California Republicans Can No Longer Hide In Ghettos.




hiding manFace it, California is changing and many  of us Republicans fail to understand demographics and political culture.  We’re losing out at the box office, and we’ve become shut out of statewide offices for two elections in a row.   If we Republicans want to become a statewide party instead of a regional party we have to start going outside of our comfort zones.

As a moderate I’ve learned that I cannot go and rely on moderate voters only.  I had to reach out to conservative voters when I was a candidate.  The same can be applied for the conservative candidates and elected officials across California.  There are not as many safe Republican districts any more, so we have to adapt with the times.

We need to be welcoming without sacrificing our integrity.  We need to stop dealing with demographic groups we’re not used to as though we’re swinging baseball bats at hornet’s nests.  We need to stop simply discounting people because they may not speak English well or they may not be heterosexual.   We can’t afford to be picky about who may or may not vote for us.  Our party shouldn’t be giving people more reasons why people should not vote for our candidates.  Animus is not beneficial.

Politicians claiming that homosexuals are a threat to liberty doesn’t help us in reaching out in cities that don’t lean Republican.  Even though there may not be not as many LGBT people in the general population, young people and straight allies are numerous and they can easily take their votes to our opponents.  There are gay people who actually have served our nation in distinction in the armed forces, operate small businesses and have many other traits that Republicans find admirable.  Painting a community in a broad brush just leads people to choosing the other leading party instead of helping us win elections.

Bob HuffI do thank various conservative legislators who helped bring in Log Cabin Republicans as an official California Republican Party group.  I was surprised that Senator Bob Huff actually was one of the legislators who helped bring this forward.  Even a politician such as Huff with a 0% Equality California scorecard score can realize that welcoming people to the party can be a winning idea.  I wish the two leading legislator opponents of the Log Cabin state charter could get the message.  Assembly Republican Leader Kristin Olsen and others may not agree on the issues, but they realize that groups such as Log Cabin California help bring the party to life in areas where the party is a minor influence.

On immigration I can agree that it’s anarchy, how President Obama wants to open the borders completely.  However as Republicans we need to come up with meaningful ways people can earn citizenship and work permits while enforcing our border.  Demographics is another reason why our party is failing in the box office, as Latinos become the dominant ethnic group in our state.  Proposition 187 for better or worse helped transform the Latino community into a Democratic Party pillar. There’s time for the party to repair its image over a generation or two, but we do not need another “Southern Strategy.”  We can not rely on Latinos not voting, we have to engage with them and come up with an inclusive message so they can jump on board.

Politics is about optics and perception, if we are perceived wrongly it will harm us on Election Day.  How we sell our messages makes a big difference; if we want to end the hidden gas tax or make it easier for small business to succeed we need more people for our collation.

Matthew Munson was the former nominee for Senate District 20 in 2014 

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