Politalks: Election night in a new America

Join Zander as he shares his opinions on why the Republican party lost the presidential election.

Ballots distributed. Votes counted. The results are finally in. After a hotly contested election, President Barack Obama defeated his opponent Mitt Romney by a margin of 100 points in the Electoral College. Although Republicans came into the election as optimists – hoping for a sweeping victory, which would in turn change the course of America – they were let down.

The Republicans, although retaining the majority in the House of Representatives, failed to gain seats in the Democratic controlled Senate. Many state races that seemed indecisively close fell in the hands of the Democrats. In Massachusetts, polls indicated that the race was dead even, but Democrat Elizabeth Warren picked up the seat with ease, defeating Republican Scott Brown.

In this election, Republicans were riled up to take out common enemy number one: Barack Obama. Together, both candidates and their supporters spent an estimated six billion dollars on a political advertising frenzy. Negative media campaigns ruthlessly attacked candidates on both sides of the fence.

Now that the hard fought war is over, the Republican party needs to rethink its ideas, revive its excitement and ultimately recreate its platform.

It is clear that the American demographic is changing at a dramatic pace, forcing Republicans to widen their base to appeal to more voters. Mitt Romney won the white male vote but failed in other key groups. He failed to claim the African American vote, the Latino vote and the young vote, all of which are becoming increasingly important in a new kind of America.

The Republican ticket as it stands is lost in the past. Republicans oppose mandatory health care, yet the United States of America is the only advanced nation that doesn’t have the ideology that the government should play a major role in assuring health security. Many Republicans are anti-gay, anti-abortion and anti-immigration. If all of these “anti”s don’t get you thinking, they should.

Whatever the outcome of the election could have been, the American people have made it very clear: We elected President Obama because he doesn’t ostracize us but instead embraces our diversity and addresses the issues we care about most.

The deciding factor for this year’s election was not the economy but instead social issues that affect real people.

In 2008, Obama was an idealistic, promising bold policies he would never be able to accomplish. For the next four years, expect a quiet, pragmatic president who lets his accomplishments speak for themselves.

After the dreaded loss, Mitt Romney gave his concession to a deflated crowd, saying, “Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people’s work.”

Give gay and straight marriage equal federal recognition. Allow women the right of abortion. Give contributing illegal citizens citizenship. If the Republican party doesn’t adapt to a changing America, if they don’t understand Latinos are here to stay or that young people tend to be liberal, they will have difficulties winning a future election.

Clearly, the pivotal loss for Republicans tells its own story: The times are a-changin’. Better to ride the wave then let it sweep you by.

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