Thursday, April 19, 2012

Will a needed change in the GOP electorate alleviate gridlock?

Charles Lane recently wrote an editorial in the Washington Post labeled “Return of the ‘white man’s party’?”  In it he touches upon how the past few decades demonstrate the changing makeup of the top two parties: the GOP is increasingly becoming the party of white, mostly male voters while the Democrat party is becoming the choice for women, blacks, and Latinos.
On a basic level, the aforementioned groups stick by these parties because of the issues, but these issues tend to be contentious in this country, and lately contentious issues have been a trigger for gridlock.  As Esosa pointed out in her previously written op-ed, the Dream Act was one such example where votes were cast for the most part along party lines.
 Typically, Democrats sway women voters because of their stance on issues like abortion and sway Latinos because of their stance on immigration policy.  This presents a problem for Republicans.  As we have seen lately in the media, Obama has been rather successful in getting women voters to stick with him in November.  The Latino population is also in favor of Obama and other liberals, and as this population continues to grow in the United States, it will progressively become an even larger problem for future GOP candidates.
So what does the GOP do?  I believe that it is going to have to move incrementally toward the middle on the issues that apply to these groups.  By broadening the base, the GOP stands a better chance in 2012 and future elections.  Assuming that Republicans avoid significant political posturing, move toward the middle, and see positive results in the upcoming election, I feel that we may see a marginal external benefit: some alleviation of gridlock.  Reneging on campaign promises would just result in these groups reverting back to the Democrat party

1 comment:

  1. While I agree that there are serious demographic challenges looming for the GOP, their future as a "white man's party" is not solely because of their alienation of minorities (although they do get a meaningful minority of the Latino vote). If Republicans, aided by the ongoing decline in union membership and the power of unions, continue to win larger and larger numbers of blue-collar whites, they could succeed in flipping industrial states that have been traditionally safe for Democrats, as Democrats make inroads or solidify prominence in southwestern states with exploding Hispanic populations.
    I think race-divided parties would lead to a much nastier politics and would probably make gridlock worse.