I was amazed at the breadth and depth of the Democratic victory this election cycle.
From the local elections of John Garamendi, Lois Wolk and Jim Frazier, the new Democratic supermajority in the California Assembly and Senate, the gains in the U.S. House and Senate, to of course, the resounding re-election of President Barack Obama, moderate Democrats won big.
The Republicans experienced a similar, happy election in 2010 and used their victories as a mandate to move their party to the extreme right. I hope that the Democrats learned from that Republican mistake and resist the temptation of extremist radicalization of their party. In my opinion, this year most American voters were simply trying to find a sensible, middle ground and the Democratic Party candidates came closer to that point than the Republicans.
Obviously, America’s political sweet spot lies somewhere near the middle, not at the fringe.
As we have seen in a recent Daily Republic articles and editorial cartoons, right-wing pundits like Bill O’Reilly have claimed that the Republicans lost because America, sadly, has gone from a nation of makers to a nation of takers. Thomas Sowell explained that Romney was just “too nice” and couldn’t compete with big, bad, Barrack Obama.
Republican vice presidential nominee, Paul Ryan, blamed his loss on “too many” people voting in urban areas, but Mitt Romney had the most Bubblicious answer of all. Romney told his supporters that he lost because President Obama promised “gifts” to blacks, Hispanics and the young.
Well, I sure hope these gifts arrive by Christmas. Don’t tell my kids, but I plan on saving a pile of dough this year by erasing President Obama’s name from the gift tags and writing-in my own.
Beyond the right-wing politicians and pundits spinning and scrambling to make themselves look less incorrect and hoping to retain a shred of significance, there are some real issues that the Republican Party needs to address if it is to ever return to meaningful political importance, and not simply be relegated to the dustbin of history, forever known as that party that once stopped America from moving forward.
Why do I care about the future of the Republican Party? Because they still have a great deal of influence in what gets done in this country and their core attitudes and beliefs don’t just hurt themselves politically, they can cause real damage to our entire nation. Any improvement in either party’s vision would result in more mainstream cooperation and a better America for all. Republicans simply offer the lowest-hanging fruit.
Foremost, Republicans need to embrace science, rather than politically corrupted, faith-based belief.
I’m not saying to reject God, I’m simply saying that certain biologic principles and physical laws are pretty-well documented and have worked in the real world for the past few hundred years, so why continue to argue with them? It makes Republicans look as relevant and contemporary as Luddites smashing steam engines.
When I was fourth-grader at Fairview Elementary School, I decided that, if there was a God, nature’s laws must be its language. Simple. Obvious. No conflict because science reveals God.
Today, listening to Republicans contort science to mesh with their political or religious beliefs makes me cringe. Republican politicians dismissing evolution and climate change, or discussing how certain “lady parts” are individually manipulated by God’s hand makes normal people think that they are grossly uneducated, and when a particular party backs so many candidates making bizarre, illogical proclamations, the toxic political fallout from these brain bombs contaminates them all.
Next Monday in your Daily Republic, Part 2: The dangers of plutocracy and “Who built what.”
Mike Kirchubel grew up in Fairfield and is the author of “Vile Acts of Evil – Banking in America.” He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.