The Democrats have long played a game of demographics when it comes to building a coalition on a much better level than the Republicans ever could.
Now, that’s not to say the Republicans suck at getting support. When it comes to getting support, ideas have attracted voters to Republican candidates. “In the realm of ideas,” you’ll hear people like Rush Limbaugh say, “Republicans win.” It’s a simple enough theory that has been proven on multiple occasions. What is fascinating, though, is the establishment GOP forces lining up to take to the battlefield to win the demographics game.
On the one hand, you can look at Barack Obama’s coalition of voters and realzie that, yes, he’s pulled a lot of groups together to vote for him. Blacks, Hispanics, the homosexual lobby, those receiving government handouts… all of whom readily support a candidate they believe will get them what they want.
However, take a step back and look at this. These are groups that are never unified under a single philosophy. The black community has strong feelings about gay marriage, for example. These are minority groups who voted for a minority president whom they believe will advance their individual cause.
Look at the conservative side of the aisle and see what unites them, however. Personal liberty, economic freedom and other ideas that don’t just work for one person or group, but for all Americans when done right. It makes no sense that with a base like that, our party’s leadership would make the move to be more like those who constantly stand against those ideals.
So, where you have Eric Cantor, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner and consultants like Karl Rove, you see a move to ignore the base you have for the base you want. When you look at current polling, you realize they are shunning good numbers they already have in favor of numbers they are not guaranteed. In the fight to defund Obamacare, for example, poll after poll after poll shows growing, if not already majority suport for doing something to stop the travesty that is the Affordable Care Act.
But that means little to the people in charge.
We often lament the absence of leadership in the nation, but it’s not an entirely accurate lamentation. There is leadership, just not among THE leadership. There are contenders for it (you would be hard-pressed to find better replacements for McConnell in the Senate than Ted Cruz or Mike Lee, for example), but there is still leadership.
Jim DeMint’s Chosen, I suppose you can call them, are exactly what conservatives had in mind for the antithesis of Democratic control of government, but the leadership in the Republican House refuses to help them, favoring the ones who were already there, who know how to “play the game,” a phrase that has become more and more synonymous with “surrender.”
The Republicans cannot win a battle of demographics. Democrats would be hard-pressed to win the coalition that Barack Obama amassed unless they find a carbon copy in 2016 – which they won’t. Their choices right now are older and whiter.
Republicans need to be encouraged to fight for ideas and not polling numbers. If the current polling is telling you that the way things are is found to be awful, why would you continue to go with it?