Peter Beinart at The Daily Beast believes an outreach to the gay community to restore the GOP to electability:
While it may sound plausible to use the GOP’s opposition to gay marriage to help build a coalition among whites, Hispanics, and blacks in the same way Ronald Reagan used cultural conservatism to help bring together white Southern Protestants and white Northern Catholics, there’s a problem. The problem is that the GOP’s problems are not just ethnic, they’re generational, too. Since younger Americans of virtually every ethnic and racial group are far more supportive of gay rights than are their elders, stitching together a multi-ethnic coalition against gay rights means building a coalition of the old. Even more important, for many younger Americans, supporting gay equality has become a symbol of modernity, as obvious and uncontroversial as knowing how to use Facebook. As Robert Draper noted in last Sunday’s New York Times Magazine, when male, 20-something Ohio swing voters were asked to describe the GOP, they volunteered words like “out of touch,” “hateful” and “1950s.” The party’s “brand,” one young Republican pollster told Draper, is “that we’re not in the 21st century.”
Beinart makes an interesting point, but the GOP are several decades behind today’s society in pretty much every way conceivable. The Republicans are stuck in the 1980’s when it comes to their iron clad belief in free markets, 50 years out of date on women’s rights, and hundreds of years out of date on immigration. Sure, they could embrace and promote the gay members of their party and try to reach a broader, more socially liberal audience, but they still have to deal with their base who sadly don’t change with the times. And that’s why the party is in deep, deep trouble going forward.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.