RMC Responds: A Republican Perry We Can Get Behind!Posted: October 4, 2013
This week, in a discussion about how women are moving away from the Republican Party, one commenter noted: “So the Tea Party is serving the issues of Religious groups And not the values of the Republican party? Well the GOP needs to clean house. ”
Studies have shown that women make the majority of healthcare decisions for their families. They do the bulk of shopping for their families as well, from major purchases to general groceries and household supplies. And women are increasingly equal if not the primary breadwinners in their families. In short, both personal and fiscal responsibility – the core tenets of the real Republican Party – are values that women, no matter their political stripes, would be able to get on board with. Yet the Republican Party is still failing to reach out to this key demographic.
In the 2012 elections, women made up 54 percent of the voting bloc, and they overwhelmingly threw their support behind President Obama, resulting in the largest gender gap since Gallup Poll first began tracking such data in 1952. After facing this harsh reality, the Republican National Committee conducted extensive survey research and released plans and data intending to recapture this influential demographic. Yet a new United Technologies/ National Journal Congressional Connection poll has found that close to a year later, only 14 percent of women believe the Republican Party has moved closer to their perspective and 33 percent feel the party has drifted farther away.
And, in a time when both parties are vying for the support (and donations) of Millennials (the 18-34 age bracket), 45 percent among that group said the Republican Party is now further from their views. This cannot be welcome news for the party.
The Republican Party, our Republican Party, needs to once again open the doors of the big tent and stop using individuals’ choices about personal medical decisions as a litmus test for the GOP. While some of you may think Republican Majority for Choice is starting to sound like a broken record, it is time for the Party to sit up and take notice. This continued obsession with social issues, particularly birth control and abortion, adds to the sentiment that the GOP is out of touch and not focused on the most vital issues facing our nation. After all, when even the Pope argues that these discussions over socials issues have gone too far, it is time for the RNC to take note.
The Party’s anti-choice dogmatism does not resonate with the majority of Americans, and such continued reliance on such ideological extremism will continue to result in electoral failures. Even in Governor Rick Perry’s red Texas, recent surveys show that across Party lines, a majority of Texans support some form of abortion rights, and 51 percent oppose new abortion restrictions. More importantly, 74 percent of Texans say that abortion is a personal decision that should be made by individuals- not politicians.
This week, mainstream Republicans gained another member in the First Lady of Texas, Anita Perry. While she said that she personally was against abortion, she believes, “That could be a woman’s right, just like it’s a man’s right if he wants to have some kind of procedure.”
The Republican Party needs to take a page from Mrs. Perry’s book. The Party does not have to be monolithic, and there needs to be room for differing views on abortion. But, more importantly, there are so many proven, effective prevention and planning methods that fall directly within our Republican history as the party of personal responsibility. Our GOP should again be the champion of solutions that work, not rhetoric that keeps us in gridlock. Fiscally responsible, small government conservatives may hold a wide range of beliefs on any number of social issues. As Mrs. Perry said, “God made us our own individuals, and I can believe, you can believe, what you want to believe.” Now this is a Republican Perry we can get behind!