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Muhammad Ali Hasan Headshot

Why the Republican Party Is Going Extinct

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My title is not a joke - the Republican Party is on its way to extinction.

Political extinction happens when too many demographic groups turn their backs and never forgive, almost to a point of irrationality - because as the data below suggests, we should never underestimate a group's ability to register more voters, gain more sympathizers, and vote in higher numbers, all for the sake of eradicating an entity that they detest.

In that way, the Tea Party may have done irreparable damage to the Republican Party for these reasons -

1. Supporting Arizona SB 1070

2. Supporting the repeal of the 14th Amendment

3. Supporting California's Proposition 8

4. Being Against the Ground Zero Mosque in New York City

Conservative pundits will bloviate that none of the issues above deal with hatred, but to many demographic groups, such noise will fall on deaf ears. Recent polling in Arizona shows that Latino voters overwhelmingly reject SB 1070, with 70% against and 11% in favor, including reports from The Arizona Republic newspaper that Latino voters in Arizona are increasingly registering with the Democratic Party since the passage of SB 1070. Similar patterns could probably be found with gays and Muslims.

But so what? Perhaps Republicans can survive without the collective votes of Latinos, gays, and Muslims, considering that the issues above could please the general electorate so much to the point that these minorities become irrelevant? After all, recent polls indicate that most Americans seem to support SB 1070, remain conflicted over gay marriage, and are against the Ground Zero Mosque.

But here's the miscalculation of political opportunity - it is one thing to be against universal health care, school funding, or welfare programs, because after all, for Republicans, it is easy to respond with the reasoning that, despite our wealth, America simply cannot afford certain programs. However, when asked why Republicans do not support the liberties of gays, Latinos, and Muslims, there is no fiscally conscious answer available - and that's when the pool of bigotry has been waded into.

Now, consider the devastation the GOP saw in California after the passage of Proposition 187 in 1994 -- which would have halted government services to illegal immigrants, including public education. Yes, 187 did pass and it proved to be a short-term boon for the GOP, helping Republicans in capturing the State Assembly, coming very close to capturing the State Senate, and propelling Republican Governor Pete Wilson back into the Governor's mansion. However, it did not take long for the fallout to be realized. Shortly after the passage of 187 and its subsequent revocation by the California Supreme Court, Republicans would go on to lose the State Assembly by wide margins, realize wider gaps in the State Senate, and lose the Governor's mansion.

In examining this California fallout, a few facts to consider -

First, according to the Pew Hispanic Center, based on national statistics, as of August of 2009, 38% of Latinos affiliated themselves with the Democratic Party, while only 13% affiliated with the Republican Party, a tough 25% differential for the GOP. However, in California, based on 2010 numbers, it is reported that 58% of California Latinos affiliate with the Democratic Party, while only 19% affiliate with the Republicans, a devastating 39% differential for the GOP.

Second, from 2000 to 2008, Latinos have accounted for around 86% of California's growth, with an increasing number registering to vote.

To ignore the impact of these trends would be a mistake, because no event in recent California history directly affected the Latino community more than Prop 187, which was supported by around 27% of Latino voters in California, with an overwhelming 73% against it, the biggest margin amongst any demographical group that voted against Prop 187.

But the most devastating fact? As future generations of Latinos in California rise to vote, it seems that the voters of yesterday have a deep influence, because statistics indicate that Republicans are growing even more increasingly unpopular with the new Latino voters of California.

And perhaps the best evidence of this matter is the fact that Republican candidate for Governor of California in 2010, Meg Whitman, actively put up billboards throughout the State that read, "No a la Proposicion 187 y NO a la Ley de Arizona - Meg Whitman," which in English translates to, "I am against 187 and the Arizona law - Meg Whitman."

The fact that Whitman even brings up Prop 187, a 1994 proposition, sixteen years later in 2010, best demonstrates that this matter of bigotry has not been settled within the minds of California's Latino voters and their sympathizers.

Another example would be the gay marriage votes in California. In 2000, Californians voted on Proposition 22, a ballot initiative that would define marriage to be between a man and a woman, a direct hit against gay couples. The initiative would pass, with around 61% in favor and around 39% against, despite California's Supreme Court eventually striking it down. However, in 2008, Californians again voted on the same issue, but this time via Proposition 8, an amendment that would overturn the newly enacted laws allowing gay couples to marry. While Proposition 8 passed, it was only by a margin of around 52% in favor and 48% against. Thus, in less than ten years, California had gone from a state that is overwhelmingly against gay marriage to one that is starting to come in favor -- a victory for the gay activists who registered in greater numbers and galvanized sympathizers.

However, this is all a small explosion within a larger mushroom cloud when you consider that the GOP is not only positioning itself to lose Latinos, gays, and Muslims, but they're also positioning themselves to lose the demographic group that most sympathizes with these minorities - the 18- to 29-year-old voters.  

Consider the recent poll numbers of our rising voters, those aged 18 to 29:

- They support gay marriage

- They approve of the Justice Department's decision to challenge Arizona's SB 1070

- They have a favorable opinion of Muslims and support the Ground Zero Mosque

Now, many will say that such opinions are irrelevant, considering that young voters always sympathize with liberal causes? Surely, this is all just pattern of nature, because people always grow to become more conservative, or by the hopes of some conservative leaders, more bigoted?

With that said, some shocking results that recent polls have revealed of Americans aged 18-29:

- Their views of labor unions are declining at significant rates

- A majority of them disapprove of President Obama's handling of health care and they are evenly split, within the margin of error, in terms of supporting a full repeal of ObamaCare

- A majority agree that "cutting taxes is an effective way to increase economic growth"

- The most trusted political institution amongst this demographic, more so than Obama's Presidency, Pelosi's Congress, or the Supreme Court, is the United States military

Granted, polls will also show this demographic to sympathize with universal health care and social programs, but based on the above, it can be argued that the majority of this demographic leans fiscal conservative -- in their hesitation to support ObamaCare, as well as their belief that tax cuts, ultimately, are good for the country.

The young Americans of today are not hyper-socialists who are looking to champion fiscal liberal causes - in actuality, our young voters are already reconciling conservative tendencies with social liberal attitudes, indicating that they are probably more likely to create a fiscal conservative wing out of the Democratic Party, rather than settle for the Republican Party.

So where does that leave the GOP?

One campaign season of championing Prop 187 devastated the GOP in California. And in this year of 2010, we have seen our GOP leadership champion similar initiatives against three demographic groups - Muslims, gays, and Latinos. In essence, they are taking what Prop 187 did to California Republicans, multiplying it by three, and producing a new revenge that will eventually be exacted upon the national GOP.

Maybe I'm wrong? After all, the Republicans did win 2010.

But you know what? The California GOP also won 1994.

But yes, maybe this is all hogwash? Maybe I'm misreading America? Maybe the Republicans will actually go on to build a permanent majority, based on Tea Party values? And should that scenario actually play out, with Tea Partying Republicans continuing campaigns of hatred, followed by one win after the other, then sadly, we will have not realized the extinction of the Republican Party...

No... we will have realized the death of America.