Before your head explodes, this has nothing to do with Donald Trump, so calm down.
The Republican Party has a serious branding and outreach problem and some of the news coming out of the Republican National Committee’s party platform clearly demonstrates that they are absolutely tone deaf about it. They are pushing issues that are totally out of touch with most Americans. They are also entirely unrelated to the supposed fundamental GOP commitment to individual liberty and smaller less-intrusive government.
Firstly, there are two widely understood facts about the thoughts and feelings of the American electorate:
The GOP is not popular.
According to a Bloomberg poll from a month ago, less than 1/3rd of Americans have a positive opinion of the Republican Party whereas the Democrat Party is seen favorably by almost 50%.
Of course, it could be asserted that Donald Trump’s high negative ratings have had an impact on this, but note the significant lag below the Democrat Party for almost all of the period shown.
This poll very closely reflects similar sentiments revealed by Pew Research in April. They showed an overall nationwide 33% positive view combined with a 62% negative. The Democrat numbers were 45% and 50%, slightly less than Bloomberg’s results. Even within the party ranks, Republicans were far unhappier with their party than were Democrats with theirs.
The bottom line: The Republican message is NOT resonating and many view the party very suspiciously.
Social issues are not important.
It’s the economy, stupid. After that, it’s terrorism, morons.
Last week, Pew Research polled Americans to determine the issues that were “very important” to them during this election season. Note how far down the list you have to go before you find a social issue:
Despite these two pieces of clear and decisive data, certainly understood by everyone on the GOP’s leadership team, some decided to ignore it.
I saw this headline:
No matter your opinion of pornography or homosexuality, that ANYONE in the Republican Party leadership would consider it a good idea to make these plank-worthy issues is shocking. They play right in to the worst stereotypes about the right and serve only to preach to the choir and alienate everyone else.
The party has two choices and they must be seriously considered. It can either live by the edict to which it has historically
paid lip service supported, a version of “You have the right to be able to live however you choose, provided you’re not infringing upon anyone else’s right to do the same,” or it can become a moral scold, advocating freedom in commercial or public realms while proactively banning certain unacceptable activities in private ones.
The second option will yield a few individuals who take this stand:
People always ask me how I can be gay AND republican. Easy. I put my party's social issues on the back burner. I don't vote with my emotions
— Richard A. Mills (@RAMrants) July 13, 2016
But it is not a path to win a majority of hearts and minds, to be sure. It’s one guaranteed to result in minority – and ineffective – status.
The official GOP website lists eleven Principles for American Renewal. These are the first 6:
All of these are incredibly important, have compelling narratives and ideas behind them, and are in direct opposition to those of the Democrat Party. They should also be the agenda items where the overwhelming vast majority of the party’s effort should be directed. “Issues” like porn and converting gays have no business being included among them.