…And I believe I can be that person. Here are the adjustments I think the GOP needs to make:
1.) Drop gay marriage as an issue. Doesn’t mean you have to approve of it, just say you think it should be decided at the state level – which is what is going to happen anyway. At this point, making it an issue is just antagonizing people. So just say, “It’s a state-level issue” and move on to the next topic. Hell, married people vote Republican by a huge margin – maybe married gays will become more conservative, too. It’s true that socially conservative policies are also great economic policies. The poverty rate among married couples is very small. So if gay people are going to be gay anyway, isn’t it better if they’re in a committed relationship?
2.) Something needs to give on immigration. I’m not saying this because I think we should pander to hispanics, but the current stance of the GOP is just not realistic. The 12 million illegals are here to stay. We need to work out some kind of compromise to give them a path to legal status. Not citizenship, necessarily, but legal status. Here’s a compromise I could live with: Give current illegals a certain amount of time to register with the immigration office. And it doesn’t have to be amnesty – not every violation of the law results in jail time or deportation. Have them pay a fine like you would with a traffic violation or something. Then set up some parameters that give them a pathway to legal status – this can include paying some back taxes. After that, you set up strict e-verify laws and things like that to make it very difficult on those who refuse to register.
Then the most important step is to completely overhaul the legal immigration process. We have to make it easier to come here legally than to come here illegally. I believe a stance similar to this makes more practical, economic and political sense than the current GOP position.
3.) STOP GETTING BOXED IN ON THE RAPE ISSUE! Being pro-life is a majority stance, yet too many people insist on letting it be defined by the rape issue. If we fight on the late-term abortion and abortion-on-demand grounds, we win. It is science that is pushing people towards being pro-life. Technology now allows us to see very clearly just how fully human these unborn babies are. If we win that fight, surely we can come to some sort of compromise on the rape issue.
4.) Paul Ryan started to do this somewhat towards the end of the campaign, but we really need to show how much “compassionate” welfare policies actually hurt the poor. The stats are solidly on our side. GOP leaders need to really push these facts. Our messaging on this has been terrible. Conservatives like to talk about how half the country doesn’t pay income tax. This is true, but people that don’t pay income tax still see a huge chunk come out of their paycheck and they don’t see a difference. This just seems antagonistic towards lower-income people. Conservative economic polices are the best bet for the poor – stop talking about free-loaders and start explaining how it is that you’re going to help them.
That is all.