Health Matters by Dr Charles Fiscella
Overwhelming Republican losses in Barack Obama's win - where did it all go wrong for the GOP
Posted on Friday, November 09, 2012 at 10:52 PM
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In total, the Republicans losses were overwhelming and devastating.
The US needs to maintain a robust multi party system. Competitive politics is essential to a healthy democracy. However, the once great Republican Party seems destined to self-destruction in the absence of fundamental change within.
Given the state of the economy and the lack of optimism for the future, this election should have easily been won by a conservative leaning party. Conservative Republicans are generally good at sorting out disheveled government spending. Yet the Republicans blew this election big time.
The Republican Party of today is not the party of Abraham Lincoln, Berry Goldwater, or Ronald Reagan, their three most revered icons.
Today, the Republican Party wears the mask of social extremism within the context of contemporary society. Their claims involving individual liberty seem to be limited to issues of tax and property rights alone, while at the same time undermining fundamental privacy rights.
While most rank and file Republicans are center right and remarkably non-extreme - those out front, holding the flag and leading the parade undoubtedly are. Some prominent Republicans are still talking about overturning the Griswold v. Connecticut, a Supreme Court Decision of 1965 which ruled that the Constitution protected a marital right to privacy, permitting women in Connecticut to use contraceptives. Of course, Republican leaders continue their fight against Roe v. Wade, the decision in which the Supreme Court ruled that a right to privacy extended to a woman's decision to have an abortion, allowing that right to be balanced against the state's interests in regulating abortions.
It’s been nearly 50 years since the Griswold Decision, and 40 years since Roe. The majority of people favor these rights. It’s time to move on. If the Party wants to issue a moral statement about these issues, fine; but any position which seeks to actively reverse them is a loser, especially with women. Women are an ever rising part of the electorate. They simply do not want to be told what to do with their bodies and they feel pregnancy decisions are ultimately theirs alone. There are effective ways to reduce abortions without involving the government.
Secondly, the Republicans must begin to distance themselves from lunatic talk radio and some Fox News Commentators. Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and the entire crowd of self-proclaimed conservative noisemakers represent only a small percentage of voters, mostly aging white men; an ever shrinking part of the electorate . These often moronic talkers make a ton of money being outrageous and extreme in the never ending quest for ratings. Their primary concern is their own lavish incomes, not the public good. They end up costing Republicans far more votes than they could ever deliver.
It would be wise for Republicans to accept well-established science and avoid denying issues of evolution and known human biology.
The Republicans also need to revisit their positions on foreign interventions, defense spending, immigration, health care, prison sentencing, the drug war, gay rights and climate change.
Many great conservative thinkers, past and present, have espoused conservative ideals which embrace social libertarianism. Separating the preacher’s pulpit from the president’s bully pulpit does not abandon conservative ideals; but rather enhances them.