Everyone, take a deep breath in, now let it out. It’s
done, over, gone (for now). The 2012 Elections are finished.
But if you’re a Republican, you’re probably wonder what
exactly just happened. I mean, the momentum behind Republican Challenger Mitt
Romney was absolutely fantastic (some even compared it to the 2008 Election and
the Democrats backing Mr. Obama). There was no way that Barack Obama would
beat Mitt Romney. No way.
Yet... It happened. Overwhelmingly if you look at the
Electoral College results.
Even the popular vote went uncontested, with Obama
winning by just over 4 and a half million votes.
But what does the 2012 Election mean for the Grand Old
Party? Where do the Republicans go from here, and what do they need to change?
Now before we get into this hoopla of a conversation
that is guaranteed to get me a few nasty emails from the Republicans here in
this community, let me make this clear. What I’m about to say is my complete
and personal opinion (after all, this is the opinion section, right?) and does
not reflect one of The Pointer, I’m not even a paid staff reporter.
Now that the hatchet has been buried, let us get to the
meat and bones of this article, What does the GOP need to change to stay
relevant? America is changing. We saw it all over this election, Marijuana
is now legal for recreational use in Colorado and Washington State, and in
Massachusetts it can now be used for medical use. Not to even mention that
Maryland and Maine voted to approve Same-Sex Marriage. Lets not forget that
Wisconsin elected the first openly gay Senator. No one can control the fact
that America is changing, and these are the things that the GOP seems to
First and foremost, the youth vote. Us, ages 18 through
29 voted overwhelmingly for President Obama. According to Edison Research
National Exit Polls, Obama grabbed 60% of the youth vote, with Mr. Romney
catching 36%. Think about it, what happens when this youth vote gets older?
Will they tend to stay the way they’ve been voting, or will they become more
conservative? In regards to social issues, we tend not to change. So clearly
the GOP needs to push something... but what? If they want to win over the
younger generation of voters, my suggestion is simple. Stop being so
concerned about the social issues. Forget about them. What you need to do is
push the idea that less government control and less taxes are the better
solution to go. The younger generation is less caring about whether or not to
let same-sex marriage happen, or immigration issues, we are more concerned with
getting decent paying jobs after college. You want to win us over? You need to
tell us how big government doesn’t work.
That brings me to the next point. Do not ignore your
Fiscal Conservativeness. You need to win over the Tea Party backers and the
Libertarians! This past election, Flip- Flop Mitt was trying too hard to please
both the hard right voters and the moderate voters. He went back and forth
between them to please both, and failed to do so, which gave the democrats
another fantastic platform to run on. Push, push, push this idea of smaller
government, and do not forget about the Ron Paul Revolution that encouraged
many younger voters to vote more Libertarian (best of both worlds, small
government, little government control on social issues), but when Ron Paul
withdrew from the GOP ticket in May, many voters who backed Ron Paul refused to
back the Republican Candidate for President (much like Mr. Paul himself). From
there, the voters tended to go back to the Democratic side because of the
Social Issues, not because of Fiscal Issues. I firmly believe that if the
Republicans can push for smaller government with less strict social control,
they will win over the support of the Libertarians and the Tea Partiers.
One big thing that the GOP needs to adjust is their
eerie hatred of Immigrants. In 2004, 8% of the electorate were Hispanic Voters,
2008 that number jumped to 9%, and this past election, 10%. According to Linda
Chavez, the chairwoman for the Center for Equal Opportunity and former public
liaison for the Reagan Administration, Hispanics are younger, with 22% still
under the age of 18. What does that mean? The percentage of Electoral Voters
that will be of the Hispanic race will increase. Simply put, if you’re going to
hate on Immigration, good luck getting into office. Even Mitt Romney was only
able to gain support of (give or take) 25% of the Hispanic Population. The GOP
needs to be serious about entertaining Immigration Reform if they want to
attract the Hispanic Vote.
While there are for sure many more things that I can
think of that the GOP needs to change in order to win the next election;
reaching out to the youth voters, being stringent to your Conservative Fiscal
Policy, and changing your feeling towards Immigrants in order to win the
Hispanic Vote are by far the biggest three things that need to be adapted.
America and Americans are changing. If the GOP chooses not to, I think that we
can expect to see them become a smaller, less powerful political party in the
Ryan Kernosky is a Junior studying Public
Administration and Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin - Stevens
Point. You can contact him at email@example.com or follow him on twitter