Republican party needs reform

Mike Droste/Staff Writer
With the dust barely settling on the election of 2008, the Republican party has already set their sights on 2012. The party itself faces an identity crisis—the last standard-bearer of the party, George W. Bush, has become something of a political taboo. Caught unprepared by their opponent’s strategy of pinning Bush’s name to their entire party, the Republicans lost not only the presidency for the first time in eight years, but lost several senate seats, giving the Democratic party a comfortable majority.

The Republican party has become a party of the south; unable to win over independents, newly registered voters or young voters, three demographics that certainly don’t bode well to the future of a party. The party that proudly declares itself the party of Reagan has, ironically, become something else entirely. Gone is the progressive era of the Republican Party—the party that could win over Democrats in numbers unheard of before and could sweep 49 states in a presidential election.
“We have got to clean up, reform and rebuild the Republican Party before we can ask Americans to trust us again,” Jim DeMint (R, South Carolina) said.

Even in such dire straits, the Republicans have chances for a quick revival. Tim Pawlenty, governor of Minnesota, could bring the north back into play for the party and would represent a fresh start from the Bush era of Republican politics.
Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana, has been outspoken about this election and will almost certainly make an attempt at the presidency in the next few decades. While extremely conservative both economically and socially, he’s a gifted speaker and could lure young voters.

Charlie Crist, the governor of Florida, has also become an icon in the party. His social views range from moderate to conservative, and he’s a staunch economic conservative. His charisma has been showcased on late-night television appearances on programs such as The Daily Show, and like Jindal and Pawlenty, Crist has no ties to the Bush administration.
Regardless of their candidate in the future, the Republicans need an ideological shift.

A socially moderate, economically conservative candidate has a lot more appeal to the youth of America than a social conservative with the same credentials does.

The direction the party is headed in, while appealing to traditional Republicans, cannot win the hearts of independents, and without the independent appeal, the GOP will find any race they run to be a short one.

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