No. 118 (essentialsaltes) wrote,
No. 118

My recipe for the Republicans

Everyone else seems to be talking about the future of the Republican party, so I might as well.

Some people on the right have complained that Romney didn't talk about abortion and gay marriage enough... that he wasn't socially conservative enough (or presenting himself that way). That seems like twaddle to me. Just look to the senate races where Republicans lost from self-inflicted wounds by being too strongly antiabortion. Even in a fairly red state like Missouri, where Obama lost by 10%, Todd Akin lost by 15%. And where are you going to make your gains from going more conservative? All those red states in the middle of the country are as red as anyone could hope for; making the biblethumpers there happier doesn't get you any more electoral votes. And if you can't gain anything in Missouri by going more antiabortion, I don't see how it's going to help in the battleground states. Nevada? Don't make me laugh. And I don't think it would have helped turnout, either.

Although there were early signs that the hardcore Christian conservatives wouldn't vote for a Mormon, period, that didn't turn out to be the case. As much as they dislike Mormons, they dislike Antichrists more. And when you get a few high-profile religious leaders to massage their theology to be more politically correct [actual sincere religious people should see this as the abomination it is, but unfortunately most of these people like their government and religion mingled.] many will follow. Evangelicals split 78/21 for Romney. And they didn't stay home, either. White evangelicals increased as a percentage of the electorate from 23% in 2008 to 24% in 2012.

On an important tangent, the 'nones' have increased from 9% of the electorate in 2000 to 12% in 2012. Comparing 2008 to 2012, the nones voting for Obama dropped from 75% to 70%. A pretty steep drop. The only larger drops were among Jews (9% drop), white catholics (-7%) and white evangelicals (-6%). You wonder if more of these people would have defected from Obama if the Republican Party hadn't snuggled up so cozily with the Christian right.

Women went for Obama. Gay people went for Obama. Due in no small part to the fact that people generally don't vote for parties that threaten to beat them with a stick. Maybe the Republican Party should stop doing that.

So yes, I'm calling for the Republicans to start dropping the theological planks out of their political platform. You don't have to disavow or disparage anybody, but hewing to a narrow Christian evangelical vision on abortion, gay marriage, sex education, regular old education, and a host of other issues, is starting to cost you. What's that? You're worried about losing that Christian vote? Wake up. Romney didn't win, but one of the Republican successes of this campaign was that you got millions of evangelical Christians to vote for a fucking heretic. They didn't run away and form their own Christian Party. And you have successfully demonized the Democratic Party as a pack of baby-murdering sodomites selling our posterity into Chinese debt-slavery. If you can get the biblethumpers to vote for a heretic, surely you can get them to vote for a nice clean-cut Presbyterian with no skeletons in her closet. Feel free to make 'character' the codeword for religious, but 'being a dick to people who are different from me' has become a character flaw (on the national stage, at least).

I know there are plenty of Republicans who are not dicks. When Keith Ellison was sworn in on a Koran, there were a couple different Republican responses.

#1 - Virgil Goode (R-VA) - "When I raise my hand to take the oath on Swearing In Day, I will have the Bible in my other hand. I do not subscribe to using the Koran in any way. The Muslim Representative from Minnesota was elected by the voters of that district and if American citizens don’t wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran. ...I fear that in the next century we will have many more Muslims in the United States if we do not adopt the strict immigration policies that I believe are necessary to preserve the values and beliefs traditional to the United States of America and to prevent our resources from being swamped."

#2 - Tom Tancredo (R-CO) - "He wants to take his oath on the Quran, that's fine. I think whatever you believe is necessary for you to uphold your obligations to the Constitution, that is fine with me."

I'm not gonna stick up for everything Tancredo has ever said, but that statement in its casual secularism is pretty ideal, in my extremely biased opinion.

Anyway, now's your chance to direct the future of the Republican Party. When Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) takes her oath on the Bhagavad Gita, you can freak out, or smile and give a big thumbs up.
Tags: blog, math, politics, religion

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