Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Republican Moral Reforms

I am hoping that the election will prompt the Republican Party to do some soul searching and make some badly needed changes. I am not a political strategist. However, I would like to think that the Republicans could benefit from a greater appreciation and respect for the difference between right and wrong.

First, Romney was as blatant of a liar that has ever run for public office. He did not even try to hide it. Strategists will credit Obama's victory in Ohio to the auto bailout. However, hand-in-hand with that was Romney's lie that the car companies Obama saved were moving jobs overseas. This angered the leadership of those companies. When Romney refused to repudiate the lie, this seemed to anger them to take steps to oppose Romney. Chrystler gave its employees the day off so they could go vote.

Adopting a moral position against lying and other forms of deception should include the types of deceptive claims put forward on substantive issues such as climate change. Republicans need to get into the habit of responding to claims like, "One volcano produces more greenhouse gas than humans put out in a decade," with "Actually, that is not true. Each year humans release more greenhouse gasses than all of the volcanoes for the past forty years. It is as if we create 40 man-made volcanoes for every natural volcano."

That's a scientific fact. People can debate its implications for climate change, but it is still a fact. If the Republican Party were to adopt a moral appreciation for truth, it would include a respect for statements such as this and a rejection of claims that are false.

Second, Romney displayed arrogance towards the voters by refusing to tell them the details of his plans when he got into office. Effectively, Romney us as children. "Don't fret the details, little ones. Papa Romney knows what he is doing. Trust me. Now, let me have the controls." It would do the Republicans some good to repudiate this type of condescending arrogance towards the voters.

Third, besides learning honesty and respect for voters, I suspect that this election will actually see Republicans repudiation the remnants of racism and other forms of bigotry that still reside in the Republican Party. In particular, I expect that Latino Republicans are going to see a huge boost in power and influence starting immediately. Many will see them as the savior for the party - the only way they can win the next Presidential election. This, in turn, will require suppressing the racist voices that still speak within the party.

Many Republicans have seen the necessity of this move for a long time. The Bush Administration pushed for immigration reform, but the racist faction of the Republican Party objected. Those who objected have now cost the Republicans a presidential election many think they should have won. Those racists elements will now be further marginalized, as they should be.

Fourth, I would also suggest that the Republican Party soften its hostility towards gays. It can drop the biblical arguments against homosexuality just as they dropped the biblical arguments against integration and the subjugation of women (the latter two also needing some work but have at least moved in the right direction). It does not violate its limited government principles to say that the government has no business regulating the relationships of consenting adults. I expect that those who will rise to leadership in the Republican Party will have openly gay advisors and defend them against the rabid bigots in the party, as they defend black Republicans.

The fact is, the Republucan attitudes concerning lying, arrogance, and bigotry all represent moral failings. Without these moral failings, the Republican Party would be stronger than it is.

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