After Republicans were soundly defeated in 2012, they claimed that the Party took a long and hard look at the facts. The GOP lost several demographics. Women voters, African-Americans, working class Americans, and Hispanic voters pushed Democrats, including President Obama, over the precipice. Republican leaders stated that they would change and claim the majority of minorities in the future. They would like to use the midterms in 2014 as a mandate. The facts prove just the opposite result. Independents, those who lean towards the Democratic Party, and minorities failed to cast votes in numbers equivalent to 2012. They simply stayed away from the polls. Those who did cast their ballots were influenced by Republican propaganda that their votes were a referendum directed at the President. Falsehoods were plentiful, but the post-election polls revealed the truth. Results were not a mandate for Republicans, but a protest against the President.
Actions and statements by Republican presidential hopefuls continue to alienate minorities and women. Although when they speak before minority groups they pander to the wishes of the specific group, the bottom line is that they really don’t care; their words are hollow, and those they are preaching to know just that. They are aware that the Affordable Care Act happened because Democrats cared about the uninsured; they know that Democrats are seeking some form of gun control to protect innocent men, women, and children; and they are very aware that only Democrats care about immigration reform and the twelve million people affected by the inaction of Republicans.
A year ago Colin Powell said that the Republican Party remains intolerant, and continues to make statements denigrating women and minorities. He said that after the 2012 election, GOP leadership reported that they must face the issue of increasing numbers of minority and women voters. He says he has not witnessed any change in philosophy or action. He claims that restrictive voter laws aimed at minorities in red states do not help the cause of Republicans. He also referred to the failure of the GOP to recognize the equality of women to men. He says that he will remain a member of the Republican Party; they need him more than the Democratic Party.
Republican’s latest folly is being led by TEA Party darling Ted Cruz. He is encouraging his colleagues to vote against a bill funding the Department of Homeland Security. His reason: President Obama’s executive action which gives nearly five million undocumented immigrants a road to legal status is funded through the DHS.
Cruz and other Republicans claim that it is not an immigration issue, rather a Constitutional violation. And that, my friends, is a blatant lie.
Those who have never read the Constitution are the first to use the law of the land in their efforts to win an argument. The President has certain rights, whether his opponents like it or not. Republicans must make a false claim to protect themselves from backlash among the Hispanic community, and lose millions of votes in 2016.
By his action Mr. Obama kept a promise to all Hispanics in the United States, legal or illegal. He took action, as he promised to if Congress did not, because it is the right thing to do. In addition he created a bond between Hispanics and the Democratic Party.
While Congress, which is controlled by the GOP, continues to avoid acting on issues important to the American people, and prolongs efforts to destroy the accomplishments of President Obama, Democrats are gaining favorability among minority and women voters.
Whites will be the new minority in ten years. If Republicans want to win elections they must leave the 1950’s and enter the 21st century.
Commentary by James Turnage