Guest column by Mark Pampanin, sophomore political science major.
On Tuesday night the votes were close, but the results were clear. Not only was President Obama reelected, but also many other Democratic victories were seen in a number of races. If America was the Teen Choice Awards, the Democrats were Twilight. If America was the Grammys, the Democrats were Beyoncé. You get the point – they swept the floor. From the Presidency to propositions, Democrats were handed victories state-by- state.
But why? President Obama has held office during stubbornly high unemployment rates and slow economic growth, and Republican super PACs spent billions of dollars in this election. Surely it seems contrary to logic that we’d see a Democrat reelected to the White House, a Democrat-controlled Senate, and 12 more Democrats added to the House of Representatives.
The answer is simple: if the Democrats were Facebook, the Republicans were MySpace.
The Republican Party has become outdated. Issue by issue, the Republicans marched completely out of step with the majority of Americans. Instead of moving to the center, they’ve taken a harsh tack to the right, and they paid for it dearly Tuesday.
At a time when American women make up more than half of the U.S. population, the Republican Party chose a harsher line on abortion. In an America where Latinos are the largest and fastest growing ethnic minority group, the Republicans chose to oppose the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) act. When the majority of Americans said they support gay marriage, the Republicans decided they wanted to ban it.
Update for Congressional Republicans: though the majority of you may be heterosexual white men, the majority of Americans are not.
Now, Romney tried to make his campaign about the economy, which, any political analyst will tell you, is a winning ticket. In almost every presidential election, the majority of Americans say the economy is their top concern. But what’s the point of getting a job if you could be fired from it in most states for your sexuality? What’s the point in trying to earn more if, on average, you only get paid 70 cents for every dollar a man gets paid?
Yes, jobs matter. And the Republicans have an economic ideology that should be competitive in a democracy such as ours. But as long as Republicans are controlled by a radical right-wing minority that perpetuates hate, divisiveness, and fear of the other, that economic ideology will never become policy.
We are an America that now has completely legalized marijuana in two states. We are an America that has elected an openly gay woman to the Senate. We are an America that has elected an African-American President. Again.
And the Republicans are still arguing about abortions in the case of “legitimate rape.”
If the Republicans do not reform their party ideology to reflect this America, their economic argument will fall on deaf ears, and Tuesday’s election will be repeated in 2016. And 2020. And the Republican Party will go the way of the Whig—because we are not a nation of straight white men.
We are a nation of many sexualities and gender identities, races and ethnicities, religions and income groups. And we are the ones who vote.