A party in retreat should feel obligated to try out some new ideas that might broaden its appeal.
Last week the Republican Party had a retreat, presumably to re-treat some of the issues which have been forcing them lately into making retreat their default position. If anyone was looking for an idea, a single solitary idea, from outside the box, they are now stuck deciding whether to laugh or cry.
As is generally the case, only politicians were invited to present policies and proposals. Thinkers and writers need not apply. Still, in the naïve belief that an idea might be considered from an outsider I developed the following presentation.
CAUTION: ACTUALLY ORIGINAL POLICY IDEA
OUTLINE OF BOLD INITIATIVE TO BROADEN REPUBLICAN POLITICAL BASE
Project CARE: COMMUNITY ADVOCACY REPUBLICAN ENDOWMENT
PROBLEM #1: The Republican Party has shown a consistent inability to build a strong base among blacks and Hispanics. It is hard to envision a long-term future for a major party without such bases.
PROBLEM #2: The Republican presence in black and Hispanic districts is so non-existent, they usually do not even contest those Congressional seats.
PROBLEM #3: The only way for blacks to become Republicans in Congress is by winning white districts, because black districts vote reflexively Democrat. Hispanics are in a similar situation, with the exception of Cuban areas. This keeps the number of black and Hispanic elected Republicans embarrassingly low.
PROBLEM #4: As long as the caucus of elected Republican minorities is minuscule, it reinforces the image of a party inhospitable to those groups, thus curbing potential recruitment.
RESOURCES: At this time, the Republican Party controls the majority of state governments. However, on the Federal level, it only has the House of Representatives.
PARAMETERS FOR SOLUTION: To make a big difference, a plan needs visibility in the black and Hispanic areas. It could also benefit from national exposure.
The approach would have to show a believable concern for the plight of those communities without sacrificing party principles. It would have to demonstrate tangible benefits to those communities over time.
PROPOSED SOLUTION: To create a legion of shadow Congress people who are Republicans, appointed rather than elected.
IMPLEMENTATION: In each of the 200 districts won by Democrats, we name/hire a “community advocate” for the same $174,000 salary given to Congress people, but without any perks. Where a serious candidate ran and lost, that candidate is offered the job. Where there was none, we do an accelerated search to find qualified people.
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