Republicans have an image problem. We are now the party of bigots, business fat cats, and ultra-orthodox Christians. Gone are the days when Republicans where associated with lower taxes, less regulation, and smaller government.
This tainting of our public image has transpired because of our perceived singular association with the issues of being pro-life, anti-gay marriage, and anti-illegal immigration. It seems that this is all our political platform is believed to be comprised of. The image of the Republican Party has been hijacked by a few specific policies. Policies that are undoubtedly important, but that many Americans do not hold true. As a direct result, the party’s political clout is thinning. How do we change our tattered perception?
First, Republican candidates need to stop catering only to the evangelical base. I know the evangelical base has proved to be the backbone of the Republican Party for years, but only catering to it has estranged many potential voters from voting for the Right side.
Second, Republican candidates need to replace the emphasis of their campaigns from anti-abortion, anti-illegal immigration, and anti-gay marriage to one of lower taxes, reduced government regulation, and decreasing government size. This does not mean they need to abandon these issues, only lower their visibility.
Finally, Republican representatives need to follow through. Nothing does more to erode the public’s confidence in the Republican Party than when they make promises they do not keep. It is unacceptable for a Republican Congress (i.e. during much of the Bush administration) to grow the government at prodigious rates when they promised to shrink it. If the Republican Party can not return their image to one of smaller government and lower taxes, I fear the future will be very Left indeed.