With the recent Republican loss of the election, at a time when our country is becoming even more divided, there are a lot of people interested in what exactly this latest election tells us about the voting American public.
Despite calls from the right that minority voters would betray Barack Obama this time around, even greater numbers of minority and young voters hit the polls to cast their votes.
Even if efforts by various states made it more difficult to register and show ID, these states still showed huge numbers of voters who jumped through every hoop so they could cast their vote.
And what did they say? I think part of the message is that we do not want any more of the old-boys network. Even with the addition of Sarah Palin to the political mix in 2008, the Republican candidates still look more like a stodgy bunch of country club members who convene and discuss important issues over a round of golf than people the majority of the American public can relate to.
Did I say look like? Yes, I did, but I also mean sound like and reflect an aspect of American culture that is no longer the dominant paradigm.
The truth is that women and minorities far out number white men in the U.S. and it should come as no surprise that we also outnumber white men when it comes to voting. Add to that the youth vote, and Republicans are fighting their way upstream.
The problem is that the Republican Party really shows no sign of actually changing. Despite cries from within the party, the Republican committee nominees reflected their clinging to the old-boys club – nominating only elderly white men – of course due to seniority. The NRA stance is also projected from the mouths of entirely men, despite it being an issue that women, on both sides, are very passionate about.
The old-boys network has thrived for so long because they had the power, and everyone else wanted in. But, well, they are losing their grasp of the power, and minorities and women are finding there are other ways to get ahead than kissing the behinds of a few men in powerful positions.
It is a tough position to get used to, losing power you have always taken for granted and worked so hard to get. But by continuing to ignore women and minority issues, and catering to religious extremists, the Republicans are missing a chance to get ahead.
You want to win hearts and minds? Try maybe recognizing that the religion of your boss should have NO standing in deciding your insurance policy, just as it has no standing as to how you spend your salary. I mean, you could work at a Catholic hospital, and donate 50% of your salary to an abortion clinic down the street, but want your insurance to cover your birth control pills?
Choose your issues. If you want small government, talk about small government, not decreasing the amount of regulation against big business while increasing the amount of regulation around my uterus. Consistency is key!
Finally, you need to shake up your image a little, and add a few more women and minorities to your bunch. And I don’t just mean the crazy ones who cannot seem to handle any sort of criticism, and I mean those who have worked hard and accomplished things — like maybe community organizers?
The old-boys club is quickly becoming a club that a lot fewer people want to join. And if Republicans want to gain votes, they are also going to have to distance themselves from these dinosaurs.