The election victory by President Barack Obama over Republican challenger Mitt Romney ends hopes for now of putting the country back on a more moderate course after four years spent veering hard left. And it leaves Republicans and conservatives here and elsewhere facing tough choices.
Kennesaw State University political science professor Kerwin Swint put it well in a Nov. 7 Marietta Daily Journal article, noting that Obama’s win means “that a majority of Americans are comfortable with sluggish economic growth, high unemployment and higher taxes. It also means that most Americans are not particularly concerned with the money spent in the stimulus program, the auto bailouts and Obamacare. This election means that a majority do not hold Obama responsible for the tough times we are experiencing as a country. Evidently, most are not ready to give up on him.”
As syndicated Atlanta radio talk host Neil Boortz noted, we’re about to find out what Jimmy Carter’s second term would have been like.
Meanwhile, the internal debate already has begun among Republicans over whether the party should become even more conservative and make its agenda even more pointed, or whether it should rethink various positions in order to broaden its base and attract additional voters, especially younger ones turned off by many of its hard-line positions on social issues and illegal immigration. Tacking further to the right risks “ghettoizing” the Republican Party to an even greater extent as a party that appeals mainly to older white rural/suburban voters.
Yet today’s Republican Party is not the same as the Republican Party of 2000 or 1980 or 1952. It always has changed with the times, albeit sometimes with reluctance, and now must do so again.
— Marietta Daily Journal