GOP Must Stand Up to Intolerance in the Party

The Romney campaign still seemed not to understand why they lost the 2012 election, even after every poll had shown why they had lost.

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Listening to cable TV, one might conclude that the Republican Party is a posse of racist, homophobic, keep-women-pregnant-and-in-the-kitchen (even if they were raped) xenophobes.

Some of those people do indeed exist, but they are not the heart and soul of the GOP. They are merely the ones with the biggest lungs right now, and they are drowning out—or merely intimidating—saner voices.

[See a collection of political cartoons on the Republican Party.]

The Mitt Romney campaign still seemed not to get it, even after they lost, even after every poll had shown why they had lost. At a post-election autopsy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, Romney staffers lamented what they saw as unexpectedly low turnout among white men. They were sure they would have won, had they had a better showing among those voters. But the campaign still seemed to be in denial over who and what the electorate is: It has more Latinos, more African-Americans, and—and has been for some time—is majority female.

The Republican National Committee is meeting next week to plot the future of the party, and, according to reports, intends to take a cold, hard look at demographic shifts. They hope to convince African-Americans, women, Latinos, and Asian-Americans that the GOP represents their values more than the Democratic Party does. That may be a hard sell, but not an impossible one (especially among Catholic, anti-abortion Hispanics). The point is, at least the party leadership is paying attention. The trick will be in making sure they are not—again—subsumed by the intolerant voices in their party.

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