American history and social issues

As you may or may not have heard, Barack Obama was reelected on Tuesday. I was reading this article on the Economist’s website and have to bring something up.

A couple of days ago, I wrote something about Kevin Youkilis about being right vs. being useful. The Economist chalks up Romney’s loss to his inability to pick up key demographics. I find that tremendously unhelpful. Instead, I find this sentence much more important: “For Republicans, that means talking about the social and religious issues that are important to the base.”

Let’s face facts. This is the exact strategy that the GOP has tried the last two elections: firing up the base, then coming up with an unsatisfactory compromise candidate when the base isn’t enough. Here’s radical thinking: ignore the base.

When I look at this election, I see one major thing: gay marriage helped win Obama the day. The smart thing for the Republicans to do would be to pull a Disraeli: take a popular liberal initiative (like the Great Reform Bill of 1832) and put it forward yourselves. Ultimately, and I mean no disrespect to anybody reading this blog, this country will not succeed or fail because gay people can or cannot get married. It just doesn’t matter.

Yes, a Republican proposing a gay marriage bill/constitutional amendment (I feel the latter will be necessary) might piss off the religious right. So what? Are they going to vote Democrat? Call their bluff. The religious right has entirely too much political power as it is, and it’s been hijacking the GOP since 2000. I’d like to see that change.