Memo to the Republicans: In the dawn of what I imagine is your bitter defeat, allow me to offer some advice:
It’s not the end of the world; it just seems that way because you ran so far off the road to the right that you are looking over the edge toward oblivian. Turn yourself around and join the rest of us on the pavement and you’ll be great.
You haven’t lost a thing. It’s not like Mitt Romeny was going to save you – the only thing you could count on was that Mitt Romney would work like the dickens to lower taxes for himself and his old, white ultra-rich owners. And if you’re reading this column, chances are very good that you aren’t ultra-rich, you’re middle class. Why should you object if the ultra-rich eventually have to start paying taxes at the same rate they did in the ’90s when the U.S. was at peace and running a surplus? Really, think about it.
Meanwhile, if you ever expect to win a presidential election again, you’re going to have to get a grasp on reality, as Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly very nearly did last night. “The white establishment is now the minority,” O’Reilly said, as if making the discovery while he spoke. “And the voters, many of them, feel that the economic system is stacked against them,” he added, “and they want stuff.” It was O’Reilly’s last four words that betrayed him. Yeah, many poor and middle-class voters feel the economic system is stacked against them, because they’ve seen it first hand over the past four or five years. And yeah, they “want stuff.” Stuff like a level playing field and equal treatment under the law. Keep in mind that men such as O’Reilly want stuff, too. Favorable tax codes that benefit millionaires definitely constitute “stuff,” for instance.
But O’Reilly did hit on the truth: The old, white men who run the GOP from the back rooms are clearly in the minority in America. Take it from me, an old, white man who is also a student of demographics.
So if you ever hope to win a presidential election again, you’re going to have to learn to share and stop trying to dictate how everyone else should behave. That means you don’t work to enact state laws that are so hateful and discriminatory to Latinos that they might consider self-deportation, for instance. Remember, unless you’re Native, your family were immigrants once, too.
That also means, if you ever hope to win a presidential election again, you need to convince yourself that a woman’s reproductive health issues are between her and her doctor, but are not the business of unrelated old, white men, regardless of whether they’ve been elected to a state legislature, serve in Congress or live in the Vatican.
Finally, if you ever hope to win a presidential election again, you need to realize that corporations are not people, my friend, but women and African Americans and Latinos and gays are people. Americans are people, my friend, and corporations are not. And in order to become a viable political party again, the Republican Party needs to find a way to represent American people, not just the ultra-rich and the business entities that they control.
I don’t know if that’s possible, considering how much the old, white guys who run the GOP (and most of the Supreme Court) love their money and power. But if not, all it means is another political carcass on the scrapheap of History. The rest of you will be fine. You can join the Democrats or the Libertarians or even the Greens, or call yourself an independent like me.
Everything will be OK. Just treat people nice and they’ll be nice back, you’ll see.