Numerous saner elements of the Republican Party--such as Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida--are offering what I believe to be sound advice for the Republican Party in order to get back in the running. They have hit on some of the things which influenced the results of the election. However, fortunately for Democrats, I believe the far right lunatic fringe of the Republican Party will never let the GOP get back on track concerning the items mentioned by rational Republicans. The far right fanatics will continue to deny science, abhor gays, have no respect for women and continue their fear-mongering about a hoard of illegal immigrants who will take over the United States. I believe some of their questionable concerns and ideas became legitimate reasons the people of America chose to re-elect President Obama. There are also other reasons, however, that I believe factored into the swing to Obama.
Like “know nothings” of ancient times who believed the sun revolved around the earth and that the earth was flat, too many in the Republican Party insist global warming is simply a myth propagated by the left-wing liberals of our time. It is my belief the real reason Republicans refuse to acknowledge global warming is that to do so would require action to retard massive amounts of pollutants being pumped into the air to make many industrial complexes profitable. Too many conservatives equate rational regulation of industry with denial of freedoms by the government akin to the regressive tax measures imposed by King George on tea.
Another thing I believe contributed to the Republican defeat was the type of opinion expressed by Romney in the privacy of a meeting with $50,000 donors when he was most likely to be more unguarded and truthful of his core beliefs. The “47%” comment reflected a lack of concern and compassion for fellow citizens who suffer in poverty and without health care or hope. It is clear many Republicans or conservatives ignore the mandate of our constitution wherein we are to provide, through our government, for the common good. Startling evidence of this occurred during the presidential debate of the Republican Primary where it was implied that those without money or health insurance should simply die rather than become a burden on the taxpayers of the U.S.A.
A third reason, which I believe turned the average-thinking citizen off, was what I consider an improper use of religion. Religion has been used for century after century to induce common folk to act against their own interests–from the time when citizens were persuaded that kings were selected by God to rule to modern times when pundits, such as Pat Robertson, spread the gospel that hurricanes and other disasters are brought on by the sinful ways of certain states. Like many countries of the world ruled by religious theology, some so-called evangelicals in this country would make our government the same way, punishing people for straying from what they believe are biblical mandates. Ignoring the Constitution drafters’ provision warning against melding church and state, they insist upon inserting religion into government at every opportunity. This activity ranges from encouraging prayer in schools and other places and to include creationism–which is a matter of personal religious faith and belief–in textbooks as a scientific reality. Many of these folks have probably never read a detailed account of Darwin’s theory and regard evolution as an instrument of the Devil and a rallying point for unbelievers.
Finally, a big reason for Obama’s margin of victory arose from Republican conservative attitudes towards folks other than affluent Whites. Numerous statements have insinuated that people of color desire nothing better than to be poor and live on the government dole, or that voter fraud was born of minority efforts to participate in the elective process, or that children of immigrants should be punished for having been brought to the United States. One should recall Romney’s response to Governor Perry’s rare show of concern for Hispanics in advocating the Dream Act, which would allow immigrants who had attended educational institutions in the U.S. to remain. Romney maintained he would veto such legislation and that such children should self-deport or be deported. Republicans in several state legislatures have continued to introduce bills which are insulting to people of color or those with Hispanic surnames. These efforts range from the Arizona legislation–which would allow baseless arrests to inquire as to one’s nation of origin–to bills introduced in the Texas Legislature which would create stiff penalties on illegal aliens, except for those brought here to serve as yard men or maids.
Republicans should hark back to the advice of the cartoon strip character Pogo, whose famously said “We have met the enemy and the enemy is us.”