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Republican Party needs to moderate, reconstruct - The Red and Black : Opinion

Republican Party needs to moderate, reconstruct

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Posted: Sunday, November 18, 2012 7:00 am

After the 2012 round of elections, it is clear the Republican Party is in dire need of reconstruction.

The party has been held captive by its ultra-conservative right wing for too long, and it has cost them. Strong social conservatives must cede ground on their positions if they ever wish to elect another Republican president. 

Staunch pro-lifers on the right must shift their platform to the left, mimicking the “safe, legal and rare” stance he discussed in his 1996 speech to the Democratic National Convention. Without this shift, Republicans will never close the gender gap, and it will most likely continue to grow. They do not have to adopt liberal positions in the Sandra Fluke free birth control sense, but a shift toward the people is required. Women are a majority in this nation and, without them, Republicans will not win.

The GOP must also devise a plan of action to send a meaningful message to Hispanic voters. President Obama carried 70 percent of this rapidly growing demographic in his reelection bid. Hispanics are traditionally Catholic and often have strong stances on social issues; however, it is most important to them that they become citizens of this nation. Republicans need to offer amnesty and a quick route to citizenship illegal immigrants who contribute to our economy and have families here. 

Furthermore, we should recruit top talent from foreign nations to come utilize our great system of higher education (no thanks to our public education system). Make the path to citizenship attainable. Sell this to the political right as a way to broaden the tax base in an effort to keep rates as low as possible. 

The Republican Party has become negatively associated as the party of the ultra-rich, its sole purpose to protect big business and keep taxes low on the dreaded one percent. 

It has become apparent during the most recent election that they need to cede something here. Republicans should work with Democrats across the aisle on a comprehensive tax reform to eliminate frivolous deductions and loopholes. In exchange for their cooperation on tax reform, they may receive welfare reform from the left. This would be a tremendous showing of bipartisanship in a political environment that has become hyper-polarized. Closing loopholes would effectively increase revenue without increasing marginal tax rates. The capital gains tax could remain the same, all while reducing spending with welfare reform. Forget parties — that is a win for America. 

Foreign policy is an issue the GOP may not need to move on. The idea of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East should scare any American. If the major oil producers in this world were to enter nuclear war, the economic fallout would be disastrous for the global economy and make the current situations in Greece, Spain, France and here look pleasant. We have an obligation to support the interests of Israel as they represent the only true democracy in the Middle East. 

The GOP is not an extinct political party because of its most recent lost. President Barack Obama had on his side the power of incumbency, which carries serious weight in any reelection effort. However, I do argue the party should look to its right and tell the Tea Partiers it will no longer be held captive by their social interests. Republicans must reach out to women and Hispanics in addition to traditional independents. 

The opportunity exists for the GOP to become a party that unites the country and eases partisan tensions if only it will take it. And that would do wonders for the Grand Old Party.

— Ryan Brown is a junior from Winston majoring in political science

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  • tro11 posted at 6:14 pm on Mon, Nov 19, 2012.

    tro11 Posts: 2

    "We have an obligation to support the interests of Israel as they represent the only true democracy in the Middle East"

    Israel can claim to be a democracy only in the sense that apartheid South Africa could also claim to be so. Do some research into Israel's human rights record.

    I would argue that Turkey is also a "true democracy," and that's before the Arab Spring!

    Blindly supporting Israel should NOT be part of the Republican Party's agenda.

  • Bleed Red and Black posted at 6:13 pm on Mon, Nov 19, 2012.

    Bleed Red and Black Posts: 92

    Chill out. The epitaphs were written for democrats during republican "revolutions" in the 80's and mid 90's.
    It's mostly cyclical with generations. The dems didn't change for the times back then. They now are probably the most left as a collective than they've ever been in history.
    This generation just seems to buy their garbage just enough to get elected.
    There was no mandate in the popular vote. The country is about 50/50 at the moment.
    When the next generation gets sick of these failed policies, the tables will turn again. It happens to both parties. One might have majority a little longer at times. But it will always change at some point.
    The message just needs to be clearer next time around. And voters that buy into all the lies and labels need to grow up and become more informed. Honestly, do you believe there was a "war on women", repubs wanted to take away everyones social security and medicaid (dems have said that lie for at least the past 40 years in every election and it's still with us, although it will bankrupt itself soon enough), repubs don't like clean water, or there would be no access to contraception, etc, etc.???
    Smarten up. This countries debt and dwindling econonomy is out of control. And going from $3 trillion deficit to $16 trillion and growing under Obama is NOT the right direction.
    Have fun getting a job when you graduate and keep living in lala land just being concerned in life about getting the new I-Pad or video game. That stupidity is sinking this country.

  • Jean posted at 8:02 pm on Sun, Nov 18, 2012.

    Jean Posts: 18

    Solid article. The GOP primaries are such that no Republican with any glimmer of progressive views (one who believes in science, or sensible gun control, or doesn't pander to birthers) gets destroyed, as does any libertarian like Ron Paul since they don't say the right things about the military, drug war, or religion in government.

    Whatever right-winger makes it to the general election gets buried under whatever they had to say appease the far right.

    The only leverage the GOP really has right now is that thanks to gerrymandering at the state level, it controls the house despite not winning a majority of votes in house races. It also has the abuse of the filibuster to lean on, but hopefully the Democrats will finally take that away.

  • c4lcncpls posted at 9:03 am on Sun, Nov 18, 2012.

    c4lcncpls Posts: 1

    The GOP keeps losing because they put up candidates that are too much like the democrats contender. There was so little difference between Romney and Obama people decided to stay home. Another status quo election no matter who was elected.

    It was shown early on in the polls that only Ron Paul could beat Obama. But, as usual, the GOP elite chose a loser as usual.

    But, one has to understand that both Repubs and Dems feared a Ron Paul presidency for the same reasons. They knew he would put a stop to the corruption in Washington and shut down their cash cows for good. He would shut down K Street and give the country back to the people.

    If, the Republicans stand on smaller government, lower taxes and a non-interventionist foreign policy and stop trying to legislate morality, then they will win the White House once again.

    It won't happen though. They are all (Repubs and Dems) owned by the banksters and the military industrial complex. Until that changes, this nation will continue to decline.

  • julss1 posted at 8:54 am on Sun, Nov 18, 2012.

    julss1 Posts: 2

    Youblinked: your reply makes no sense. Are you saying this didnt happen? Many of your own liberal representatives have said just this. Look no further than conservative Colin Powell. He has been as far right as they come, yet he is swayed by race. Regardless of whether you agree with me or not, the country is significantly divided. Obama did not win by a large portion... And this article is written as though the liberals dessimated the conservatives. If that had happened I may agree republicans should restructure, but this election proved that there are fewer liberals out there than one may think. I do not believe that becoming more moderate is called for.

  • alexVanAcker posted at 8:40 am on Sun, Nov 18, 2012.

    alexVanAcker Posts: 1

    Until you admit to the reality of global warming and vow to take a stand against big oil, I'll never vote republican. You might consider adding that to your strategy too.

  • Youblinked posted at 8:36 am on Sun, Nov 18, 2012.

    Youblinked Posts: 1

    Julss1: I hope the rest of your party keeps on thinking just like you....that will insure that we will never have to worry about a republican president again and that the slight majority you have in the House will soon be gone. If you dinosaurs are too stubborn to learn from your mistakes....then you don't need to be in any positions of power in this country...see you in a museum sometime!!!

  • luckykev posted at 8:22 am on Sun, Nov 18, 2012.

    luckykev Posts: 1

    Finally someone gets that doubling down on what is not working is not an effect strategy to win the White House. The GOP has marinated so much in Fox and other hate media that they’ve lost touch with America. Essentially, they believe their own spin even after the roof has fallen in.

  • True_Independent posted at 8:21 am on Sun, Nov 18, 2012.

    True_Independent Posts: 1

    If the Republican Party shifts to the left they are sure to lose elections for the presidency. Their base will bolt and probably start another party. One thing that is not mentioned in all this analysis of the election is all the people who stayed home. If Romney got all the votes that McCain received in 2008, he would have won the popular vote in 2012. Millions of people did not vote, including many rank and file Republicans. This is because the candidate was seen as a closet liberal and also his Mormon faith was a detractor to many of the religious right. Of course more can be done to attract Hispanics to the Republican Party but at the end of the day it was only like 15% of the total vote. Obama also received much fewer total votes this year than in 2008. Many people sat out the election due to lack of a good choice. However, mark my words, if the Republican Party went pro-choice lite they would commit electoral suicide.

  • Richard Sloat posted at 8:15 am on Sun, Nov 18, 2012.

    Richard Sloat Posts: 2

    The Republican party needs to do more than moderate, they need to compromise with the Democrats to make thoughtful legislation. So many are pledge to Norquist "Taxpayers Protection Pledge" which kills compromise with its one size fits all rigidity, our do nothing Congress. Like it or not compromise is how a democracy is maturely governed. To win the people Republicans, have to learn how to become statesmen and women again, and negotiated legislation that is good for our Great Nation. My "Taking the Tea Party Republican Tax Pledge" is on YouTube link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rfk6eVoUGPM

  • julss1 posted at 8:10 am on Sun, Nov 18, 2012.

    julss1 Posts: 2

    I disagree... After everything that's happened how can you even write this and believe it? First, Obama did not win by some landslide. He won by a very small margin, so its not as though the vast majority of the population are liberals. Second, lets accurately call out why Obama won to begin with. Unfortunately, the liberals have made this about race since day 1. Why else do you think they chose him? I have had very good friends admit to me that they voted for him for reasons as stupid as "well I wanted to tell my grandkids I voted for the first black president". Could it be that this is whar gave him enough to win.... People who voted for nonpolitical reasons? Its as bad as those who say the voted simply because they didnt want a black president. Its ridiculous. Vote for the person that best serves you or the country. Race or sex should be inconsequential.

  • hendrix2935 posted at 8:03 am on Sun, Nov 18, 2012.

    hendrix2935 Posts: 2

    Your party is going the way of the dodo.Good riddance.

  • DeniseD posted at 8:02 am on Sun, Nov 18, 2012.

    DeniseD Posts: 2

    That's right, just keep it up with the same old tired "I'm right" rhetoric and the GOP will simply disappear into the sunset. Wake up and read the news. Read what REPUBLICAN leaders are saying. Our country is changing, and either change with it or get left in the dust. It's happening, like it or not.

  • MrZipp posted at 8:00 am on Sun, Nov 18, 2012.

    MrZipp Posts: 1

    I thought this had great insight. As an independent leaning toward moderation, I am amused by the right side of the Republican Party that just doesn't yet understand the gravity of the demographic shift.

    The writer accurately portrays the image of the party, and some possibilities for change. The extreme conservatives are going to bring the party to an end, left unchanged. While it will survive as a party, due to the vast money and religious support, the idea of growth seems difficult.

    If the Republican Party was listed on the NYSE, I'd sell for now.

  • X1234 posted at 7:58 am on Sun, Nov 18, 2012.

    X1234 Posts: 1

    This article is a joke, what a Liberal hack. The Democrats were butchered in the 2010 midterms, apparently were sticking to our short term memory. "The opportunity exists for the GOP to become a party that unites the country and eases partisan tensions if only it will take it." So they need to unite the country? Is that like spewing class warfare in every sentence? That's all the Democrats do is divide by race/income/gender/etc.

  • hendrix2935 posted at 7:55 am on Sun, Nov 18, 2012.

    hendrix2935 Posts: 2

    Let me guess.....angry white guy?

  • pearlygates50 posted at 7:53 am on Sun, Nov 18, 2012.

    pearlygates50 Posts: 1

    Agree, Republicans need better PR about what conservatism is...perhaps being broke, losing 700,000 new jobs and then adding the single largest government program on an already breaking system, will do exactly that with out conservatives haveing to say a word. Good luck finding a job! The numbers are worse today than they were on election day......

  • Lanche posted at 7:47 am on Sun, Nov 18, 2012.

    Lanche Posts: 1

    Nope right now the Republicans party needs to do nothing but sit back and watch the destruction. A Socialist agenda has never in the history of this world brought sustaining, longevity to a Country. Unless you want to look at the model of China where workers get paid 422 dollars per month and 27 cents per hour. It gives no incentives for the People to excel in life and enjoy their God given Freedoms. Until America realizes that Barackoclaus is not the answer. They are headed down a road of mis-guided failure. Our Country was based on hard work, out of the box thinking and integrity. Now we have entitlements, steal from the Rich and give to the poor attitudes while in the mean time, the government is spending 365 billion dollars per month and deflecting all criticism.

  • Bobster posted at 7:39 am on Sun, Nov 18, 2012.

    Bobster Posts: 1

    The writer is obviously liberal. The GOP does NOT need to "moderate" and become DNC-light. It needs to become devoutly and proudly CONSERVATIVE and offer an alternative. It needs to offer less lame candidates for president