Tuesday, June 04, 2013

A New Hope

There’s a really interesting study that’s been released by the College Republican (Inc.) National Committee that bears a little discussion:

The College Republican National Committee released a report on Monday outlining the major challenges facing the GOP as it seeks to rebrand and redefine itself in the aftermath of the 2012 election. The survey criticizes the party’s singular focus on “big government” and “tax cuts” and calls on Republicans to become more tolerant and open on issues like same-sex marriage and women’s reproductive health.

Keep in mind, this report was released as a memo to the Republican, Inc. partyleadership to outline recommendations as to how the GOP, Corp. can fix not only its image but its ideology.

You can view the full report here (pdf). Skip ahead to page 84 and beyond for some eye-popping stuff. Let me highlight a few of the bulletpoints for you:

1) Focus on the economic issues that affect young people today: education, the cost of health care, unemployment.

3) Don’t concede “caring” and “open-minded” to the left.

4) Fix the debt and cut spending, but recognize that messages about “big government” are the least effective way to win this battle of ideas with young voters.

Those are practically progressive ideas. Those are warning shots to the future. But there’s more: young Republicans want the party to stop concerning itself with the issues of the far right religious right, particularly on unwinnable issues like marriage equality and the nuts (literally) and bolts of the anti-abortion crusaders. These issues, the College Republicans feel, are nearly irrelevant and only serve to reinforce the existing image of the party as scary and terrorizing. Likewise, the party positions on Latino voters and on rape and other women’s issues is driving people into the arms of the Democrats.

Which, as a lifelong Democrat, should make me feel good, but it really doesn’t. Let me explain why.

Should the Republican, Inc. party die, and it will, at this rate, voters will be left with two choices: Democrats and Teabaggers.

The dynamic that arises at that point is pretty ugly: the nation as a whole will be dragged rightward, as the Democrats no longer even have to give a passing thought to the progressive flank, while the Teabaggers engage in their own brand of terrorism and stultification of the national dialogue. Even if progressives could somehow grasp the Democratic leadership, we’d never be able to drive a progressive agenda, even with the surge in membership of frustrated and scared Republicans who seek refuge in our party from the putsch.

We need to work now to find a path to liberal enlightenment that will move the country leftward and more in line with the rest of the civilized world, and not be some weird hybrid mutation of Third World democracy and First World aristocracy.