The Grand Ol' Party: Less Grand and More Old

By Kersten Jaeger on December 11, 2012

The majority of Americans have been found by political polls to be moderate to conservative. So why isn’t the Republican party winning?

Photo from by Austen Hufford

The Grand Ol’ Party is hurting themselves by being hung up on their grand ol’ values. They’ve stopped adapting to the changing political climate in fear of being unfaithful to their beliefs. Unfortunately, the number of citizens with those beliefs is decreasing rapidly.

The Republican party’s platform is not only holding on to principles it upheld thirty years ago, when the country was mostly white, the gap between the rich and poor was just starting to grow, and the economy was progressing, but it is also pandering to a radical movement of über-conservatives,commonly known as the Tea Party. Though the Tea Party won multiple seats in the House of Representatives in 2010, contributing to the Republican’s majority, they have failed to repeat that in the 2012 election. Multiple Tea Party congressmen have lost their seats including Richard Mourdock and Todd Akin, while Michelle Bachmann is barely holding onto hers, having won by only 3,000 votes. None of the Tea Party candidates were able to last in the Republican primaries for President, and senator Jim DeMint – one of the people who helped get the movement going – has resigned. They are only winning in local elections with small groups of like-minded people; they can’t gain popularity on a national, or even statewide scale, and yet the Republican presidential candidate was pandering to their opinions.

Throughout the election, governor Romney was strongly supporting many Tea Party beliefs, trying to gain their votes while he was

Photo from by markn3tel

losing so many others throughout the country. The people of this country are not as radical as this very loud minority, and the Republicans need to recognize who their constituents actually are. They have been criticized for being the white people’s party and the old people’s party. Whether this was intentional or not, it means they aren’t adapting.

Their social stances are angering young, college-aged voters. Their immigration policy is angering the hispanic population which is growing to nearly 20%. Its taxation policies are angering the middle class and the poor – and republicans are still surprised when the people choose the policy that taxes the richest 1% versus the 47%. Women are outnumbering men in the workplace, and the majority of American women are unmarried which leads to their being upset over outdated abortion policies.

The Republican Party needs to keep up with the times. This doesn’t necessarily mean giving up all of their ideals, but the political leaders of the party do need to discuss how to adapt. In the past, the Republican party has historically split into factions and the unpopular, outdated, or most unwilling to change wouldn’t survive. The party needs to address the issues today that are not just going to disappear if the Republicans hold out long enough. They need to be culturally relevant and politically progressive if they want to start winning representation and implementing their ideas.

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