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Column: Republicans not inclusive enough

In My Opinion

Published: Thursday, October 11, 2012

Updated: Thursday, October 11, 2012 14:10

James Thomas

The Maroon

JAMES THOMAS: In My Opinion

Republicans really shot themselves in the foot with this election. From their controversial nomination process to their rather plastic National Convention, they’ve had a seriously difficult time connecting with average Americans — one of the current administration’s stronger traits. I get it; we have some serious economic problems and even more problems remaining top-dog in the world. But the Republicans fail to see that the way to fix this is not by abandoning the wishes of their own delegations and undermining voter intelligence — both actions the Democrats successfully respected in 2008.

President Obama leads by as much as ten percentage points in most reliable polls. Granted, Mitt Romney’s recent comments about Americans wanting a free ride probably did not help his case, but these numbers should, at the very least, compel Republicans to do a lot of soul searching, especially since the right’s strategy of blocking all meaningful legislation brought forth by the president has failed miserably. Americans, contrary to Republican myth, have paid more attention than ever to Congress’ behavior and have awarded our legislative branch its lowest rating to date.

The problems I’m discussing here started with the Republican nomination process. Anyone who dug deeper than Fox News and MSNBC saw clear disturbances in individual caucuses, many of which banned the supporters of certain candidates and stretched their own rules to support another. If not for Rachael Maddow commentating on some of the more extreme cases, it’s possible the mainstream media would have ignored what happened altogether. Since she did, however, Republicans seriously raised questions of legitimacy within their own party. I experienced this first-hand during the Washington State conventions and felt now was the time to step up and make my voice heard.

I voted for Barrack Obama in 2008 and quickly became dissatisfied with our country’s direction — this was prior to my realization that Republicans in Congress had a plan to block anything the president wanted, no matter what. So with an open mind, I attended the Republican conventions in Washington State not only to possibly find the candidate that could offer a meaty challenge to Obama, but also to find someone who reflected key political concerns of my own.

The man that stood out to me was Ron Paul — sound money, smaller government and protection of liberties we enjoy sounded fantastic. All of my Democrat friends chastised me for my support, but I felt Ron Paul could make us smarter as a nation, at least from the standpoint of what he offered debate-wise (no offense to Gingrich; you’re good, but you speak too much like a lawyer). Like Obama, he has an immense knowledge and understanding of the Constitution, which is something Mitt Romney seriously lacks. But unlike Obama, he does not believe that the Constitution is a “Living Document” and should be translated literally. Given that I took a lot of Political Science classes in college, and have a pretty good understanding of their contrasting yet similar ideologies, I asserted that an Obama/Paul debate would expose to mainstream America the root of our differences — differences that are not always about money.

To make a long story short, my vote in the regional caucus was not honored for reasons that were not explained. This did not bode well for the Republican party, especially when dozens and dozens of similar stories were reported by other caucuses (thank you Facebook). My confidence in finding a proper candidate dwindled quickly and conjured up memories of the 2000 election. Arbitrary rule, which was a huge issue to our ancestors, was so evident in this whole process that it seemed what we were doing as a delegation was a complete waste of time — Republican officials had obviously made up their minds prior to the caucuses and wanted to make us feel as though their decisions were ours. They may have tricked our “biased media” with their candidate’s legitimacy, but they failed to trick the people who actually cared enough to show up and partake in the process.

When Republicans ponder where they went wrong the day after Obama absolutely owns this election, maybe they should reflect on their own behaviors leading up to November and the times they denied their own people’s voices. As for me, I am willing to give a guy a chance to turn this thing around who has legitimately earned his spot and has actually listened to what we want. In the words of Bill Clinton, “Nobody, and I mean nobody could’ve cleaned this mess up in four years,” and I wholeheartedly agree. Obama 2012.

James Thomas is a history and pre-law junior and can be reached at jfthomas@loyno.edu

In My Opinion is a weekly column open to any Loyola student. Those interested in contributing can contact letter@loyno.edu 

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11 comments Log in to Comment

Anonymous
Thu Dec 13 2012 17:32
I think you are missing the point. Maddow was the only mainstream anchor that bothered to cover the mess going on at the Republican conventions. That is the only point about MSNBC. Fox did nothing. They were too busy giving their boy (Romney) all the props. We all know, rather, should know that the folks at MSNBC and Fox are nothing more than commentators.

Regarding partisan politics: yes both parties block one another. But the 4 years prior to this last election were unprecedented. Dems can take some of the blame, but I'm not budging. When a single party's policy is to block all legislation in order to make someone look bad for political purposes; then I have a problem.

Third party? You betcha'! And a fourth, and a fifth, and so on. We need to diversify our government, pronto. From top to bottom.

Anonymous
Sun Nov 18 2012 19:50
I agree that it is a good article. However, there are a couple of issues that I take with what James wrote.

He wrote, "Republicans need to do a lot of soul searching, especially since the right's strategy of blocking all meaningful legislation brought forth by the president has failed miserably. Americans, contrary to Republican myth, have paid more attention than ever to Congress' behavior and have awarded our legislative branch its lowest rating to date." Let me point out that Democrats have also blocked meaningful legislation brought forth by the Republicans; this too has created an impasse and contributes to the very low rating by the public of the U.S. Congress. The Democrats in Congress and the President are as much to blame as the Republicans. They are both major problems for the country.

Then he wrote, "If not for Rachael Maddow commentating on some of the more [Republican] extreme cases, it's possible the mainstream media would have ignored what happened altogether." I had to laugh. Rachel Maddow and the other evening hosts on MSNBC are guilty of a continuous (unpaid) campaign for Democrat positions and a condemnation and even ridicule of Republican positions, even when the Republican positions are equally valid and deserve support. These, and I put in quotes, "news anchors," always support the views of the Democrats and always oppose the Republicans. They are a poor excuse for journalists/broadcasters. MSNBC is a disgrace of a news operation. James does not recognize that MSNBC is far more biased than, say, Fox News.

But to the gist of the article I agree that we need a major third party, because, as one comment below notes, "There is no place in either party for a social liberal with a grasp of economics."

Anonymous
Thu Nov 8 2012 23:08
Obama did it! We did it! Great article, James!
Anonymous
Thu Oct 25 2012 14:36
Ron Paul!!!!!
Anonymous
Sat Oct 20 2012 20:06
Great article!
Anonymous
Wed Oct 17 2012 14:26
I respect that he is pro-life. He said as a doctor, he was trained to care for two patients when a women entered his facility. His reasoning is much deeper, but of all the zealots out there with no tangible reasoning other than fear, at least his point-of-view has a backbone. Nonetheless, I agree with the author. Obama is legit. Obama 2012!
Anonymous
Tue Oct 16 2012 16:28
Despite agreeing with much of what Ron Paul believes, the biggest problems with him are that 1) he is pro-life, which contradicts his supposedly libertarian, individual rights views, and 2) he is extremely non-interventionist when it comes to military foreign policy, but a strong proponent of international trade, and you can't have it both ways. If America is to gain financially from the resources of other nations, we have a responsibility to protect the human rights of their people, which typically requires military intervention.
Anonymous
Tue Oct 16 2012 14:42
Gary Johnson, Ron Paul... #1!!
Anonymous
Sat Oct 13 2012 07:04
look into Gary Johnson!
Mark Fletcher
Fri Oct 12 2012 19:58
With out the libertarian vote the Republican party will lose it's way even more than it has and will be marginalized. There is no place in either party for a social liberal with a grasp of economics. I feel your pain Mr. Thomas.
Anonymous
Fri Oct 12 2012 18:58
Oh-la-la!

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