GOP change will have to be more than window-dressing
The Kansas City Star
The Republican Party, bruised and beaten in the 2012 presidential election, took a deep look at itself and realized it has to change to remain relevant in America.
The face and tastes of the United States have changed, but the Republicans campaigned on a conservative, noninclusive platform as if everyone was supposed to love it and follow along and enjoy the tea party.
Everyone didn’t, which is why Mitt Romney lost and President Barack Obama was elected to a second term in November.
GOP soul-searching was capped by a four-month analysis and a 100-page report from a listening tour setting the party on a new course for 2016 with a greater appeal to women, younger people and voters of color. You can bet people will see a stronger Republican push now for immigration reform in an appeal for Latino and Asiam American voters.
But the Republicans will have to do more than window-dressing to pretty up the party of Lincoln. The GOP will have to lose its inflexible stand on social issues such as abortion and affirmative action.
It will have to end voter ID laws, expand early voting opportunities and push for voting rights for ex-offenders. The Republicans will have to fully fund education, offer new programs for young people to go to college and ensure the urban development of the wasteland that many U.S. cities have become.
Public transportation has to get new funding so cities like Kansas City can finally get a light-rail system. Jobs initiatives will have to target underserved populations.
Republicans have to drop the resistance to global warming and carbon tax efforts to curtail polluting industries. Republicans not only have to get on the green energy bandwagon, they have to both drive and fuel it.
And the Republicans will have to stop screaming over everything the United Nations proposes and fully get on board ratifying U.N. treaties from opposing racism and landmines to supporting women’s and children’s rights. If the party does all of this, it will start to get the attention of people Romney dismissed as the 47 percent who would never vote for him.