As I’ve said before, white anger is no longer enough for conservatives.
In the ongoing autopsy of the November defeat, the GOP has been going over the demographics that defeated them and they are considering alternative views to reach out to those demographics, mainly Hispanics.
Yes, when you try to ship off a people’s relatives to Mexico, they tend not to vote for you.
The GOP is also discovering that young people are tired of the morality legislation, banning gay marriage, requiring ultrasounds for abortions, etc. etc. In short, conservatives are seen as stodgy, anti-everything zealots.
This week’s CPAC was a circus of freaks, a showcase of a flailing party that has no head. Some say their presidential candidates are too milquetoast and not conservative enough. Others say white people are a dying breed and they need to get a piece of the Hispanic pie.
The real question will be, are they going to change the message or are they going to color their current platform in a different coat of paint? Maybe they think the elephant will look better in purple.
Are they going to change course on immigration? Are they going to push for gay marriage? Are they going to stop their efforts to curb women’s reproductive rights? Are they going to stop fusing religion with every piece of rhetoric they spew?
OR are they just going to stop focusing on the aforementioned issues and talk only about fiscal responsibility, small government and personal liberties? It’s no secret that the burgeoning electorate are fiscally conservative and socially progressive. By shifting focus purely to the economy, conservatives will try to put a blanket on those pesky social views.
It might work because at the end of the day, no matter what anyone thinks about gay marriage, the economy is paramount. Socially progressive or not, young people, like old people, still don’t want to pay their taxes.
But conservatives will have to walk a careful line. As they learned in November those social issues may sometimes eclipse fiscal issues. Sometimes personal freedom is a bit more important than a tax loophole.
The conundrum is, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it can’t be a dove. Conservatives have long been a philosophy motivated by fear and anger. That can only last so long. Eventually, they will have to come to terms with the fact that the country is beginning to veer left socially and there may be no turning back.