GOP at a crossroads in midterm elections

gonzalezWith haughty extremists and the gridlock in Congress, Americans are losing faith in their political representation. In fact, on March 1, “Of Arizona’s 3.2 million registered voters, 1,134,243, or 34.9 percent, don’t indicate an affiliation with a political party.”

Voting completely “cut-and-dry,” one way rarely caters to one’s interest entirely — especially under two party platforms that nearly completely contradict each other. Regardless, as noted by a Gallup report, it was examined that identification with the Democratic Party has not taken much of a hit in recent years though “Americans’ increasing shift to independent status has come more at the expense of the Republican Party.” Why this is happening could likely be associated with where each party stands in the eyes of the public.

Although it is rarely said, third party representation rarely succeeds in the arena of electoral politics and in a country that is largely diverse, voting Democrat is often enticing. Where does the Grand Old Party fall in the midst of this? Perhaps this urges for a question on each party’s relevance and perhaps Americans are trying to be too polite about it.

 

 

In order to try to understand where the Republican Party has been and where it plans to go is like trying to understand the systematic thinking of a herd of cats. Everyone is trying to do their own thing and, as a result, nothing is getting done at all. It’s arguable that the reccurring issue with how attractive the Republican Party is and why it has increasingly lost public support likely comes from the lack of cohesiveness that exists within the party itself. From the rise of the Tea Party and to contradictory votes among Republicans on issues such as immigration and unemployment, Republicans can’t seem to understand other Republicans anymore.

In California, this issue of “Republican self” is especially notable between conservative state assemblyman Tim Donnelly and former U.S. Treasury official Neel Kashkari. Both are campaigning for governor and both struggle to appeal to vastly different voting groups.

According to Kashkari, looking to extend what the Republican Party is past the stereotypical “for old rich white guys,” commented, “The new Republican Party that I want to build is the diverse Republican Party. … Every ethnicity, every sexual orientation, every lifestyle, everyone is welcome. The biggest tent you’ve ever seen in your life.”

Despite this, Kashkari, who is said to hold mostly moderate views in comparison to Donnelly, who recently lost his campaign manager after his message was said to be appealing “way beyond the conservative base,” is also rumored among wary attendees from the California Republican convention, that he is “a Republican in name only.”

Support for Kashkari and Donnelly has largely divided Californian Republicans which begs the question, “What is going on?”

Support for the GOP nationally continues to stagger under issues where American support is turned off by extremist views or ambiguous representation. At this same convention, Condoleezza Rice went public with an urge for the Republican Party to become “more inclusive,” notably on the issue of immigration.

Where Rice reemphasized the idea to “rebuild, renew and reclaim,” including the push to make the GOP more appealing to groups who have “traditionally felt alienated by the party,” support followed their changes.

Though this initial willingness to “rebuild” the party is reassuring in some ways, I am still inclined to say that the party is very much, seemingly, mixed up on their direction. Based on the voting patterns of Republicans in Congress, it seems that counting on the GOP to represent relevant and contemporary views begs that some Americans take too much of a “leap of faith.”

It is one thing for party members to say something, but it is another to actually act on it. Right now if the party were to look to garner more support, ideally we should see more party leadership take steps that truly represent the views of an American majority. Perhaps the GOP needs a GPS to reach some form of dependable moderation.

Reach the columnist at alexis.gonzalez@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @0Moscwow