The bad news for Republicans: President Barack Obama will win the 2012 election. With a weak GOP presidential field, Obama’s accomplishments (See: Nobel “Peace” Prize, Osama bin Laden, and even health care can be spun as a benefit) will be hard to counter, especially if Michelle Bachmann is the opponent.
However, the good news for Republicans is that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Republican views — which have long gone against the grain of moderate views in advocating hard-line politics like war, invasion of privacy, and civil rights discrimination (see Bachmann) — are starting to represent more mainstream ideals. These political shifts will propel them to lofty heights. So strong is this ideological shift that the GOP will take back the presidency in 2016.
Because suddenly Republicans are cool again.
The GOP is putting their finger on the pulse of American interests: In Libya they say get out (Americans agree), on the economy they say no more spending (everyone agrees), and when asked if they vote pro-gay marriage they’re now even saying “I do.”
America as a whole is catching on.
More Americans favor Republican decisions: Around 77% agree that more government debt and spending is a problem, including 73% of Democrats and 77% of Independents. Massive cost-cutting strategies exploded onto the political scene during the 2010 midterm elections that saw candidates like Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Delaware’s Christine O’Donnell pushing for massive cutbacks in government. Those views, seen as fringe and even extreme at the time, have taken root. Young people’s (aged 19-29) support for the GOP has increased from 30% to 40% since 2008, while Democratic support has dwindled from 62% to 54% in the same period. The leaders of tomorrow are switching sides post-Obama.
An example comes from Lexington, Ky., the second biggest city in a highly conservative state where young and modern Mayor Jim Gray, a liberal, recently decided to cut $889,612 from the budget. Lexington was cited by Forbes as the fourth best place for business and careers, and will clearly have strong growth to pull tax revenue. Yet Gray, like many politicians, has fallen in line with current political ideology, seeking to cut nearly a third from the city budget in order to maximize savings, and limit the scope of government.
Republicans are starting to capitalize on this widespread sentiment with an increasing pool of strong candidates. For every whimsical Sarah Palin, there is a legitimately smart conservative with interesting ideas. Tea Party Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has called for a redefinition of the American Century, where government should find a way to afford paying out soft power around the world and pushing for a more open immigration strategy. Paul himself has been the only challenger to the controversial PATRIOT Act which his own party pioneered, and has produced a sophisticated and creative budget on how Americans can start saving money. Rubio and Paul are two up-start candidates who could easily take the GOP presidential reigns in 2016 with their colorful thinking, and would undoubtedly garner support from both Republicans and liberals for their economic, social, and foreign policy ideas. Once called Tea Party radicals, their views now more closely resemble the mainstream electorate.
Democrats may be basking in their leadership roles now, but the political pendulum is swinging. The decade of Republicans is dawning and American policy will increasingly be shaped by today’s neo-GOP views. Budget cuts, a decrease in government reach, redefined global strategies, and the acceptance of views that were once considered marginal are now the norm. America is changing, and it will be led by a new class of GOP.
Photo Credit: DonkeyHotey