Jan 31, 2013 - Issue 502

Change Your Mind, Not Your Tune

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It’s been well documented that “Republican Principles” have become the undoing of the contemporary Republican Party…but Party member don’t seem to think so. They are in serious deliberations on whether the Party needs to take a new direction or just re-paint the house. After losing four of the last five congressional elections, Republicans are in disarray - and rightfully so.

During my lifetime, I’ve watched Republicans destroy the middle class, erode civil rights and liberties, stoke the coals of racism and create a myriad divisions in society. Every social gain that has been made in the past 25 years has always been a diversion from a Republican position. Thank God for Liberals…

Like anyone, Republicans don’t like losing; they just take it harder. The Ayn Rand “win-at-all-costs” philosophy has become transparent to the American populace, and what used to look like hard-nosed politics, has revealed itself as a cheating, lying and stealing M.O. I am overjoyed that American society has called for a change - even if the Republican Party doesn’t want to.

We’ve been saturated with lies from the Republican Right: workers are happy with the wages they earn; Americans don’t want businesses regulated; guns are good for us; Liberals want abortions; and America is a Christian nation - among other myths. This is change on the horizon, and some Republicans see that they’ve fallen behind the curve. Isn’t it great that we’ll someday get old and die?

It is good that old values fade into the sunset. That’s not to say that new and emerging values are perfect or even right, but that new and emerging values address the conditions on the ground. In a modern and sophisticated world, we should be beyond the guillotine and catapult. This incessant desire to be our grandfathers has kept Americans at war with each other.

Because our grandfathers settled their differences with guns, Republicans have told us that we need be “Hatfields and McCoys.” Those of us on the Left know that humans have an innate ability to negotiate settlements between us. No matter how uncomfortable, we have the desire to live and let live. Republicans have to come to that conclusion… someday.

The idea that, “when following the rules doesn’t work to your advantage, you just change the rules,” is only good when all parties agree to it. A proposal under consideration in Virginia’s Republican-led state legislature would change how the commonwealth allocates its 13 electoral votes in the wake of Democratic President Barack Obama’s re-election last November. The Republicans refuse to face the fact that their principles go against common sense and intellectual convention. Obama won the popular vote in the crucial battleground state and won all 13 electoral votes, although his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, won in seven of the 11 congressional districts.

Under the proposed alternative system, electoral votes would be awarded by congressional districts won. In addition, Virginia’s two other electoral votes -- one for each U.S. Senate seat -- would go to the candidate who won the most congressional districts. If that district-based system had been in effect in Virginia for the 2012 election, Mitt Romney would have won nine electoral votes to four for Obama. Just imagine where we’d be today…

In the face of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal calling for Republicans to “stop being the stupid party” and taking outlandish positions that alienate and disenfranchise Americans other than old, white men, some in the GOP are preferring a “change in tone.” They are gravitating toward “smiling when you talk,” as opposed to re-vamping broken policy positions. See? That confirms my suspicions: Republicans are stupid.

Their chairman, Rence Priebus, proposed instituting a penalty system in which candidates for the nomination would lose a percentage of delegates if they participated in a debate not sanctioned by the RNC. What? The RNC (and I guess that might apply to the DNC also) is making the conscious decision to cut its candidates off from the rest of the world. Inquiring minds want to know, and the RNC would hand-pick questions - ones for which we already know Republicans’ answers. They find any way to cheat - not only themselves but the American people.

The Party did poorly among Hispanics and clearly damaged national Republicans last year. They were forced to answer for hard-line immigration positions from prominent Conservative figures, including the Party’s own Presidential nominee. My grandmother used to say, “A hard head makes a soft behind.” The Republicans got their behind spanked! Obama won with 71% of the Hispanic vote, according to national exit polls.

We saw Republicans try to disenfranchise Blacks and suppress voter turnout in the last election through voter ID laws. How can they think they could ever endear themselves to that constituency? They still haven’t figured that one out yet.

What I know is, the Republican Party needs to do more than change its tune. Party members need to change their minds.

BlackCommentator.com Columnist, Perry Redd, is the former Executive Director of the workers rights advocacy, Sincere Seven, and author of the on-line commentary, “The Other Side of the Tracks.” He is the host of the internet-based talk radio show, Socially Speaking in Washington, DC. Click here to contact Mr. Redd.