Will ponders the election’s meaning for the GOP’s future

George Will suggests in his latest column that Tuesday’s election result ought to prompt some major changes in the way Republicans approach future elections.

[N]ow the Republican Party, like today’s transfer-payment state, is endangered by tardiness in recognizing that demography is destiny.

Perhaps Mitt Romney lost the 2012 election on Sept. 22, 2011, when, alarmed by Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s entry into the Republican nomination race, he rushed to Perry’s right regarding immigration, attacking the DREAM Act. He would go on to talk about forcing illegal immigrants into “self-deportation.” It is surprising that only about 70 percent of Hispanics opposed Romney.

As it has every four years since 1992, the white portion of the turnout declined in 2012. In 2008, Barack Obama became the first person elected president while losing the white vote by double digits. In 2012 — the year after the first year in which a majority of babies born in America were minorities — Hispanics were for the first time a double-digit (10 percent) portion of the turnout. Republicans have four years to figure out how to leaven their contracting base with millions more members of America’s largest and fastest-growing minority.

Romney’s melancholy but useful role has been to refute those determinists who insist that economic conditions are almost always decisive. Americans are earning less and worth less than they were four years ago; average household income is down $3,800; under the 11 presidents from Harry Truman through George W. Bush, unemployment was 8 percent or more for a total of 39 months but was over that for 43 Obama months. Yet voters preferred the president who presided over this to a Republican who, more than any candidate since the Great Depression, made his economic expertise his presidential credential.

One comment

  1. The Simpson-Mazzoli Act in 1986 granted amnesty to roughly 3 million illegal immigrants. The “Simpson” was former Wyoming Senator Alan K. Simpson(R). This bill was signed into law by former President Reagan(R). Two years later Reagan’s VP George H W Bush(R) runs for president and receives 30% of the Hispanic vote (http://www.ropercenter.uconn.edu/elections/how_groups_voted/voted_88.html#.UJ1w8IZuLYU). We have already tried the “comprehensive immigration legislation” approach, and it changed nothing. The ONLY way for Republicans to earn a person’s vote, regardless race/gender/ethnicity/social status, is to educate the uninformed of the inverse correlation between federal government and individual prosperity. Republican’s will NEVER pass enough “bipartisan” legislation to earn the vote of anyone who does not understand that fact.

    Comment by oface on November 9, 2012 at 4:23 pm

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