The GOP: The Grand Ole’ Problem

With the 2016 Presidential Election already in full swing, the American people have heard from both the Republican and Democratic candidates. These candidates have made impressions: some good and some bad. At this point, I don’t see any candidate, Republican or Democrat, that I want in the Oval Office. However, after three GOP debates, I have noticed many problems with the direction of the GOP.

One of the talking points within the Republican party has been immigration, mostly due to Donald Trump’s inhumane immigration policy, where he plans to build a wall along the Mexican border and deport entire families of undocumented immigrants. Republicans are often very adamant about upholding the Constitution, yet Trump’s plan actually goes against the 14th Amendment. The Constitution states that any person born in the United States is a US citizen. Trump’s plan includes the deporting of US-born children of undocumented immigrants, who, according to the Constitution, are American citizens. Trump’s policy on this issue is ruining the reputation of the Republican party as a whole, especially with the Hispanic vote, which is becoming more and more crucial. While many of the other candidates do not have immigration policies as radical as Trump’s, the Republican party is still heavily focused on anti-immigration views.

The problem is that an anti-immigration stance will not help win over minority voters. Currently, minorities tend to overwhelmingly vote Democrat. Unsurprisingly, in 2012, Barack Obama won 71 percent of the Latino vote and 73 percent of the Asian vote. Considering Trump’s reign over the Republican debates, I do not expect these percentages to drop in the next election. In addition, Trump has done other things to dissuade minority voters. For example, in the second Republican debate, Trump criticized Jeb Bush for speaking Spanish in his campaign. “This is a country where we speak English,” claimed Trump. Well, it seems like Trump needs to learn a little about this country. The United States of America does not have an official language, because this country was built by immigrants. We are supposed to be melting pot, a nation where people of different cultures, languages, and ethnicities can come together and achieve success. Trump’s policy wants to eliminate this and destroy what the United States was founded on.

Unfortunately for the Republican party, it seems as if Trump’s views are taking over. This is not a promising sign for the future of the Republican Party. Currently, the white population makes up 62 percent of the US population. In 2060, it is estimated that this will decrease to 43 percent. If the Republican party wants to stay relevant in the future, they need to change their ways and appeal to minorities.

But even in next year’s election, social issues are still a problem. Can you really take a party seriously when this man is a candidate? Gay marriage and religion are topics that are very prevalent in today’s society, and the Republicans are not impressing. There is a significant difference between Republicans and Democrats when it comes to these issues. In their respective debates, Democrats have shown that they are open to gay marriage, and in general, are more open to diversity. Republicans, on the other hand, have shown the opposite. The party seems to be pandering to strictly white, Christian Americans. Yes, this group may be the rapidly shrinking majority in the US, but someone who represents only one group of people should not be the President of the United States.

Some of the GOP candidates have absolutely ridiculous views on gay marriage. For example, this week, the National Religious Liberties conference will feature three GOP candidates as speakers: Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal, and Mike Huckabee. These candidates will be supporting radio pastor Kevin Swanson, whose ideas include that Girl Scout Cookies and the movie Frozen turn kids gay, as well as the idea that homosexuals deserve the death penalty. Even though all candidates are not as radical as these three, none support the idea of gay marriage supposedly due to their Christian values. No matter how good their economic and foreign policy may be, I don’t think I could ever bring myself to vote for someone who does not support basic human equality. Statistics show that many people agree with me. According to a 2015 poll, only 39% of Americans oppose gay marriage. In 2001, only 35% supported it. This is because of the younger generation, which is generally more open to change, equality, and diversity. The times are changing, ideas are changing, and the Republican Party needs to change as well.

Social issues may be a problem with the GOP, but based on the candidate’s tax proposals, they may have economic problems as well. Republicans claim that they want to cut taxes and decrease the deficit. But with the massive tax cuts being proposed, the deficit would not only fail to decrease, but increase by significant amounts. The plans would heavily reduce government revenue, cost trillions of dollars, and increase the deficit. The only candidate that has a reasonable argument is Governor John Kasich of Ohio, who refuted his opposition’s tax plans with intelligence, and acknowledged that the tax cuts would put the United States trillions of dollars further into debt. But according to the polls, Kasich has a slim chance of ever winning the nomination.

In 2013, the Republican National Committee released a report about the status of their party. At the end of the report, the Committee concluded that “When people roll their eyes at us, they are not likely to open their ears to us.”  The Republican Party’s problem is that in this election cycle, they have generated a lot of eye rolling and not a lot of ears listening. From Trump’s immigration policy, to Ted Cruz’s hypocrisy over marriage equality, to Ben Carson’s lack of reasonable knowledge (here and here), the GOP has not impressed. The party needs to change in order win any major elections in the future.

More political commentary from The Match: 

Rick O’Shea on Bernie Sanders

Olivia Hess on Hillary Clinton

Eleanor Dillon on Donald Trump

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About the author

Dalton Ruh is a senior at Collegiate.