If there’s one thing I have learned from watching sports it is that knee jerk reactions are incredibly common the day after a huge loss. This season the Panthers were supposed to be contenders in the NFC and have, for lack of a better word, sucked. And every Monday I get on Facebook and see mountains of statuses calling for the city to fire the coach, all the players, the owner, the GM, the stadium PA guy, the guys that sell hot-dogs outside the game, and the cleanup crew. In fact, let’s just burn down Bank of America Stadium and move the franchise to London so we can all forget how lousy this team is.
You can find similar attitudes in politics. I have listened to NPR this morning, turned on CNBC, and read the Wall Street Journal, which naturally have been spewing out plenty of knee jerk reactions in regards to last night’s election. Many conservative pundits are blaming the loss on Mitt’s failure to reach independents, while many right wingers believe he strayed too close to the middle. First of all I would like to commend President Obama and wish him luck. I believe he is a good guy and has good intentions- I even did canvas for him in 2008 because I believed in him and his policies, and hopefully starting today we will begin to see a true fulfillment of that potential. I have been a relatively happy human being the last four years; aside from some really terrible relationships and some drunken debauchery (though none of that really has anything to do with the President) so hopefully Obama’s second term will treat me just like the first.
Despite all of this, I did vote for Romney, and I do label myself as a conservative, and as such I am upset at the outcome of the election. And though perhaps my thoughts are a bit knee-jerk after a huge loss, I find them to be the culmination of many emotions and feelings over the past few months. Last night was the fulfillment of what many Republicans and conservative minded people have been saying for a couple years: this Party is headed in the wrong direction. Let me be more specific: this obnoxiously right wing, Tea-Party, socially backwards path is absolutely ridiculous. And to be honest, it is completely embarrassing for people who believe in the original foundations of conservative politics and who believe in classical economic theory.
To the Republican Party: you are making us look like a massive bunch of idiots, like a giant group of assholes who have absolutely no sense of social issues, of the progression of human rights in this country and abroad. In my personal opinion, and this is controversial, this election should have been a slam dunk for the Republicans, and the statistics from people exiting the polls confirmed that in many ways. The bottom line is this economy is well and truly broken. We are sitting at 8% unemployment, the highest since the start of the recession, and 1.5% GDP growth, the slowest in who knows how long. Last night when people exited the polls, six out of ten people believed the economy was most pressing issue, a further six out of ten said they were “disillusioned” with the direction of the economy. When you add to that the fact that a CNN poll said that 60% of Americans were not fans of Obamacare when it was passed, as well as what it may do for the economy in the future, the real question is how does the Republican Party lose this election? And not only did they lose- if it were not for Obama’s complete no-show at the first debate, this election would have been over weeks ago. The Republican Party should be thankful it was even this close, because it could have been much worse.
The wheels start to come off when you look at the demographics. Obama was dominant among women, dominant among minorities, dominant among young people. And not only did he take those categories, which was not surprising, but he galvanized them beyond what most pollsters expected to come out and punch his ticket. The bottom line is Republicans alienate women and alienate minorities. If I was a member of either of those groups, I will be honest; I would have a ton of trouble voting Republican at the moment. It is time the GOP takes a good, long hard look in the mirror at what it has become and what it wants to be. These social issues – gay marriage, abortion, immigration – America has decided on these things. It is abundantly clear that women, young people, and minorities feel a very specific way about these things – and the GOP must accept that America, and more importantly American voters, are not becoming any more male, they are not getting older, they are not getting any whiter.
It is embarrassing for me, and for many conservatives, to have to answer the question “How could you vote for a Republican, the party does not believe in equal rights for women?” And you know what, it’s a valid question. It really is. This party has become an absolute joke, a laughing stock, not only in America, but around the world. Being Republican used to mean you understood economics; you understood what it meant to be classical vs. Keynesian. It meant you believed in hard work and a solid middle class, in striving for economic success by telling the government to step aside. Now it seems to just mean you’re a bigot, who hates poor people, and believes Obama is a Marxist. It means you’re uninformed about the issues, and living in the past.
This election season America was crying out for someone to step in and set this economy on a different course, which the voting data as well as interviews with prospective voters proves. But instead we got Mitt Romney, a great guy who was used as a puppet for the Republican Party for months. I think the worst part of the entire election is that I don’t think Romney is a bad guy, and I don’t think he would be that bad of a President. He was a Republican Governor in MASSACHUSETTS, so he had to be doing something right. But I think the party completely changed him; they stuffed him full of nonsense until he couldn’t even remember what he believed on the issues. The only time the election was close, was when he went moderate on some social issues (also thanks to Obama’s gaff in the first debate).
It’s time the GOP finds someone who fits the needs of Americans. And guess what? They have four years to do it. For me, this election was much worse than 2008. In 2008, Barrack Obama was the best candidate for the job. He had energy, passion. I could stand behind him and believe in what he stood for. This time, it hurts. Because I think the Republicans missed a massive opportunity, and in the process showed their true colors, and those colors are not flattering. It’s time to move the party in a different direction, to be well educated, to take a better stance on social issues, to understand world history and how it ties into current events, and most importantly, to create an economic plan that gives people a fighting chance to work hard and reap what they sow. But the bottom line is this Tea Party nonsense is not going to do any good for anyone. Saying that Russia is our biggest national enemy does not do any good for anyone. Saying that rape babies are a deserved punishment from God does no good for anyone. Calling Obama, and the Democrats who in my opinion are the only party who are making an actual effort, Marxists, socialists, the anti-Christ, does not do any good for anyone.
This morning the GOP has a lot of questions to answer. And over the next few weeks those answers will become clearer and clearer. The Party is without doubt at a crossroads. Hopefully they choose the correct path.