Essentially the voters said NO, to the party of NO! If I had to use one word to define their defeat it would be extremism. However, Republicans, as they often do, shot themselves in the foot, multiple times.
The first and fatal mistake was to line up against Obama on anything he proposed. Until the last minute before the election Romney was promising the end of ObamaCare. I doubt he would have pursued that if he won but he made that a major platform piece. Voters are better understanding the importance of health care for everyone. The work to do in the future is to wrest the grip of private profiteering insurers from the health care of the American people.
Women’s rights were a very large part of the Obama victory. Whatever women say publicly, few want to return to the days of back-alley abortions. Women’s job equity and concerns about their personal freedom were also a factor in strong Obama female support.
The blending of religion into politics played well with evangelicals but that was as far as one could throw the bible. Most churchgoing people understand the need to keep the church out of politics. The religious ideologues and those churches that weighed heavily for Romney made a mistake that should result in the loss of tax exemptions. The Catholic Church proved the leading anti-Obama sect. They overplayed their hand and many of their own parishioners rejected their position. Already reeling from continued scandals and a schism with the sisters, it would be prudent for the Catholic Church to cloister and like the Republicans carefully consider their agenda in the future. Catholic Church tax exemptions should be in serious jeopardy.
Other major issues that hurt the Republican vote included their attack on organized labor, callous immigration rhetoric, lack of sensitivity to human services and the poor, threatening Medicare, and Social Security. Republicans are historically disconnected from human services and the protection of the middle class.
Anti-government extremists within the Republican Party simply scared people. Although they were a noisy bunch they had limited support beyond their own. Republican leadership gave them too much room and too great a platform to present their irrational agenda. Tea partiers and the like belong with the Libertarians and Republicans should send them packing.
Also damaging to the Republican effort was their anti-science and anti-intellectual positions. When leaders came out against evolution, talked about a 7,000-year-old world, made statements about raped women not getting pregnant unless God wanted them to; the general public got very nervous about the delusional quality of this Republican connected rhetoric.
The effort to look seriously at Creationism and teach such nonsense in our schools, played well to the uneducated but made the rest shake heads in disbelief. The 1920s Monkey Trials had resurfaced again.
The Republican rejection of Government agencies and their value, the reckless case against tax equity, their anti-gay oratory, and their obvious alignment with the monied left little to like about the Republican agenda. Romney and Ryan had fallen on their own ideological sword. Sadly, this is not the Romney I came to know as Governor. I don’t know Ryan but I didn’t want him within 1,000 miles of the White House.
Congratulations to President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. I would much rather face the trouble ahead with rational thinking and a caring connection to all Americans.