Republicans should, among other things:
- Lose the Southern strategy. It has become a demographic dead end. And counterproductive: by getting in bed with white Southerners, who are widely seen as racist, Republicans lose most of the black, Latino, Asian American, Native American and Jewish vote.
- Break out of the Republican bubble. For starters, stop taking Fox News, the National Review or Rasmussen polls seriously. Or anyone who said Romney would win by a landslide (Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh, Dean Chambers, Michael Barone, George Will, Dick Morris, etc).
- Stop championing policies for the top 2%. It makes Republicans look like they only care about the rich.
- Drop laws aimed at making life hard for immigrants. It is anti-American and makes Republicans look racist.
- Like Ike. President Eisenhower of the 1950s upheld civil rights. He accepted the New Deal safety net. He kept the country out of war. He knew the dangers of the military industrial complex. He was centre right – ground now held by Democrats like Obama and Clinton.
- Champion limited government, free enterprise, equal opportunity and social mobility. Make the bootstrap myth real not rhetoric. Champion the middle-class and those who want to become middle-class. This should be the heart of Republican policy – not its current aim of helping the rich get richer.
- See good public education and healthcare as infrastructure that government provides, like law and order, good roads and food safety. Good healthcare and education is beyond the reach of many, which damages the country’s human capital – and its tax base. Democrats are seen as being in bed with the teachers union, so education is a huge opening. Republicans might be the only ones who can push through the needed reforms.
- Reform the police and courts so that everyone is equal under the law regardless of race or class. For starters, outlaw racial profiling and help those who do their time get a fresh start.
- End the war on drug users: The War on Drugs should be directed at stopping drugs from entering the country, not at users. Users should be helped in getting off of hard drugs, not arrested.
- Become unblind to racism. Republicans like Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Newt Gingrich and Paul Ryan are so blind to their racism that it comes out of their mouths without their even knowing it. A huge turn off. Assume that people of colour are every bit as American as whites, that their lives matter just as much. That they believe in honest work. That they have a mind of their own and know what is in their own best interests. That they want to live in a world where their race does not affect their life chances – in education, employment, income, housing, justice, life expectancy, infant mortality, etc. Instead of making excuses for the status quo, take what they say seriously.
- Fight for minority rights: if only because whites will become a minority soon enough.
- Go after the black vote. If the Party of Lincoln can get that right, most other things will fall into place.