The Politics of Empathy and Inclusivity Played Key Role at the Ballot Box

Presidential exit polls indicate that a majority of voters thought the economy was the most important issue and that Mitt Romney would be best able to handle the economy and the federal budget deficit. Yet a majority of these same voters elected President Obama. But, among those who cared most about their presidential candidate understanding and caring about their needs, 81 percent voted for Obama and 18 percent voted for Romney.

Among the many things Obama campaigned on, Obama also preached the politics of inclusivity, which may well have won him the election.

"I believe we can keep the promise of our founders, the idea that if you're willing to work hard, it doesn't matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or who you love. It doesn't matter whether you're black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, able, disabled, gay or straight, you can make it here in America if you're willing to try." –Obama Presidential Victory speech, 2012.

Indeed, according the national exit polls, Obama won over groups who have experienced the politics of exclusivity either in the past, present, or both: Obama won the African-American vote by 87 points, the Latino vote by 44 points, the LGBT vote by 54 points, the secular vote by 28, and women by 11 points. He also won over the non-married by 27 points, the young by 23 points, and households making less than $50,000 a year by 22 points. It’s devastatingly sad that demographic groups’ voting was so polarized.

Beyond just the Democrat’s inclusive rhetoric, Republican stances on immigration, social issues, and science played an extraordinarily significant role in how these groups split. Let’s start with immigration.

Recall the circus that was the Republican primary and its debates, in particular one held on October 18, 2011. The immigration policy discussion completely devolved from reform, to a border fence, to boots on the ground, to an electrified fence, to using predator drones. We should call it what it is, insanity. Instead of discussing how difficult it is to come to this country legally, and how we should make it easier to come here and work, Republicans focused on how to keep people out. This does not sound inclusive, but exclusive.

Moreover, the numbers don’t lie. In 1996, 10 percent of voters were nonwhite; in 2012 nonwhite voters made up 21 percent of all voters. The facts are clear, and from the rhetoric it should be obvious why Latino voters have become increasingly turned off to the Republican Party. The GOP’s rhetoric makes them appear to not like immigrants. It doesn’t have to be this way, in 2004 George W. Bush won 44 percent of Latino voters, but in 2008 Republican John McCain won 31 percent, and by 2012 Mitt Romney won 27 percent of the Latino vote. Now the GOP may be defiant and point out that they say they love legal immigration. Nevertheless, this attitude is not conveyed to immigrants and those who identify with immigrants. The party who espouses a belief in free markets is going to have to extend this logic to labor mobility and sincerely welcome other human beings who want to come to this country to work hard and make a better life for themselves.

Young Americans don’t want to belong to a party they think is mean to gays or immigrants. Even if they are fiscally conservative, bedfellows matter to them, and they don’t want to associate with the politics of exclusivity. In fact, even my comparative analysis of self-identified young and old conservatives reveals even young self-identified conservatives are more socially liberal than older conservatives, although statistically similar on economic and foreign policy issues. Unlike economic issues where young people tend to become more conservative as they take on more financial responsibilities, their position on social issues will unlikely change.

The GOP, that purports to embrace limited government and individual liberty, will permanently be at a disadvantage with those 18-35 today and as this cohort ages unless the party becomes consistent in applying personal liberty to social affairs. 

Issues of science also hit hard on the young American vote. They want their elected officials to believe in evolution and in climate change to signal that these elected officials recognize the value of science. Just because one believes in climate change, however, doesn’t mean she or he thinks big government has the tools to fix it. If anything, a competitive free market offers the best tools to innovate new, more efficient, and cleaner technology. For instance, the Cato Institute takes a very defensible stance on climate change that does not give in to the temptations of big government.

Ultimately, it’s the principles of liberty that are the most inclusive and bring people together. Republican rhetoric sounds exclusive and instead of making excuses they would be wise to take a serious look at their stances on immigration, social issues such as gay marriage, and science.

A previous version of this post used ambiguous language when explaining the use of predator drones on the border. Thanks to commenter Jeff for pointing this out. Here is the actual quote Rick Perry used when describing the use of predator drones:

"I will tell you, Herman, you put a lot of boots on the ground. You use Predator drones that are being trained right up here at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada to use that real-time information to give those boots on the ground that information, and they can instantly move to those areas." Rick Perry, October 18th 2011 Republican Presidential Debate.

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  • Jeff||

    The immigration policy discussion completely devolved from reform, to a border fence, to boots on the ground, to an electrified fence, to predator drones to shoot people if they cross the border illegally!

    Maybe in your fevered mind, Emily. But what Perry said in actual reality was:

    "I will tell you, Herman, you put a lot of boots on the ground. You use Predator drones that are being trained right up here at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada to use that real-time information to give those boots on the ground that information, and they can instantly move to those areas."

  • ||

    This is correct. I agree the discussion went sour, but there's no reason to exaggerate.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Republican rhetoric sounds exclusive and instead of making excuses they would be wise to take a serious look at their stances on immigration, social issues such as gay marriage, and science.

    Expect the GOP to double down on the SoCon and Nativist idiocy. The weak will always seek to avoid cognitive dissonance to the point of confabulation of an alternate reality.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Samsara?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • C. Anacreon||

    I think the main way is for the Rs to embrace success across all identities and paint their party as the way to that success. I thought the DNC handed the Rs an incredible gift when their entire convention theme was basically "vote for us and we'll make sure you have a 'path to the middle class'." Why didn't Romney come out and say "the President wants you to be in the middle class. I don't think he wants anyone except his pals to be above that. I want you to be free to become anything you want, a fantastic success -- and my policies will pave the way for you to do that."

    In the next few years, make successful women, Latinos, gays, Asians the face of the Republican party. Dump the social issues and make it all about achievement. Always show the Ds as bureaucrats wanting to keep you locked in your cubicle with nothing more possible.

    I thought one of the most effective R pitches ever was when they had commercials with a blustering Tip O'Neill clone saying leftist nonsense during some gas shortage, and then saying "the Democrats are out of gas." Right after that came Reagan and a long string of R success.

    Now, the Ds paint the Rs as old women-and-minority-hating bible thumpers and it clearly worked.

    Make the Ds seem monolithic by comparison, themselves attractive to all and suddenly Rs won't have to worry about a declining white percentage.

  • Big 'Orra||

    The Politics of Empathy and Inclusivity Played Key Role at the Ballot Box

    Yea, I still shed a tear when I recall that impassioned pro-life speech at the Democrat convention.

    NOTE: The most rousing, impassioned pro-life speech I've ever heard was at a Libertarian convention. By an atheist.

  • WTF||

    Among the many things Obama campaigned on, Obama also preached the politics of inclusivity, which may well have won him the election.

    I guess I was in some alternate universe, because I remember Obama running a campaign of divisiveness based on class envy and victimhood.

  • ||

    I agree. The ads I saw in NoVA were about how good ol workin' folk were so much better'n evil millionaires like Romniac 2012. Lots and lots of folk saying "Romney personally and single-handedly shut down our assembly line and made millions while we sit here with nothin'!"

  • John||

    It was really inclusive provided you were not a white male or one of the "rich". By that standard the Nazis were the ultimate inclusive party. Every German could join as long as it wasn't Jewish.

  • Enough About Palin||

    or gay or a gypsy...

  • Not an Economist||

    Actually,early on, there were a fair number of high ranking Nazi's who were gay. Look up Ernst Rohm. He was later executed but may have been at one time second in power to Hitler.

  • ||

    This is correct. It's not about whether is was inclusive or exclusionary, it had aspects of both. It was the idea that Republicans are social outliers who don't reflect the true values of the people.

  • John||

    Which is called fascism.

  • Zeb||

    Nah. Just normal populist scapegoatery. Fascism is their economic policy.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    What are you talking about? Voting for revenge is the epitome of inclusiveness.

  • WTF||

    Seriously, Obama is the most intentionally divisive President I can ever recall. To say he ran a campaign of inclusiveness just boggles the mind.

  • Big 'Orra||

    Sorta left-wing Pat Buchanan. Media help helps a lot to frame things.

  • ||

    Yes, political divisiveness. But a large part of that was predicated on the idea that "they" were divisive bastards who don't understand people. It's contradictorily inclusive and exclusionary all at once!

  • kinnath||

    Among the many things Obama campaigned on, Obama also preached the politics of inclusivity, which may well have won him the election.

    Not a single fucking ad in Iowa matches this description.

    Obama ran a campaign designed to scare the shit out of hardcore democrats to get them to show up at the polls. It worked.

  • John||

    They want their elected officials to believe in evolution and in climate change to signal that these elected officials recognize the value of science. J

    First, since when did Mitt Romney claim not to believe in evolution? Second, climate change or whatever the newspeak term for it is these days is not settled science. And even if it were, the solutions proposed for it amouont to pure insanity. If young people want their elected officials to believe that the US cutting its CO2 emissions will do anything but enforce poverty and misery on itself, then young people are fucking morons who deserve what they get in the next four years.

  • nicole just can't even!||

    First, since when did Mitt Romney claim not to believe in evolution?

    Irrelevant. It's a branding issue. The GOP allowed itself to become a party of mouth-breathers who fight all over the country for the right to teach Genesis in biology classrooms. That's their brand. Candidates who don't want to be part of that brand need to actively reject it, at this point.

  • Not an Economist||

    I don't think the GOP could really do much about it. All it took was one or two Republicans to say something stupid or something that could be spun as stupid, and the MSM would say all Republicans believed it. Any statement otherwise would be buried near the end of any article if it was mentioned at all.

  • Ted S.||

    I don't think the GOP could really do much about it. All it took was one or two Republicans to say something stupid or something that could be spun as stupid, and the MSM would say all Republicans believed it.

    They could have not said the stupid things in the first place.

    Fuck Tood Akin and Richard Mourdock with a rusty pole.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Mourdock was publicly musing about a complicated moral issue and got hammered because he did not come to a simplistic, black & white conclusion that a child conceived out of rape is evil and may be destroyed with impunity. The Dems and the media shamefully demagogued what the man actually said.

  • Enough About Palin||

    "young people are fucking morons who deserve what they get in the next four years."

    Edited a bit for accuracy.

  • robc||

    Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

  • NeonCat||

    I copied and pasted a bunch of Mencken quotes from wikiquotes to a friend of mine earlier today.

    This seems very appropriate, although I don't think Obama is a moron:

    When a candidate for public office faces the voters he does not face men of sense; he faces a mob of men whose chief distinguishing mark is the fact that they are quite incapable of weighing ideas, or even of comprehending any save the most elemental — men whose whole thinking is done in terms of emotion, and whose dominant emotion is dread of what they cannot understand. So confronted, the candidate must either bark with the pack or be lost... All the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre — the man who can most adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum. The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

  • Mickey Rat||

    That's what what the "empathy and inculsivity" utilmately means, and appeal to emotion.

  • Randian||

    Attribute!

  • hotsy totsy||

    Mark Twain and H.L Mencken quotes are an education in themselves. P.J. O'Rourke is a nice supplement, too.

  • fish||

    ....Obama won the African-American vote by 87 points: Well I'm certainly shocked that the Dems haz this demographic sewn up.

    .....the Latino vote by 44 points: Imagine how pissed they'll be if Baby dOc doesn't deliver on amnesty! What's interesting will be just how willing they will be to stay on the democratic plantation if they actually get citizenship. C'mon guys we really need you to buckle down and produce so we can keep buying off all the other constituencies.

    .....the LGBT vote by 54 points: Oh well!

    .....the secular vote by 28: I didn't think Shreek could gin up this much voter fraud all by himself!

    ....and women by 11 points. Just another reason to limit the franchise!

    He also won over the non-married by 27 points, the young by 23 points, and households making less than $50,000 a year by 22 points. It’s devastatingly sad that demographic groups’ voting was so polarized. The majority are likely now and will continue to be net consumers of tax. Not contributors.

    Regardless...the next 4 years are going to be a daily exercise in gallows humor!

    Sigh

  • Zeb||

    Don't you need to already be a citizen to be part of the latino vote?

  • fish||

    Depends on who you ask. TEAM Blue...busloads of latinos being routinely denied access to polls! TEAM Red....busloads of latinos sent in to vote illegally.

  • Sudden||

    And yet the problem is that what seems like the "kind hearted" thing to do in the immediate term will result in human suffering on a scale that no one in the modern West can imagine a generation henceforth. That leads me to the belief that they are either a) too stupid to realize this, lacking the ability for long-time horizon thinking (in which case an electable candidate would have to be an educator of sorts and to stray from the GOP electoral orthodoxy of "we need to be optimistic like TEH REAGANZZz1!1!1!11!!!!") or b) they're too narrowly focused and self-centered that they don't give a flying fuck about the uncertain future and would rather reap the immediate "feel-good" rewards of political correctness and diversity embracing.

  • Randian||

    And yet the problem is that what seems like the "kind hearted" thing to do in the immediate term will result in human suffering on a scale that no one in the modern West can imagine a generation henceforth

    What would that be?

  • Sudden||

    To ignore fiscal reality and pretend that we can continually give away money to rich old people, the perpetually poor, and sundry other groups feeding at the public trough.

    And while I recognize this article isn't about spending and entitlement reform or anything of the sort, people need to be made aware of these things as the highest priority issues and the ramifications of failing to address them in a substantive way. People who vote for the Dems on the basis of gay marriage or opportunity for immigrants or some deeper concern for the progress of African Americans may have their hearts in the right place, but they're brains are dysfunctional if they fail to realize that the path we're on will make everyone poorer and far more miserable in the future, gay, straight, immigrant, native, black, and white alike.

  • ||

    The opposition of the GOP to the Dream Act was deeply hypocritical. The Dream act isn't a handout, it's literally a statement of the kind of persona liberty and individual acehivent principles that the Republicans claim to stand for. All it means is that children who have been raised in the US from undocumented parents will be have the same right to "life liberty and the pursuit of happiness" as other Americans.
    Being in opposition to THAT is grotesque if you claim to be a defender of individual liberty. There's probebly no greater example of oppression of the individual in modern America. Not being able to marry doesn't hold a candle ot being legally forbidden from holding a job.

  • Big 'Orra||

    A very good point Hazel.

  • ||

    Thanks. Having been through the immigration process, I know what I'm talking about.

    There are a million small infringements on liberty that Amricans experience on a daily basis. But having to ask the government for permission to work (and not being able to get it), isn't one of them. I was here legally, but I can imagine the omnipresent fear of being caught by the poliice for the "crime" of working without permission.

  • Big 'Orra||

    Opposing the DREAM act was just plain DUMB. When certain GOP members opposed even allowing those serving in the military an easier path to citizenship, you could see it was immigration and not just the illegal kind that they were opposing.

    I don't believe in open borders, but our current systems and the lack of reform proves to me that neither side really cares about anything but an issue to campaign on.

  • ||

    The Democrats problem is that the labor unions are opposed to it. Immigrants always compete for jobs with domestic working class people. The Republicans have gone back and forth on it. Bush was relatively pro-immigration, but he had to fight his base too. And a lot of the Republican base is white working class people who are threatened by immigration. This is one of those issues that gets union housholds to vote R. But realistically, both parties have the same problem.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Didn't take long to get an example of the lazy short-term thinking that Sudden was talking about above. Lots of high-sounding, principled words there, but you're ignoring the practical reality: you get more of what you reward. The Dream Act encourages Mexicans to bring their kids here so their kids can establish legal residency if they can hold out for a few years without getting deported. It's like the anchor baby phenomenon applied to already-born kids.

    I would instead support a guest worker program that would be accessible to people who were brought to the US as kids, as well as anyone in Mexico who had a job offer here in the US from an employer who was willing to comply with some extra fees and regulations as a disincentive for hiring Mexicans over Americans. That would pretty much solve the problem of moral hazard.

  • ||

    The Dream act doesn't give legal residency to the parents.

    And whether it "encourages more" is irrelevant. The kids are human fucking beings who were raised in the US, often not even speaking the language of the country they come from. And, living as undocumented aliens, they grow up, go through high school go on to college, and then discover that they are "illegal" and as such are forever barred from working in the career of their choice.

    As yourself as someone who claims to believe in individual liberty, how you can justify denying a human being the same right to pursue happiness that you feel is so sacred, on the basis merely of the parents paperwork. These kids are as American as anyone else born in the US. They've lived their whole lives in America, and you want to deny them freedom because it "wouldn't be practical".

    Fuck you and ill your ilk, Tulpa. Any claim you have to believe in liberty is a LIE if you put narrowminded enforcement of the law over the right to work and live and pursue one's dreams.

  • Alien Invader||

    These kids are as American as anyone else born in the US.

    I agree with what you're saying, with one teeny tiny little exception.

    The real "they" problem we're talking about here -- the one that gets the working class riled -- is Mexicans. Which we're not going to stop from coming over the border unless we're prepared to do truly inhumane things. We might as well stop fighting the inevitable and figure out how to deal with that reality.

    My only beef here is that "they" are not really "as American as anyone else born in the US". "They" -- Mexican decedents -- are far, far more likely to vote Democrat than "anyone else born in the US".

    I have do have a problem letting boat loads of them in (I was born here, call me prejudiced and see if I give a shit -- I don't owe them anything). But I do not believe it's a fight we could possibly win. Hence we may as well let them work. But I have a real problem letting them come in and get voting rights.

    Unless we want to make people like Obama permanent, because that's what's going to happen.

    Mexicans by and large are Catholic, and Catholicism has a strong socialist strain running through it. I don't give a shit what anybody argues about anything else -- it cannot be argued that allowing shit loads of socialists to just walk in and, within a few years, start voting, is in any way good for the US.

    We really need to separate the right to work from the right to vote.

  • Alien Invader||

    Proof positive of my point: they just voted for Obama, because what that buys them is Affirmative Action and more fucking welfare handouts.

    Even at it's best -- Bush (ugh) -- Mexicans vote Democrat by a substantial margin. In today's world, a vote for Democrats is a vote for more welfare state and more fucking socialism.

  • hotsy totsy||

    Thanks, Hazel.

  • Sidd Finch||

    in 2004 George W. Bush won 44 percent of Latino voters

    This little nugget of untruth just won't die.

    Now the GOP may be defiant and point out that they say they love legal immigration. Nevertheless, this attitude is not conveyed to immigrants and those who identify with immigrants. The party who espouses a belief in free markets is going to have to extend this logic to labor mobility and sincerely welcome other human beings who want to come to this country to work hard and make a better life for themselves.

    They say the love legal immigration, immigrants ain't buying it, so ... need moar immigrants?

  • Sudden||

    This little nugget of untruth just won't die.

    The results I've seen substantiate it

    You may be able to credibly claim that fewer Latinos came out to vote back then, or may able to credibly claim that they voted for him for reasons other than immigration reform, but the fact is that he did comparatively well with Latinos in 2004. I'll readily admit that I think the reasons he did are two fold: while Latinos are, on average, generally in favor of a more lavish and "compassionate" state, they are generally a very patriotic bunch once they've arrived. The war on terrorism issue may have been a big net gain on the Latino vote in 2004. Also, his faith based charity initiative channeled a lot of govt dole into catholic charities.

  • Sidd Finch||

    The 44% poll was quickly corrected. The estimates I've seen is 39 to 40%.

    I agree with your analysis for why Reps did so well in 2004.

  • Calidissident||

    Source? How is a poll "quickly corrected"? It's still there 8 years later

  • Sidd Finch||

    Right, thus "This little nugget of untruth just won't die."

    http://www.latinodecisions.com.....uation.pdf

    The Hispanic discussion starts on page 62. TL;DR The national poll numbers needed adjusting for what they call the "clustering effect."

  • Calidissident||

    So at worst, it was a few percentage points off. Bush still did a lot better than Romney did

  • John Thacker||

    The better case against immigration being all important is pointing out how terribly McCain did against Hispanics (but still a bit better than Romney.) That can then be disputed by blaming it on the whole party blowing up immigration reform, or other factors, but it's a more interesting argument than denying that Romney did worse than W with Hispanics.

  • Sidd Finch||

    Who's denying that Romney did worse? I'm just fascinated that the media won't let go of that 44% figure. It was absurd when it was released (Hispanics going W sixty something % in the South...cmon), and the subsequent elections haven't exactly made sense of it.

  • Cytotoxic||

    They say the love legal immigration, immigrants ain't buying it, so ... need moar immigrants?

    You need to not just mendaciously claim to love legal immigration and then help make legal immigration impossible.

  • John Thacker||

    You also can't give the impression of "we love legal immigration.. when it means cheap labor to work our fields like those lazy blacks and natives won't do."

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    The Dems are just as guilty of making legal immigration difficult. You do realize they serve the labor unions, right?

    And you absolutely can't embark on an easier, but still controlled, legal immigration regime while you've got a huge uncontrolled illegal immigration problem at the same time. It's kind of stupid to be forcing people to go through background checks etc. if they want to come here legally, when it's ridiculously easy to cross illegally and then take advantage of de facto amnesty.

    Get control over the border first, THEN increase legal immigration. The other way around is not going to work.

  • Alien Invader||

    I'll buy into your theory just as soon as you show me a rational means of getting "control" over the border.

    Not. Gonna. Happen.

    Unless you really are willing to put machine guns on the border and shoot anything on the other side that moves.

  • hotsy totsy||

    Most come here legally, but don't STAY here legally. For example, students who come to study and then stay.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    It's a brand. Obama is not, as a person, any more empathetic or warm than Romney. Hell, he ran on the politics of revenge -- literally. That is how strong the Dem brand is: they can run any cold fish and still get 80+% of the "caring" vote.

    The GOP is either going to have to run on substantive issues, brand themselves effectively, or risk being at severe disadvantage in future national elections.

  • Sudden||

    That is how strong the Dem brand is: they can run any cold fish and still get 80+% of the "caring" vote. The GOP is either going to have to run on substantive issues, brand themselves effectively, or risk being at severe disadvantage in future national elections.

    That re-branding is so much harder to actually accomplish than it sounds. The GOP, assuming they continue to beat the drum forcefully on entitlement reform, can credibly claim that they do so out of pure motivations of empathy and caring. But in order to convince the "caring" vote of that, they need to explain the arithmetic. While the arithmetic is not overly hard in a general sense explaining it to people, especially to a population as deficient in basic mathematical knowledge as the American electorate, is an uphill climb to say the least.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    That is definitely true, but the GOP has to start testing the waters now before they're overcome.

  • John Thacker||

    Hell, bust out some charts like Perot. At least try to make the damn case.

  • Randian||

    Reality is that people believe stupid things, #1 being that the party of Ted Cruz, Clarence Thomas, Condi Rice and Colin Powell is racist.

    It doesn't matter that it's not true. People believe it is.

  • John||

    But Randian, when the Republicans support a black or a Hispanic, they are just doing it so they can fool people into thinking they are not racist.

    Yeah, this is what people believe.

  • Randian||

    I know. You just have to change their minds about it.

    In my ideal world, Republicans would suck all the air out of the room on social issues by ceding the field on most of them and saying 'government should not be involved' on the rest.

    Gay marriage? Better catch that lightning bolt NOW.
    Immigration? "We want to create a path to citizenship while respecting the rule of law. We respect immigrants and their families." That's it. Just keep saying that.
    Abortion? "We want states to decide"
    Birth control? "Women have the right to birth control. They do not have the right to make others pay for it"

    THAT'S IT

  • WTF||

    C'mon, Randian, the Republicans aren't known as 'the Stupid Party' for nothing.

  • dave b.||

    That platform doesn't promise nearly enough free shit to be popular.

  • Sudden||

    While I understand your strategy, I think it wouldn't be a net electoral gain, and may be an electoral loss more than anything.

    Whether or not you want to accept it, relatively low income white evangelicals and other strong religious types with qualms about abortion, homosexuality, and immigration make up a considerable part of the GOP's electoral coalition as currently structured. They can attempt to restructure that, but that re-adjustment will prove to be slow and painful and cost them several elections in the meantime.

    Most of these religious types are of lower incomes, blue collar white dudes who love God and guns, but have some more populist economic tendencies. If they don't feel like the GOP is repping them on the gays and abortion in a way that is significantly greater than the Dems, they may as well just switch back over to the Dems for the blue-collar union and lower-income handout appeal (as well as the christian virtue of caring for the less fortunate) and cost the GOP votes that will stay home if not vote for the other guy.

  • Sudden||

    Meanwhile, leaving abortion to the states is not a position that those voting in support of abortion rights will hop the fence over. Allowing birth control is already the position of the GOP, Romney even said so much in his debate, he just doesn't want a religious institution forced to pay for it. But the crowd that votes on the basis of THAT as one of their primary issues doesn't care about that, they believe whatever is not subsidized is effectively banned.

    If the GOP takes your direction, it will be a minority party for a generation.

  • Randian||

    Most of these religious types are of lower incomes, blue collar white dudes who love God and guns, but have some more populist economic tendencies. If they don't feel like the GOP is repping them on the gays and abortion in a way that is significantly greater than the Dems, they may as well just switch back over to the Dems for the blue-collar union and lower-income handout appeal

    If you cut the ballast and give it to the Dems, it will sink that party instead of this one. Let them deal with the economic populist socons.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    The Dems dropped this "ballast" in the 1970s and gave the Republicans several Presidential victories, as well as victories in other races.

    Cutting loose the evangelicals won't bring in the single women, etc. - the Dems will still outbid the Reps.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Allowing birth control is already the position of the GOP

    Rick Santorum would beg to differ.

  • Sudden||

    IIRC, Santorum has only been on record as opposing the morning after pill and RU-486. I don't believe he ever came out for outlawing the iconic "Pill". Griswald v Connecticut wouldn't permit that anyhow. And while the court may at some point overturn Roe, Griswald is unlikely to be ever reconsidered in our lifetimes short of Herman Cain's feared Sharia takeover.

  • John Thacker||

    And Griswald v Connecticut was at a time when the law wasn't even really enforced in Connecticut anyway. It was a Lawrence v. Texas type of situation.

  • nicole just can't even!||

    IIRC, Santorum has only been on record as opposing the morning after pill and RU-486.

    The morning after pill is typically opposed because it can be an abortifacient--i.e., it prevents implantation, and it can prevent implantation of a fertilized egg. This is the same reason regular birth control pills are claimed to be potential abortifacients. Plus, the morning after pill is really just a high dose of the regular pill. So it doesn't make much sense to oppose one but not the other, and since many people oppose both, Santorum is on shaky ground if that is his exact position.

  • Randian||

    Rick Santorum just haunts your dreams, doesn't he?

    Every Democrat thinks the entire Republican Party is Rick Santorum. Because that's the easy, lazy way to demonize your opponent.

    Jesus Christ, Rick Santorum LOST, Stormy. The bogeyman will never come back and hide under your bed. It's all better now.

  • Not an Economist||

    But he had a few states where he did well. That means all Republicans secret believe exactly had Santorum does.

  • The Other Kevin||

    I agree with the Abortion issue especially. For months Catholic bishops have been hammering home that Catholics should vote pro-life this election, yet they still voted Dem at 50%. So apparently pro-life voters don't vote that way.

    Most of these social issues are resolving themselves anyway. 40 years after Roe v Wade, more people identify themselves as pro-life than ever. And gay marriage is being handled on a state level right now. Making these into campaign issues are only hurting Republicans.

  • Sudden||

    Making these into campaign issues are only hurting Republicans.

    The point is that the GOP wasn't the ones making them campaign issues, the Dems were pointing out things like this while the GOP wanted to run on the economy alone. A Dem in the media would ask a question about abortion or birth control to a GOP senate candidate, who would say something stupid, and then because he was endorsed by the GOP POTUS candidate a week before, all of sudden it looked like the GOP was running a caveman.

    The GOP has the unenviable task of trying to explain their positions on things proactively while trying to show the electorate that they care about everyone by being serious about the budgetary crisis looming.

  • Randian||

    Yes. The entire social campaign started with George Stephanopolous, and since I'm in an irreverent mood today, I think that it was an intentional set-up.

    And it worked. Stunningly well.

  • nicole just can't even!||

    I'm going to have to disagree with the Stephanopoulos claim for the third time today, because women and progressives were already all over that shit. Seriously. He didn't start it. Maybe he was the first guy you saw bring it up. But he was far, far from starting it, and someone else would have mainstreamed it if it hadn't been him.

  • Randian||

    Just because it would have happened eventually does not absolve Stephanopolous of responsibility.

    After watching how the Administration worked Candy Crowley, I put nothing past them. Nothing.

  • nicole just can't even!||

    I'm just mad because I can't absolve the Rs. Throw the Santorums under the fucking bus, people. There is no way they are worth it.

  • ||

    Funny that you get worked up over people thinking there's Santorum hiding under their bed, and in the same breath invoke a has-been midget as being the architect of some grand and successful dem conspiracy.

    Like somebody else on here said, nobody put a gun to the head of those GOP senators and made them say stupid shit. All they had to do was say, "I'm personally opposed to it, but since that was a Supreme Court decisions, there is nothing that the congress can do about it. It's out of the purview of the job I'm running for, so I'd like to focus on the fiscal issues please."

    And if the interviewer keeps pushing, you can make them look like the hack setup artists they are.

  • Jgalt1975||

    Stephanopolous held a gun to Akins' head and told him to make the "legitimate rape" comment? Wow, I missed that.

  • John Thacker||

    Sure, but the Republicans had already screwed themselves by Romney trying to be an asshole in the primaries when nobody was watching, and then making up for it in the general, so I'm not shedding tears for him.

    Remember you had Gov. Perry and even Newt Gingrich going "WTF?" about the Hispanic bashing.

  • John Thacker||

    Although for those interesting in subgroup parsing, Romney did get a big swing in his favor on the white Catholic vote. It was Hispanic Catholics that dragged down his Catholic numbers.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Many of these voters are Catholic in the eyes of the Church, because they think once a Catholic always a Catholic (it's the Hotel California of churches), and of pollsters to whom people say, "uh, religion? What's that place I go to on Easter - yeah the Catholic Church."

    But from every other point of view, a good number of these people are no more Catholic than a a guy with a lapsed gym membership is a fitness nut. It's either something they ignore, or a piece of embarrassing baggage they're trying to get over.

  • Enough About Palin||

    "I know. You just have to change their minds about it."

    I look at the Obamaphone lady and there is no way someone like her is changing their opinion.

  • Randian||

    This is like saying that the dipshit racism of the Right is representative of all Republicans.

    There are always going to be Democrats, of course, but you can either fight or give up.

  • hotsy totsy||

    Abortion? "We want states to decide"

    There is not a chance in HELL that any state will make abortion illegal. What they are worried about is not being able to do it on the state's dime.

  • John Thacker||

    If they read some of the comments on here about how Hispanics and Asians can never possibly love the free market as much as the generation that gave LBJ and the Great Society a landslide victory over Goldwater, you'd find Hispanics and Asians thinking that libertarians were racist. They'd think that LoneWacko and DONDERROO were accurate examples of libertarians.

  • Randian||

    That would be seeking confirmation rather than truth. But, given that happens all the time, I agree with you about messaging.

  • nicole just can't even!||

    Cunt.

    Sorry, I just had to.

  • Randian||

    Jeez nicole, this is why there are no libertarian women. Please check your pants forthwith; I am sure you have man parts now.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • nicole just can't even!||

    Except when you showed it to us this morning!

    Actually, I don't get it.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Agreed.

  • Sevo||

    Oh, but he means well!

  • Disgusted Dem||

    Many journalists are saying that the GOP needs to wake up to the fact that embracing the social conservatives who make up the die hard party loyalists hurts it at election time. I agree with this.

    But I'm skeptical that the GOP will see sense given what I've seen here in California. Steven Greenhut has written a Reason article today about how the Democrats now have a super majority controlling the California state legislature. It's a depressing situation for me as a California resident but not a surprising one. The California Republican party keeps putting forth candidates who are strong social conservatives and these guys keep going down to defeat in flames. The California GOP even goes to the effort to defeat the party's social moderates in the primaries. The only reason Schwarzenegger became governor was due to the recall. The CA GOP had vowed to smear him if he had gone through the normal nomination process. You'd think after so many years of defeat, they would've learned their lesson but it doesn't seem to have sunk in yet.

  • ||

    As I've argued elsewhere it's not the social conservatives per se, it the ardently Christian nature of that group. The born-again types wh othink everyone else is damned to hell.

    You could form a pluralistic social-conservative voting block, if you could get the Christians to make room for Hindus and Buddists (maybe not Muslims for a while). Start by reaching out to Spanish Catholics, maybe.

    I don't know if the kind of hard-core evangelical Christians actually have it in them to sit next to a Hindu and talk about family values though.

  • ||

    Nope, b/c to those types, the Hindu can't possibly even have values, since all values derive from the Bible.

    It's like those who argue in favor of 10 Commandment displays in courtrooms, since it's "the basis of our law and morality!" So you're denying that the pre-christian Roman Empire, Persian Empire, Greek city-states, or any other previous civilization had laws against murder and theft? It was just totally OK in those places? Because they sure as hell never heard of the 10 Commandments, so how could they have possible known that murder was wrong?!

  • ||

    There's also the problem the evangelicals are religiously instructed to evangelize. Which pisses off people of different faiths right off the bat.

    Actually that's probably the core issue even beyond mere Christianity right there. The evangelicans are, by their nature, "in your face" about Christianity, which automatically drives away all sorts of people, even Catholics.

    If the GOP could merely get the evangelicals to STOP PROSELYTIZING that would solve half the problem by itself.

    Step 1) Get the evangelicans to shut up and stop trying to convert people to Christianity.
    Step 2) Invite socially conservative non-Chrisstians to join a political alliance.
    Step 3) Watch the evangelicals like a hawk and make sure they aren't stupidly attempting to prosylytize any non-Christian that enters the room.

  • hotsy totsy||

    They won't, Hazel. They believe they have a mandate from God.

    Socially conservative non-Christians would be...Muslim.

  • hotsy totsy||

    "In your face" about Christianity isn't quite accurate. They are in your face about their own weird version of Christianity. They have co-opted even the designation "Christianity" when they are only a tiny minority of Christians.

    Fundamentalist Protestants is a more accurate way to describe them.

  • Whahappan?||

    Exactly. If you're Catholic, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Orthodox, anything but their particular brand, well, that's not REAL Christianity, they just have to show you the Light.

  • Bingo||

    You guys do know which "oppressed" group loves empathy, inclusivity, and voting based on feeling, right?

  • Randian||

    Yep. But women understand the argument "Yes, it should be legal. No, I should not have to pay for your choice"

    They really do. Try it sometime.

  • John Thacker||

    I've gotten some mileage with "look, making it OTC would do way more to increase availability of birth control than paying for it. Having to schedule a doctor's appointment sucks. And that way private groups could hand it out to the poor the way they do condoms."

  • Randian||

    Good advice!

    I have to say that I am sincerely thinking about switching back to being a Republican / RLCer. They seem ripe for picking at the moment.

  • John Thacker||

    I then move on to say, "And do you think that the Administration that bans alcohol-and-caffeine together in a can, strong magnets, Cheerios talking about heart benefits, and bath salts is really going to make the Pill OTC? Remember, the Obama Administration already chose not to make RU-486 OTC." Make an argument for consumer choice over bureaucrats deciding what to subsidize.

    You won't win everyone, but you'll at least win some.

  • nicole just can't even!||

    It is good advice but also failing advice. I mean, I know I want everything to be OTC (natch, anarchist). And you'd think this would be a winner with progs and women. Brings down the cost of the pill enormously. But I know you will get a lot of "but zomg there are REASONS you need to see a doctor, what if you have a blood clot?!?!?!?!? PROTECT US BUT ONLY FOR FREE."

  • hotsy totsy||

    I know. And if you have a blood clot, what is your doctor gonna do? Same as if you'd have bought it over the counter.

  • nicole just can't even!||

    They do. I'm also not the only one who feels patronized by the idea that access="free".

  • Mickey Rat||

    At an individual level, certainly. In the aggregate, apparently not.

  • XM||

    By "inclusiveness", you mean inclusive on civil liberties or groups that are cause celebre. Because I don't think polygamy, bestiality, eating animals of your choice, or using plastic bags in parts of the country will become a reality anytime soon. Gay marriage and mj legalization won because it was already a popular cause on the left. Some Mexicans are downright homophobic SOBs. Plenty of blacks, Asians, and Latinos don't like each other, and they don't the other encroaching upon their ethnic territory - a kind way of putting it.

    Truth is, inclusion in America is reaching a strange literal sense in which it's politically incorrect to say "Merry Christmas" at malls because it might offend atheists, or Halloween is canceled on campus because not every children observes religion. Promoting the notion of "inclusion" will inevitably involve more government intrusion on hiring policies and control of language that offends minority sensibility. It's already happening.

    Of course minorities will be attracted to all the talks about inclusion, it appeals to the their sense of nationalism, racial identity politics, and class warfare that was bred since their time in their motherland. If the GOP opposes Walmart having to pay 18 dollars an hour to its workers, they'll be instantly branded as racists and exclusionary, or whatnot.

  • ||

    Because I don't think polygamy, bestiality, eating animals of your choice, or using plastic bags in parts of the country will become a reality anytime soon.
  • ||

    Is this some new fetish that I've missed out on?

    Cause I use plastic bags all the time.

  • nicole just can't even!||

    Maybe a referral to plastic bag bans?

  • hotsy totsy||

    Probably the reference to certain Health Food/Natural Food places not supplying plastic bags to the customer. Pain in the ass.

  • Skomoroh||

    Latino is a broad and diverse group as it basically means anyone born south of the US. As such saying the GOP got fewer latino votes means little without breaking down the latino vote into subgroups.

    For instance since Reagen's '84 election when he got 37% of the latino vote, the latino community has become more female and more single mothers (as the latino community has a very high out of wedlock birth rate). Single mothers typically like tyranny as they vote for the state to use force to steal labor from men. This means you get more dem votes from the latino community regardless of anything else latino may mean.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    But that makes too much sense. Better to just say that latinos are genetically incapable of appreciating free markets and liberty.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Not genetically, culturally. Like Californians.

  • John Thacker||

    OK, then how about the NC governor's race this election. In the same exit polls, same statewide race, Pat McCrory got 46% of Hispanics compared to Romney getting 31%. Even if you think that the poll is off and there's no way he got 46%, it's still 50% greater than what Romney got.

    And it's not because he had a huge landslide among whites. He won whites 70%, basically the same as Romney's 68%. He just got 13% of blacks to 4% for Romney (admit that's unlikely for anyone running against Obama), +15 on Hispanics, and 51% of other races versus Romney's 43%.

    All that added up to a comfortable 55%-43% victory instead of a nailbiter.

  • John Thacker||

    Though I'll grant that single mothers are difficult for any conservative or libertarian to win, ever.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Fuck single mothers.

    No, I mean it. If they're cute, bring them over to my house.

  • Randian||

    Fuck single mothers.

    No, I mean it. If they're cute, bring them over to my house.

    Don't be dumb. You're just setting yourself up for pain and misery going down that road.

  • Whahappan?||

    Not if he's snipped.

  • fish||

    Finally your real identity is known....you're Steve Martin!

    SM: I'm a charitable guy.....and do a lot of work with unwed mothers....just helping them get their start.

  • Randian||

    Yeah, that's not going to happen. Well, unless single mothers start becoming more successful and getting hit by taxes.

  • Skomoroh||

    I am not sure what you are challenging from my statement. Are you saying latinos are more monolith than I am implying? Are you saying immigration policy is the reason for vote differences between McCory and Romney? Do you even know what McCory's position on immigration is?

    As a resident of Charlotte, NC where McCory was mayor for many years, I can tell you he often spoke out against ICE's failures during the Bush years to process and deport illegals in a timely manner.

  • John Thacker||

    I'm saying that he won 50% more Latinos than Romney, so he's obviously doing something to appear as though he doesn't hate them and win their votes. And it wasn't because he ran better against all groups, since he did no better with whites.

    Objectively, Obama hasn't done anything on immigration other than deport a record amount of illegals either. So that's not different from McCrory

    That demonstrates why caring matters, not just policy. I don't think that just having good immigration views make a difference-- look at how terribly McCain did with Hispanics.

    It comes from engaging with them.

  • John Thacker||

    And 50% more Latinos in the same state, just to be clear. 31% of NC Latinos voted Romney, 46% voted McCrory.

    With those numbers, and the numbers on other races, if people seriously want to figure out how Republicans can win more Hispanics and Asians, they should try to find out why McCrory did.

    I'm not saying that I know exactly why, but I'm saying I'm damn sure it's worth figuring out why.

  • John Thacker||

    Are you saying immigration policy is the reason for vote differences between McCory and Romney?

    No, not really. I'm saying that McCrory did amazingly better among Latinos and Asians (and blacks, but there's an easy explanation for that) than Romney in NC, not better against whites, so Republicans wanting to win in the future ought to try to figure out why.

    One guy wins 31%, one guy wins 46% of the same group in the same state. It's political malpractice if you don't try to figure out why the second guy did so much better.

  • John Thacker||

    Especially when Romney actually ran ahead of most GOP statewide candidates, including even running better in AZ than Flake did.

  • Skomoroh||

    I can tell you why McCory did better among blacks. It was because he had name recognition from being the mayor of NC's largest city which has a large black population. They were used to seeing his name on the ballot and they knew him not to be anti-black. Policy wise he is very similar to Romney, a moderate republican.
    This maybe why he did better with latinos, I am not sure.
    Regardless my original point still stands - latinos are too diverse a group to view as a monolith and a one size fits all approach is a simplistic and fairly useless.

  • John Thacker||

    Yes, I agree that a one size fits all approach is fairly useless. Other than the general advice of "don't act like you have a one size fits all policy of hating Hispanics and lumping them together."

    But I still think that it's reasonable to ask why he did better with Latinos and those of other races (without doing better with whites.)

  • hotsy totsy||

    One reason Bush did better with latinos is he had hispanic in-laws. Family is a big deal with latinos, I can't think of a bigger value looming in latin culture. "La Familia" is huge--bigger than La Patria or the Church even.

    The fact that someone in the Bush family spoke Spanish was a big factor as well.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    McCrory wasn't running against a (half) black guy.

  • pmains||

    I have a friend born in Chile who is a pro-life activist. A major issue she combats is the reality of many immigrants coming here illegally, not being able to bring their families, and consequently setting up second families on this side of the border. As you can imagine, this exacerbates the problem you discuss, among others.

    Her solution is to send unauthorized immigrants back where they came from.

  • Killazontherun||

    Latino is a broad and diverse group as it basically means anyone born south of the US.

    No. No. No. No. Not correct. First, Hispanic is the more broader term if you are talking about the diversity of the group. It is derived from the word Romans called the people of Spain in the days of the Empire Hispanus. In previous modern era census us of the White Hispanic variety were lumped in with other whites, but that has changed. Much of the fear in the demographics of doomed whitey is based upon a misunderstanding of this. Whites are safer as a coherent group than they think. Also the nature of a recessive genes pool is actually an advantage. If you put two mulattoes together with blond genes, you are going to get a gorgeous meta-white girl who'll buy her parents a huge house after winning a few Grammys.

    Personally, I'm open borders, and anti-welfare, it doesn't matter to me if where the immigrants come from. For Mestizos this is less the case. I would like to see an influx of persecuted Taoist come here by the score. It would make for a more libertarian society. Also, if I had to choose my immigrant neighbor, he would be Eastern European. Their grey markets are much friendlier and less stabby than that of Mestizos.

  • Sudden||

    Personally, I'm open borders, and anti-welfare, it doesn't matter to me if where the immigrants come from. For Mestizos this is less the case. I would like to see an influx of persecuted Taoist come here by the score. It would make for a more libertarian society. Also, if I had to choose my immigrant neighbor, he would be Eastern European. Their grey markets are much friendlier and less stabby than that of Mestizos.

    Stop Stealing My Worldview!

    Taoism is easily the most libertarian friendly religion/philosophy there is. And I'd love if my neighbors were Eastern European because that ethnic group tends to do very well in this country and would likely mean I'm doing pretty well myself.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Ditto. I'm Christian, but let's convert everybody to Taoism for at least one election and have them read the Tao Te Ching. I can knock on doors afterwards to make up the difference.

  • hotsy totsy||

    If Taoism is so libertarian, how did China get so UN-libertarian, and also, fucked up?
    Taoism is almost exclusively Chinese, even though a few other Asians adopt its principles here and there.

  • hotsy totsy||

    All the hippies in the 60s and 70s throwing coins and reading I Ching? Totally Taoism.

  • Killazontherun||

    Well, get it all figured out what you got wrong, recriminate until your last percentile of defeat is explained away, and now you are off to fight the war that you just fought all over again. Next one is going to be different. It always is.

  • Alien Invader||

    Except, it won't be totally different. There were problems in this election that aren't going away.

    The hard problem is figuring out which are the larger trends, and which were just the details of this particular war.

    That's why the army is always fighting the last war....

  • 16th amendment||

    I think the storm brought in votes for Obama. When people see their leader doing good things, even if they didn't live in the affected states, they feel good about them and are more likely to vote for them. Exit polls said the storm was a factor for many (7 in 10 said it was important, and 1 in 5 said it was the most important). Also read http://www.blueoregon.com/2012.....e-missed/.

    Without Romney's 47% comment, he might have won.

    I also have a two year model. The tea party came in two years and they delivered on the promise to cut spending by not giving Obama a good deal. Then people don't like them because our debt is downgraded. Or perhaps if the conservatives end PBS, the department of education, someone will be very unhappy. These someones will then vote the republicans out in the next election. Then we get the Occupy guys who want to raise taxes to 1000%. Sounds good, until they actually start doing it, and then for sure jobs will disappear. So then in another two years the tea party guys will be back. I noticed how republicans took control of Congres after Clinton's first two years. So two years from now will be good for us.

    If Romney was aggressive in the second debate, and took libertarian positions (such as criticizing Obama for doing more drone strikes and vowing to cut back, and for deporting more illegals) then he would have won handily.

  • Lisa||

    Why do minorities overwhelmingly vote Democrat? Because the Democrats got to them first.

    It's like when you start a new job and a gossip-y person is one of the first to chat with you, before you get a chance to get to know anyone else. They tell you all of the dirt on their least favorite people "Everyone hates the manager", "don't trust her, she's a whore" etc. If you're like most people, your perception of the gossip subjects will be permanently biased in a way it wouldn't have been if you were allowed to form your own opinion. For example, if you see the "whore" smile at a guy, you'll assume she's sleeping with him.

    Democrats do this mainly through the public school system and the media.

  • Alien Invader||

    They've owned the media and educational system (all the way through college) since forever.

    Let me know when you figure out what to do about it, because I've asked that question forever and not found an answer.

  • Mickey Rat||

    It is easy to pander to minorities when you do not care about economic freedom or equality of process but equality of result.

  • Alien Invader||

    Emily,

    Republican rhetoric sounds exclusive...

    You say a lot of good stuff, but this time I'm afraid you still haven't gotten your arms around the gist of the problem. The Democrats are at least as exclusive, just exclusive in different ways.

    Class warfare is not very "love thy neighborly".

    Which is not meant as a put-down. Please do keep trying. Because we need it. And you've got your hands on raw data could give some big clues, that the rest of us just don't have access to.

  • Turd in the Punchbowl||

    If the Republicans can benefit by being so damned inclusive, why not just throw out the welcome matt for communists, anarchists, and Hugo Chavez as well? It seems to me the whole point of a political party *is* exclusivity. It exists to represent specific ideas, specific interests, and specific people. And if it isn't representing them, what's the point of it? Are you just promoting a brand name? If the Republicans can win by running Fidel Castro, should they run him? These articles that essentially say "the Republicans could win more elections by being less Republican" are really getting tiresome. Sure, maybe they could. But then, what would be the point of having a Republican party?

  • Gladstone||

    Okay can Reason drop the "Republicans are so mean" line? I mean it's not like libertarianism is very "nice." Reason's own Fuck Da Police, old fogeys, unmarried women and college students is not exactly something the left would find to be nice. Not to mention no one seems to care about people in Gitmo or dead Muslim children anymore.

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