by Dylan Klein
In just a few days, the home team will lose its third straight contest in a row. Its figurehead, the abrasive pit bull, will end the day with its tail between its legs and hurting from the beating it’s going to take at the hands of the away team’s leader, the cunning and lethal fox. In other words, Donald Trump is going to lose to Hillary Clinton. We may be facing four more years of incompetent leadership and failed government policy. When, you may ask, will Republicans finally get back in control of the presidency and lead America in the right direction? It was thought by some that Donald would be the spark plug that was needed, however the energy and anger of the populists, that propelled him to the republican nominations, has become insufficient to install him as president. Others think this election marks the end of the Republican Party as we know it and will cause a major shift in the American political system. From two (relatively) equally powerful political parties, we may be moving to one dominant party and one scrambling around without an identity. Discouraged by the fact that eleven years of my life have passed during a Democratic presidency, I came up with a game plan to help Republicans win back the White House.
The first and most obvious step to the revival of the party is our choice of leader. A leader represents the values, the beliefs, and the best version of the people he/she leads. He/she is the most visible member of our party, and as such should be someone we can trust, are proud of, and can relate to. In other words, if an average citizen voted for this candidate based on his or her character aside from politics, he/she should be able to sleep at night. Moving forward we must be more careful about who we choose to represent us in front of America and the world.
The second step, on the long and hard road to winning presidential elections, is to adopt a slightly less radical stance on social issues in order to attract the sort of demographics who are offended by hard line Republican positions on abortion, marijuana, immigration, and guns. The focal points of a Republican platform for the presidency should be economic and foreign policy.
The first such demographic that the Republican Party should target is the young voter, between the ages of 18-29. In the 2012 presidential election, that demographic voted for President Obama over Mitt Romney 60 percent to 37 percent. Furthermore, Clinton is beating Trump by 30 percent among voters under the age of 35 in polls right now. Gaining any support among young voters will significantly improve a Republican’s chances of winning an election. One way to attract millennials is to take a softer stance on gun control. 90 percent of young voters between the ages of 18 and 29 support background checks for all types of gun sales. The republican platform should call for background checks on all gun sales. Making sure that the people who are buying guns are sane people without criminal records will improve safety and soften criticism from the other side in the event of a mass or school shooting. Another way to attract the young voters is to legalize marijuana, as 82 percent of 18-29 year olds are in favor of doing so, not to mention that 47 percent of republicans are as well.
The second demographic group that Republicans should target is women. Women voted for President Obama 56 to 43 percent in the 2008 election over McCain and by a similar margin over Romney in the 2012 election. One change that should be made is an end to hard line stances against abortion, specifically those that would prohibit abortion even in the cases of rape and incest. Our goal is to make it so that women who believe in Republican principles for the most part but who are opposed to a complete ban on abortion are not intimidated into voting Democrat.
African Americans and Hispanics make up the third demographic group republicans can win votes from with targeted shifts in policy. President Obama won 71 percent of the Hispanic vote and 95 percent of the black vote in 2012 against Romney. A hot issue in America now is the trouble of systemic racism that is present in our country’s criminal justice system. Blacks are a lot more likely to be arrested for possession of marijuana than whites, despite the fact that they use the drug at about the same amount. Decriminalizing marijuana would hopefully cause the number of arrests of young black males to decrease and would lower the number of black people in jail. This would ideally allow them to be with their families and have jobs. Since decriminalization of marijuana would do some benefit to the black community, it should also get republicans black votes if they adopt such a policy. To attract Hispanics, republicans should tone down the rhetoric about illegal immigration that Donald Trump has espoused, such as forcing Mexico to build a wall and banning all Muslims from entering the country. Immigration policy in the United States is very complicated and at the very least, republicans should appear to not be radical in order to win votes from Hispanics, many of whom have Christian values and believe in the republican ideal of working hard to improve life for one’s family.
The Republican party of today is not winning elections because of its limited appeal to Blacks, Hispanics, Women, and young voters. Shifting our social policies a little bit to the left, while still maintaining our core beliefs, will allow us to be in a position to compete for these voters. Conservative Republicans who take issue with making concessions on policy for political gain should consider the fact that these changes are part of a political maneuver to win votes in presidential elections. Whether or not they are actually implemented once the candidate is elected is immaterial. For example, the Supreme Court deals with issues relating to abortion and it is the legislative branch who writes bills relating to gun control. The proposals and beliefs of justices and congressmen are things that conservative Republicans should be more worried about.
Swanson, Emily. “Poll: 90 percent of young American adults support gun control.” Portland Press Herald. http://www.pressherald.com/2016/08/06/poll-young-adults-strongly-support-gun-control/ Accessed October 17 2016.
Ingraham, Christopher. “Support for marijuana legalization has hit an all time high.” Washington Post. https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/08/ Accessed October 17, 2016.
Menin, Julie. “Women and the 2008 Election: A New Majority.” Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/julie-menin/women-and-the-2008-electi_b_146580.html October 17 2016.
Taylor, Paul and Lopez, Mark Hugo. “Latino Voters in the 2012 Election.” Pew Research Center. http://www.pewhispanic.org/2012/11/07/latino-voters-in-the-2012-election/ October 17 2016.