Yes, I am a Republican, an Evangelical Christian, and a conservative. And yes, I campaigned and voted for Mitt Romney.
And no, the GOP cannot go on with business as usual or it risks becoming irrelevant in the new America.
In fact, the Republican Party needs a total body makeover.
It needs a fresh face, maybe a woman, or a Hispanic, or someone outside the traditional establishment.
Let's demonstrate that we heard the American people loud and clear, especially with the results of this last election, in which women and Hispanics cast decisive votes. Some friends of mine think that it is not a big deal that two white men (as good as they may be) were the top candidates for the Republican Party. Well, we can see clearly now that it is a big deal to many others, who don't see themselves represented, appreciated, or included at the top levels. After all this is the 21st century. Things have changed, particularly the demographic composition of our country, which is undergoing accelerated transformation. Hispanics in America now number 52 million (bigger than all of England, or Canada, or Australia), and the U.S. Census Bureau projects that Americans of Hispanic origin will number over 132 million by 2050. That is a demographic revolution. If we don't understand and adapt to it we are doomed.
The body of the Republican Party should definitely be women, who are the majority in our country (5 million more than men) and are fast becoming leaders in every field. Presidential politics should benefit from women's participation and leadership. Other democracies in Europe, Latin America, Asia, Africa and Australasia have had women presidents or prime ministers. Why is America lagging behind? One day I asked some friends what woman they thought would make a good president. They could not think of one. They were quick to point out that "her issue," for a particular woman who was superbly qualified, was that she is pro-choice. The other one had had allegations against her. The other one was too inexperienced. But when it comes to men we give them a chance, whether they are qualified or not, whether they have "issues" or not (and all do of course).
As far as the legs and feet are concerned, we men should take that role. Let's help and support others at the top, let's be the best servant-leaders we can be.
The hands should definitely be the youth, reaching up with excitement and reaching out with care, friendship and inclusion. And no, no one is too young to be a leader. It does not depend on age, but on maturity and competence. And the youth resonates with our message of economic empowerment, limited government and free markets.
Now, the brain should consist of all of us, putting forth the best ideas, aspirations and dreams for our beloved America.
And no, let's not invest so much time talking about abortion. We may not agree with it, especially because of the consequences it has for all involved with it, but we cannot ask others not to support it, when religious conservatives (most vocal against it) have similar rates of abortions as society in general. And instead of concentrating our efforts in self-righteous and vociferous attacks against gay marriage, let's focus on the epidemic of heterosexual divorce that is destroying our children and the future of America.
The same goes with bashing people who "depend" on the government. If General Motors, banks and rich people can go and get help from the government, why wouldn't people able to get government help like wounded Veterans, or folks with developmental disabilities, or seniors, or low income people who may not be able to afford health insurance, or their car broke down or they lack child care and thus cannot get to work?
Ideas worth focusing on and making a reality are, for example, immigration reform. We have 12 million people in our country who are living in the shadow of the law. Their "crime" was to come to America, without documents, so they could work, make a living, support their families, and yes, serve the rest of us Americans in jobs that others despised. And the pundits and others don't cease to call them "illegals," thus dehumanizing a whole class of people, and in the process alienating many other Americans, including those of Hispanic origin who may have a friend, even a relative who is in that condition. And then we are surprised when people don't vote for us.
Thankfully some Republican leaders are rethinking their position on immigration.
To support those efforts, I posted on Facebook a Conservative Open Letter for Immigration Reform, Now. It is an effort to get our Republican leadership, especially in the House of Representatives and also those in the U.S. Senate, to work with the president and pass immigration reform in 2013 which will secure our border and legalize those who are undocumented. Like It and Share it.
The GOP should be the Great Opportunity Party of the future, where everyone, women, Hispanics, African Americans, Whites, Asians, Native-Americans and others find a place, respect, and a way to serve our country at the highest levels.
As the Republican Party gets transformed, modernized, stronger, more inclusive, more diverse, and it shows that it understands the times we live in, the needs of all people and their aspirations, then it will become more competitive and be better able to strengthen our democracy.
And yes, one day the new GOP may even be able to lead and govern again our blessed United States of America.
Follow Pedro C. Moreno on Twitter: www.twitter.com/PedroCMoreno