New Concerns for GOP

Coming off a strong democratic showing this year, I expected the GOP commentators to start pinning blame for their losses on anything possible. Some of the opinions have been accurate; a group of young Republicans is emphasizing the need for utilizing the internet, modeled off the work of the Obama campaign. In other instances, the GOP pundits could not be further from the truth, such as blaming the loss entirely on George W. Bush. In writing this article I hope to lay out a plan for the GOP so that the United States government does not devolve into a one party system.

The most important thing the GOP can do is to end the incessant attacks on their opponents. For the most part, the rancor slime is petty. Barack Obama was mocked for being a community organizer; I suppose maintaining strong ties between people and reducing drug addiction is ludicrous. Then the Republicans started talking about “real America,” and lost votes because of it. When those in Washington D.C. spilled into northern Virginia, that part of the state was labeled “communist country.” “Real America,” it seems, is the places that have been traditionally red, places that are characterized by small towns.

Articles in The Maroon-News have also provided irrelevant or fallacious arguments. One author commented that the Democrats will fail to stabilize the economy and fail to win the war. How such prescient knowledge is acquired is largely inexplicable but the point is fundamentally flawed. The Democrats in Washington now have to try to fix problems caused and exacerbated by a previous authority; if they can’t fix the problems it would be analogous to blaming firefighters for not being able to douse a flame that an arsonist has set.

Along the same lines, the GOP politicians must do everything they can to avoid hypocrisy. Sarah Palin cannot seriously condemn earmark spending when her state’s citizens receive more money per capita than the residents of any other state. Furthermore, Palin spoke derisively of “spreading the wealth around” when her own state spreads the wealth that it has received from oil revenues. One cannot sincerely laud voters in this country for defeating Al Franken while at the same time Ted Stevens, a convicted felon, is voted in.

The Republican Party also needs to re-establish its image and values. President Bush has been justly criticized, being ranked the second worst president of all time by a survey of historians, but not all the fault is his. For six years, a Republican Washington increased government control, reduced checks and balances and let spending get out of control. The party of small government and fiscal responsibility lost its way sometime in the last decade and needs to re-gain those principles. John McCain had a chance to do this, but instead he proposed largely irrelevant and useless measures like a spending freeze and elimination of pork spending. A spending freeze would hurt an already ailing economy and while pork spending is certainly contemptible, it is a drop in the bucket of Washington finance.

The GOP must also begin to analyze the country’s political compass. I have heard repeatedly, especially from those that seem most entrenched, that the country is still largely center-right. That is certainly possible, but also very short-sighted, and this sentiment could be catastrophic for the party. The youth of the country, the ones that are gaining eligibility to vote each year, lean more towards liberal philosophy than conservative philosophy. As time goes on the Republican Party will begin to see a net loss of votes.

Additionally, the party must contemplate the country’s place on the world scene. The days of American hegemony are over, globalization is evening playing fields and our industry, research and technology are lagging. Spheres of power in Europe and China are emerging and are not slowing down because of our ineptitude. Solutions to problems can no longer include using unilateral military force to get what we want; the solution must be to rely on diplomacy and education to maintain our waning advantage. The shifts in attitude imply that conservative philosophy needs to be re-evaluated because as one Kenyan mentioned, “The election has done more to promote democracy in the world than anything the United States has done in the last decade.”