When a simple lack of respect can be fatal to a party of millions

It’s absolutely true that the Republican Party is in serious trouble, demographically speaking. The booming Hispanic population will see Texas and Arizona look more like Florida by 2016, and with the occasional poor candidate or fatal campaign gaffe granted, may result in a near permanent Democratic White House.

That would go a long way towards explaining the really brazen election rigging going on in Virginia right now, where the state GOP has engaged in the most naked gerrymandering possibly in American history, so indefensible that even the state’s Republican Governor and Lt. Governor have expressed shock at what happened. Under the proposed changes to Virginia’s electoral vote allotment, Mitt Romney would have won more electoral votes from the state in 2012 despite Barack Obama having more votes from actual people.

But even if the GOP could flip the switch with minorities, it still has other persistent problems, especially with women. Barack Obama won them by ten points in 2012, and things like this aren’t helping:

He repeatedly asked her why she didn’t pick up the phone that day and find out the facts, to which Clinton eventually responded sharply, “With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. What difference, at this point, does it make?”

“I’m not sure she had rehearsed for that type of question,” Johnson told BuzzFeed Wednesday afternoon, after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing. “I think she just decided before she was going to describe emotionally the four dead Americans, the heroes, and use that as her trump card to get out of the questions. It was a good way of getting out of really having to respond to me.”

Many of the GOP’s problems boil down to a fundamental lack of respect for anyone other club members, whether it be a woman’s inability to keep her wild emotions in check, or some other line of crap about minorities that just want free stuff.

Be it racist, sexist, or something else, it’s this stupefying narcissism and hubris that has come to define the professional Republican Party (not necessarily the GOP base) in the past decade, not its supposed dedication to fiscal responsibility (look at deficits during the all-GOP government years of the Bush administration) or small government — not while wanting to increase defense spending above the $700 billion per year we already spend, and wanting the government to regulate who can marry who or what medical procedures you can have without the blessing of Washington D.C. bureaucrats.

It’s not that the GOP has to change what it believes politically, because the small government routine played very well in the 1990s and momentarily played well in 2010. There’s still a hunger out there for conservative ideas. What the GOP has to do is stop loving itself so much and hating everyone else. It has to admit — and come to this conclusion on its own for it to be worth anything — that other people’s ideas and beliefs are just as legitimate as their own. It can oppose same-sex civil rights, and pay the price for that as the public aggressively embraces equality, but it can’t strut around, chin held high, treating the nation and their political opponents like a bunch of children.

And it has to figure that out sooner rather than later. If Texas looks like Florida by 2016, that’s it. Game over. Democrats already have 237 electoral votes in their safe states to the GOPs 206. We saw what happens when they get a big leaner like Florida in their column — 336 electoral votes for Obama in 2012. If Texas moves from safe GOP to tossup, the starting point goes from 237-206 to 237-168. Democrats would need 38 more to win (exactly the number of votes that Texas has) while the GOP would need 107. If Texas eventually goes blue, then it really is all over.

If you think that’s unlikely, remember that Nevada used to look a lot like Arizona until the Hispanic population grew and then organized. Now it’s not even really a battleground state. Hispanics make up 38% of the population in Texas and their birth rate puts them on a trajectory to become the majority ethnicity within ten years. Unless that changes, it’s only a matter of time before the state GOP loses its stranglehold on the state government, and not long after will come the national changes.

Paul Tenny

Paul Tenny

I'm not a journalist but I do it anyway. I cover elections and have interviewed television writers and producers.
Paul Tenny

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