At a time when Malaysia could hold an election at any time, the U.S. Republican Party is pondering the reasons for its defeat twice in a row in the presidential elections. It is thinking of a way out and devising a strategy for the future.
The president of the Republican National Committee stated recently that their most urgent priority is to pour $10 million this year into carrying out publicity work in Asian and Latino majority areas. The aim is to get these voters to understand the political ideals of the Republican Party and thereby get their support. Obviously, the Republican Party has finally realized that they cannot assume that these groups are minorities that can be ignored. In other words, the party cannot be as opinionated as before and can no longer be completely insensitive toward the ever-changing demographics of the U.S.
He also mentioned shortening the party’s presidential nomination timetable and reducing the number of internal debates in order to reduce conflict within the party. This is understandable. But, upon rereading the news report, I found that he had not mentioned how the Republican Party has been hijacked by Christian fundamentalists and turned into an unreasonable party, to the point of being unfriendly to women, hostile to heretics, often committing hate speech toward homosexuals and completely disregarding bias.
In fact, the Republicans were not defeated entirely by the Democrats. My observation, having been in New York during both presidential elections, is that they were defeated by themselves! When a political party has been hijacked by religious extremists who talk about the Bible all the time, are completely unreasonable on some issues and even make stupid, superstitious comments, then they no longer need enemies, because they are their own worst enemies!
These days, many people equate the Republican Party with stupidity and arrogance, thinking that the political philosophy and governing ideals of the Republican Party are no different than the theocratic governments and “by-any-means-necessary” methods stressed by Islamic extremists in the Middle East. This is a grave mistake. Let’s not forget that Lincoln was a Republican, too. The Republicans were the ones who swore to free the black slaves, not the Democrats.
Unless Republicans draw the line on stupidity and bring out the moral courage required to criticize the Christian fundamentalists in their party, they will never learn their lesson for good. In the same way, Barisan National must reflect on its defeat and insist on a policy against corruption and unfairness. Otherwise, regardless of how much money they spend, they will not be able to win back the hearts of the people.