[OP-ED]: Advice to GOP: You must do better
This week, the nation voted Donald Trump into office despite a loud clarion cry from progressives hoping to see a more equitable world. What his administration will look like remains to be seen, but one thing is clear: If Republicans are to survive past these next four years, they will have to dramatically change their platform to become one of inclusion, not unrepentant exclusion.
The entire campaign season felt like an insult to immigrants, women and even disabled people. Despite seeing just about every warning sign imaginable - from racist rants to sexist overtones - the political party of Abraham Lincoln could not come up with a better option than Trump, whose bigotry and impertinence knows no bounds. Because of his candidacy and now election, the American people have had to endure, and will continue to endure, endless embarrassment on the national stage. Entire populations living within the United States, from women to Latinos, have been publicly and repeatedly insulted and degraded. Enough is enough.
The United States is quickly moving away from a white majority, yet this week’s election results betray the reality of a changing demographic. Only 49 percent of the total population voted on Tuesday, giving an unnecessarily strong voice to those who see President Obama’s legacy lost to history.
Yet Latinos make up the youngest demographic in the country as older, white voters age out. In fact, “non-Hispanic whites make up 69 percent of … eligible voters, but accounted for 76 percent of all eligible voters who died (6.6 million of 8.7 million) between 2012 and 2016,” according to the Pew Research Center.
In this election, 31 percent of voters are either ethnic or racial minorities, Pew reports. That translates to roughly one in three voters being either black, Latino or Asian. Fast forward several years from now and by 2044 no single ethnicity will be the majority, the Census Bureau predicts. Instead, the U.S. will be a true melting pot the likes of which no modern democracy has ever seen.
So what does this mean for our elected leaders?
It means they have to start representing the next majority right now and stop wasting time with backward-looking policies. Traditionally, older white voters have been the strongest voting bloc for the GOP, but when that electorate is gone, they will be replaced by the youngest and most diverse generation in the history of this country. If Republicans hope to survive the coming tide, party leaders must adopt a new tone and fresh faces to deliver their message. Instead of being an exclusionary party that reminisces about a white majority, the GOP must transform itself into a party of inclusivity. Their message should be of building bridges not walls of bigotry. If the GOP is to survive, they have to do better than their current president elect.