My former pastor and fellow blogger Lindy Scott mentioned in a recent post, a list of upcoming posts that he would be addressing in his blog. One of those was about the future of the Republican Party. This reminded me that there are some specific areas that I would like to see the GOP address going forward now that the transition to a Biden Presidency has begun.
These issues are as follows …
I’ve heard it said that Donald Trump has been the most pro-life president this country has ever had. I am not sure if this statement has any merit, but for my present purpose the veracity of the statement need not come into play.
Abortion, in my mind, is one of the most critical issues of my lifetime. I am against abortion but I must admit that those on the other side of the issue have been very effective labelling it as a reproductive rights issue rather than a pro-choice issue. The bottom line is it is a human rights issue and it should be addressed as one. I would like to see Republicans (and Democrats for that matter) stand up for all life particularly for those like the human fetus who cannot defend themselves.
During the past election season, I viewed commercial after commercial where Republicans (and some Democrats like Illinois Congressman Dan Lipinski) were lambasted for their extreme views on abortion.
Click here to see one such ad against Lipinski.
Their “extreme” views were that abortion should be ended and that our tax dollars shouldn’t fund abortion. These views are not extreme and need to be talked about in the light of day.
I would like to see Republicans not only stand strong against abortion but also lead the discussion on how to solve this problem. Many people align themselves with the Republican party because of this issue. So far, I don’t believe they haven’t gotten very much return on their investment.
It is often said that perception is reality. I think I can argue effectively for or against that statement. That is probably from my debate background. For now, let’s just concede that it’s a true statement. Lets review some perceptions for a moment.
Donald Trump has often been perceived as a racist. The Republican Party, it has been argued, has become the Donald Trump party. So if both those perceptions are in fact, reality does it follow that the Republican Party is racist?
I fervently hope not. But this perception is very real to many and I am certain this perception precluded many people from voting for Republicans in general and Trump in particular when they may have been more inclined to vote for them if these perceptions didn’t exist.
Republicans need to show an immediate conciliatory approach to race relations in this country. Something I learned in my over 20 years in customer service is that its okay for me to apologize for something that isn’t my fault. Slavery wasn’t my fault. But I am sorry about it. It was a horrible practice to strip people from their homes and exploit, humiliate, and subjugate them. It is a shameful part of our history and it’s even more shameful that we are still so divided racially in this country. It is just as shameful that so many people are ignorant of or tone deaf to these inequalities.
Republicans need to be on the leading edge of promoting racial harmony. The first step would be found in embracing the problem, even if the problem is just a perception. Changing the perception of the party to accepting people of all races rather than being perceived as a party of racists would be an important step in the right direction.
President elect Biden credits his victory in some part to making Trump’s handling of Covid a major issue of the election. Republicans need to work with Biden and the Democrats as much as they can in stopping the spread of Covid. There is no logical reason why this should not be a bi-partisan slam dunk of an issue.
I think that Republicans do need to stand up and make sure that aborted fetal tissues are not used in potential co-vid vaccines. They need to be pro-actively seeking out scientific solutions that don’t endanger any vulnerable populations including the unborn.
Distancing from Donald Trump
Speaking of covid, the Republicans need to begin socially and politically distancing themselves from the soon to be erstwhile president. There needs to be an almost Costanzalike mantra in any Republican politician asking what Trump would do, and then doing the opposite.
An example of this would be, if you find yourself speaking at a press conference and you are asked by a reporter what you would tell the millions of Americans who are scared. You probably don’t want to go with “I’d tell them you’re a bad reporter.”
Click here to see the exchange I’m referring to.
Another thing I learned in customer service is that apologizing for someone else is nowhere near as effective as solving the person’s problem. Solving the problem by employing a different approach than the way it was originally mishandled is more effective than just an apology on its own. Republicans going forward by handling issues in a way not reminiscent of Trump will go a long way in making the party a more viable choice for others in the future.
Establish a Platform
The Republicans chose not to have a platfrom at the 2020
Trump infomercial convention. This was a mistake. Their alternative was even worse. In the document the RNC did provide they stated that
RESOLVED, That the Republican Party has and will continue to enthusiastically support the President’s America-first agenda;
RESOLVED, That the 2020 Republican National Convention will adjourn without adopting a new platform until the 2024 Republican National Convention;
Resolution Regarding The Republican Party Platform 2020
Some readers may have bristled when I said a few paragraphs ago that there was a perception that the Republican Party had become the Donald Trump Party. When a document designed to show your party’s guiding principles says your party’s mission is to enthusiastically support your President’s agenda, it’s hard not to get that perception.
Adherence to this document means now that President Trump is on his way out of office, the plan for next 4 years is to enthusiastically support the agenda of a former one term president who lost both the popular and electoral vote? As far as plans go, this is not a great one.
The party needs to redefine itself and represent that redefinition to the public.
Address Gun Violence
One of the hallmarks of a two-party system is that each party addresses issues in their own way. This is good and can be very effective. However, I believe that the gun issue is one that keeps many people from voting Republican or at least from feeling good about it. Guns may not kill people but they are part of the equation. Republicans need to realize that the gun lobby is never going to support Democrats. They can afford to pass laws that protect citizens better without infringing on their 2nd amendment rights. It’s hard to argue that women don’t have rights over their own bodies but everyone has rights to all manners of weapons. It’s easier to argue that both parties should limit their rights that could deny other people life.
The Republicans need to take steps in the next 4 years to widen their base. Again, I think a concilatory approach is what is needed here. I think the Republican party can be a party of inclusion by showing that they can meet the needs of their constituents. I think by making some of the changes I have listed here a priority in the future they can add to their base without losing their historic identity.
Reform Immigration Compassionately
There are few places where walking back Trump rhetoric and actions is more important than immigration. Immigration is an important issue in this country. It is not going to get solved in a tweet or a debate. It is one of those issues that I believe needs to be solved on a bi-partisan basis. The reason why I say this is because otherwise it will just change from election to election depending on which party is in power. If Republicans want to build a multi racial base, they can do so by helping Democrats solve immigration permanently.
Reestablish Sound Foreign Policy
I know very little about foreign policy. What I do know is that Donald Trump’s approach was far different than the historical Republican approach. I believe the foreign policies of Trump should be abandoned and the old approach brought back.
Appeal to Independents.
I don’t think most Americans are 100% red or 100% blue, I think we are red, white and blue. Republicans living in a post Trump society should go forward trying to craft their message in a way that independents and the undecided can relate with. They should listen to their constituencies and meet needs and embrace change.
Now, none of these 10 things talk about free market capitalism or small government or many of the other Republican fundamentals. Other peoples’ lists may look totally different than mine. In fact, some peoples’ items might be opposites of the ones on my list. But that’s okay, I think the most important aspect of this exercise was not the examination of the Republican Party but the examination of my values to see how the political parties line up to them. I also have a list of things I’d like to see the Democrats do in a Biden administration.
At the beginning of this post I mentioned how Lindy Scott ended his most recent post talking about other posts he is working on. I’d like to do the same.
Other subjects I would like to address in the future would be …
Sizing up the 16 other Republican Primary candidates in 2016 for a run in 2024.
Why Bipartisanship is so important in the early days of the Biden Presidency.
Why a Trump 2024 candidacy would be a step in the wrong direction.
Those are just the political ones, I also have several chili recipes I’d like to spill the beans about.