Despite a rotten economy, a miserable foreign policy, and a terrible record of deporting mostly Hispanic immigrants and raiding medical marijuana dispensaries that are legal under state law, Barack Obama handily won a second term as president and Democrats even picked up seats in the US Senate.
Here are three reasons Mitt Romney and Republicans lost big in Election 2012 – and how they might win future contests.
1. Welcome immigrants, don’t shun them.
Mitt Romney and the party’s palpable disdain for immigrants – Romney called for “self-deportation” for god’s sake – is not only grossly inhumane and un-economic. It’s no way to speak to an increasingly mutli-ethnic and gloriously mongrelized America.
2. Pledge Unconditional Surrender in the Drug War.
Voters in Colorado and Washington state have legalized marijuana, a substance Barack Obama once used heavily and now arrests people in record numbers for selling as medicine. The GOP should take the lead in ending the war on drugs, a life-destroying, money-wasting, Constitution-shredding tragedy that is antithetical to limited government and personal responsibility.
3. Stay Out of the Bedroom, For Good.
Marriage equality initiatives won in Maine, Maryland, and Washington and an anti-gay-marriage amendment lost in Minnesota. Republican candidate statements about rape and abortion turned off voters concerned about reproductive rights. There’s plenty of room for serious disagreement on these issues, but it’s clear that Americans don’t want these things controlled by the government.
The GOP should look across the aisle to the Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson. The former Governor of New Mexico won over a million votes, the LP’s best showing since 1980.
Johnson’s success shows that Americans are interested in what the GOP has always said it stood for but never delivered on: A government that stays out of the boardroom and out of the bedroom.