ideal Republican candidate due to her orthodoxy in social issues.

However, to state the obvious, our country is in an economic crisis, and Palin’s enthusiasm in promoting Republican social values does not compensate for her naïveté in economic and foreign policy (see 9/25/08 interview with CBS Katie Couric http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2008/09/25/couricandco/entry4478088.shtml).

Moreover, maybe the truth of the matter is that economics aside, the Republican Party needs to diversify itself in order to gain favor of a fervently democratic nation that is breaking away from a narrow, strict code. Instead of focusing on a narrow social code, the Republican Party should address the most pressing issues that the country wants to be addressed.

Obviously, cutting taxes hasn’t worked. If you try to mend a popped tire with a bandaid and air continues to leak out, clearly new measures need to be taken.

The Republican Party needs to be more ready to change in a changing world. Global warming, for instance, may not have been a recognized problem decades ago, but now it is a pressing issue that the people want to be resolve.

Furthermore, while Obama’s campaign employed the Web in every state, Republicans only started building websites after the election. Why would America want a party that does not go out on the battlefield and employ every weapon it has to defeat the other army more effectively?

Not only did the Republicans not address a more technologically advanced nation, it also failed to engage a more diversified nation. Obama won 67 percent of the Hispanic vote, 95 percent of the African American vote, 62 percent of the Asian vote and 78 percent of the Jewish vote. He won 70 percent of the votes in big cities.

Since Hoover’s presidency (1929-33), there have been five Republican presidents–Dwight Eisenhower (1953-61), Richard Nixon (1969-74), Ronald Reagan (1981-89), George H. W. Bush (1989-93), and George W. Bush (2001-2009).

In his inaugural address, Reagan said, “Government is the problem.”

Then, he said, “It is not my intention to do away with government. It is, rather, to make it work.”

Republicans may want to hold on to all of their traditional ideals, yet in the end, they will need to adapt to the changes of the world and “make it work.”