After bruising losses of both the White House and several (arguably winnable) Senate races this week, the GOP is searching for answers. It would be foolish to look at the newly emerging electorate and not see that fundamental changes are necessary. The actual demographics from 2004 and 2012 aren’t wildly different. A friend of mine put it this way, and I think he’s right: certain groups of people who, in the past, didn’t vote in great numbers have awakened to the power of their vote. They are now standing up and being counted within our democracy and they’re voices cannot be ignored.
This is a good thing. We want engaged citizens. We want our electorate to reflect the entire country, not a predominant class or race. Now Republicans have a challenge (and an opportunity). They must expand their base. There will be a temptation to reach out to other voters through capitulation on core principles which comprise the character of the conservative movement. This is not only futile and foolish. First, true conservatives will balk and not support those candidates, and second, conservative principles aren’t the problem.
The conservative movement must seek out opportunities to go and speak directly to minority communities that look at conservatives with a weary eye. Sure, were President Obama’s caricatures of Romney and Republicans fair? Of course not. But that doesn’t matter. Political parties aren’t in the business of fairness. Conservatives must approach the electorate as though every state and every person matters.