We watched Colin Powell’s interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Powell talked about how the Republican Party, his party, was going through an identity crisis. He talked about how the party had refused to acknowledge the changing demographics within the country. He talked about how a “dark veil of intolerance” had placed the party at odds with mainstream America and how that intolerance had cost the party the last two presidential elections. He talked about how the party would cease to be part of the national political conversation if it continued along its current path.
The Republican Party should listen to Colin Powell.
The Republican Party is on the fast track to irrelevance primarily because they listen to the loudest voices.
Hispanics are the fastest growing demographic in this country. Yet when it comes to immigration reform Republicans preach self deportation.
African Americans continue to struggle in terms of education and standard of living. In spite of their struggles their voice carries more influence in our politics than ever before. Yet Republicans go out of their way to suppress their vote and eliminate programs that they depend upon.
Women hold a majority vote in the electorate. They control the majority of America’s income, hold a more prominent place in the business community and are still the cornerstone of the American family. Yet Republicans oppose legislation that guarantees fair pay for women, outlaws violence against women, makes contraceptives readily available and enables women to obtain legal health care services.
Our society’s views on gay rights, gay marriage and gay’s in the military have evolved. A majority of Americans now believe that LBGT Americans are entitled to the same rights as those who are “straight.” Yet Republicans denigrate LBGT citizens and oppose their equality at every turn.
In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting there has been a movement toward more stringent gun controls. Even law abiding gun are speaking out in support of eliminating assault weapons, restricting extended magazines, requiring universal background checks and providing more assistance to those who suffer from mental illness and substance abuse. Yet the Republican Party marches in lockstep with the NRA and the survivalists who are convinced that the government is coming to take their property and their guns.
The country believes that the government should pay its bills. Yet Republicans threaten to take the country into a recession (and the world economy along with us) in order to make an ideological point.
Republicans have a choice. They can come to grips with the changing face of America and be a major player on the national political stage.
Or they can continue to listen to the shrill voices of the extremists and continue down their current path toward irrelevance.
Republicans should listen to Colin Powell.
Because the country is stronger when diverse views are logically expressed and compromise is the rule rather than the exception.