OPINION by Devona Walker
Denial isn’t just a river in Africa friends. For the Republican Party, it’s a state of mind. Even now, in the day after their clear pummeling in this last election, they continue to ignore the demographic changes in the U.S. that contributed to the re-election of the nation’s first African-American President, Barack Obama. They are still propping up their dated “principles” as being their compass for the future. They are still spitting out their disdain for the President. Even after the billions of dollars in corporate Super Pac spending failed to buy them the White House, they continue to blame everyone else for their defeat.
Here’s the reality: The Republican Party cannot be sustained nationally by relying entirely on old white men, regardless of how angry they get or how much money they throw into dishonest political advertising. And they can’t deport or disenfranchise their way out of it.
One of the most striking things about this year’s presidential election was not the wide margins by which the President swept Swing States; it was the image of young, black and Latino voters in places like Miami-Dade County and Ohio who waited online for hours to vote.
It was the determination of an electorate who knew they were being actively disenfranchised and fought back by voting. It was the fact that blacks came out in larger numbers than they did in 2008 – to reelect the first black President. It was the fact that Latinos broke decidedly for the President despite an obstructionist Congress, which refused to allow the President to advance any of their concerns. The only thing the Republicans did successfully was remind older minority and women voters of tactics of oppression and liberties we have taken for granted while baptizing the younger ones with the spirit of resistance.
If there were voters going into this election who could not delineate the line between the parties, I doubt if they emerged from that election in the same way. While Democratic-leaning states were voting on things like gay marriage and legalizing pot, Republican states were trying to pass personhood amendments. While the President spoke about moving forward as one country, Republicans continued to cling to the past.
It is the past that will continue to haunt them, particularly if they fail to recognize the role that they continue to play in their certain demise.
Devona Walker is the politics editor for The Burton Wire.