A pro-lgbtq Republican party?

I’m just catching up on the news from the final night of the Republican National Convention. As a liberal, there wasn’t much for me to like, but there was one thing that really stood out to me even if it was overshadowed by other issues: the LGBTQ wasn’t used as a boogeyman.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that the Republican party has turned over a new leaf with respect to the LGBTQ. The Republican platform is still the most anti-LGBTQ platform in Republican history. Donald Trump — while seeming to change opinions over time — last said that he would appoint judges to the Supreme Court of the United States that would overturn the marriage equality ruling.

Despite all that, the founder of PayPal, Peter Thiel, said he was ‘proud to be gay’ from the in a speech at the RNC. This was the first time in history that someone from the LGBTQ actually talked about LGBTQ issues at the RNC.

The Verge also reports:

In his speech pledging support for Donald Trump, Thiel also referred to North Carolina’s controversial transgender bathroom law, asking the audience, “Who cares?”

Further, Donald Trump also made an overature to the LGBTQ in his speech. While it wasn’t about domestic policy, he said that he would defend the LGBTQ from the hostilities from foreign countries. When there was cheering from the floor of the convention, Donald Trump said that, as a Republican, it was good to hear them cheering that point.

Do I believe that the Republican party has turned the corner and is now supporting LGBTQ people? No. But I do hope that it is the first step in the death of the culture war that many Republicans still continue to fight.

The cakes are baked

Or the geese are cooked. Despite how you look at it, some kind of culinary metaphor seems fitting.

With Ted Cruz and John Kasich ending their bid to become the Republican nominee, the slight chance of Donald Trump losing the nomination have vanished. At the same time, the Democratic nomination has been finished for a while now.

The only thing left to be done on the Democratic side is for the news media to move on to a different story. It could take the media a while to find a story better than the Democratic nomination process. After all, the media has a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week schedule to fill and very little other news to generate the interest that is necessary to fill the dead air. That makes the Democratic “horse race” – even if it is as firmly decided as the Republican nominating race – the only game remaining in town.

It is still too early for the general election polling to have all that much value. Granted, it will give some indications of what each candidate will need to do between now and November, but these will be slow, plodding changes that won’t excite many people’s interest for several months now.

I am going to try to take advantage of this lull in the political storm to begin gathering the information necessary to complete my general election model.

May 1 2016 Shorts

The following is a set of links and comments to things I find interesting that are not long enough to merit their own post.

P.S. Happy May Day!

Topics include:

  • Expect a untraditional vice presidential running mate for Trump
  • Two factions of the Republican party?
  • Psychopaths and Sociopaths

Continue reading May 1 2016 Shorts

Republican party in transition

I am aware of several people that think that the Republican party is in the process of failing. Political scientists would seem to disagree, but there is definitely something happening in the Republican party.

Recent polling shows that the Republican party’s popularity is at its lowest point since 1992: the year that Bill Clinton took the White House for the Democrats.

From People Press:

Currently 33% of the public has a favorable impression of the Republican Party, while 62% have an unfavorable view.

And a few paragraphs later in the article,

Currently, 45% of the public has a favorable impression of the Democratic Party, while 50% have an unfavorable opinion.

That gives the Republican party a -29% approval score among the American people while the Democrats have a -5% approval score.

As bad as those scores are on for both political parties, the Republicans seem to dislike themselves as well. Within the Republican party, only 68% of the Republicans approved of their party.

That gives an internal Republican approval score of 36%. While that isn’t the greatest score in the world, that also isn’t a score that would appear to actually destroy the Republican party. Unless the internal Republican approval score approaches 0%, there is little chance that the party will fracture or disintegrate.

What is more likely that a fracture is a political realignment. A sizable portion of the Republican party isn’t happy with the party. If the Republicans are going to continue to win, obviously they will need those people to continue to vote Republican. The only solution is to become more responsive to a larger percentage of their people without alienating an equally large percentage.

All of the above might be easy enough to imagine, but what will the Republican party do to solve this problem.

One solution is to scale back the culture war. There don’t seem to be many people left in the “moral majority” regardless of whether they consider themselves conservative, Republican, or Christian. While I suspect that the language will remain in the Republican platform for the foreseeable future, I doubt there will be enough cold culture warriors to maintain the Republican party while it is in decline.

Another part of the solution would be to emphasize the middle class. The middle class (and poorer) will have to be addressed with more than just rhetoric. Whether they like to admit it or not, medicare and medicaid are just as important to the working class white people as they are to any other group. And while they might not like to admit it, they use the same resources as the people in any other group. There are also plenty of white people out here without a golden parachute or a retirement account that would fund a small country.

Regardless of what the Republican party does, one thing you can bet on is that it will do something to elevate the happiness of the Republican voter. They will have no choice. If they don’t find a way to actually help their voters, they will lose more and more of them until their party actually does die.