Republicans Have Become The Anti-Diversity Party
I can still remember the first time I read the Republican National Committee’s incredible autopsy on the 2012 loss. Mere months after Barack Obama secured a second term, here was a document, penned by our rivals, which was impressive in its self-awareness and criticism. It seemed as if GOP strategists had learned all the right lessons from Mitt Romney’s defeat.
“Our message was weak; our ground game was insufficient; we weren’t inclusive,” Priebus noted quite accurately. Within the first few pages of the 100-page report, the RNC made clear:
We need to campaign among Hispanic, black, Asian, and gay Americans and demonstrate we care about them, too. We must recruit more candidates who come from minority communities.
The report continued: “Asked to describe Republicans, [focus groups] said that the Party is ‘scary,’ ‘narrow minded,’ and ‘out of touch’ and that we were a Party of ‘stuffy old men.’ This is consistent with the findings of other post-election surveys.”
Back in 2013, I read this and thought, “Oh, no. They’re not going to make the same mistakes again.”
In 2015, I can only look back at that thought and laugh. Instead of developing a more welcoming and “compassionate conservatism,” the Republican party has chosen to become the anti-diversity and anti-inclusion party. They have decided to double down on “the perception that the GOP does not care about people.” They have (cravenly) determined to double down on xenophobic comments towards Hispanics, even though the report warned them “if Hispanics think we do not want them here, they will close their ears to our policies.” Throughout this primary process, they have made a concerted effort to double down on just about every fault they displayed in the 2012 contest.
I suppose that’s good news for Democrats, but my god, is it bad news for our national politics.