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American voters are smarter than to fall for the GOP's new image

March 18, 2013|By Alexandra Le Tellier
  • Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus speaks at the National Press Club in Washington.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus speaks at the National… (Manuel Balce Ceneta / Associated…)

It’s official. The Republican party has lost its grip.

That’s according to a study commissioned by the Republican National Committee to assess the current state of the party. According to Times political reporter Paul West, the study, released Monday, found the GOP to be “smug, uncaring, ideologically rigid” and a turnoff because of “stale policies that have changed little in 30 years and an image that alienates minorities and the young.”

Of course, none of this should come as a surprise to the GOP. As  the Blaze’s Chris Santarelli asked on Twitter: “Wonder how much this report cost to say what every observer said 4 months ago.”

What’s most interesting is the party’s recommendation for a way forward.

"The Republican Party needs to stop talking to itself," the study says. "We have become expert in how to provide ideological reinforcement to like-minded people, but devastatingly we have lost the ability to be persuasive with, or welcoming to, those who do not agree with us on every issue.”

Other than that, there’s no road map, no policy proposals, no actual enlightenment. They just want “a more welcoming brand of conservatism that invites and inspires new people to visit us.”

Which sounds to me like they want to trick voters into believing they’re more inclusive, that they care about Latinos, the working poor, women, gay rights. Smoke and mirrors.

“We know we have problems. We’ve identified them, and we’re implementing the solutions to fix them,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said at a news conference to discuss the study's findings.

Might I suggest to Priebus that he read Tim Dickinson’s latest Rolling Stone piece about how the GOP’s game of make-believe, in which party tries to convince voters that they’ve become more moderate, isn’t working. Dickinson warns:

"Don't be fooled. On the ground, a very different reality is unfolding: In the Republican-led Congress, GOP-dominated statehouses and even before the nation's highest court, the reactionary impulses of the Republican Party appear unbowed. Across the nation, the GOP's severely conservative agenda – which seeks to impose job-killing austerity, to roll back voting and reproductive rights, to deprive the working poor of health care, and to destroy agencies that protect the environment from industry and consumers from predatory banks – is moving forward under full steam.”

As Dickinson continues, he delves into the federal budget, tax cuts, entitlements, voting rights, global warming and reproductive rights. It’s chilling.

If the GOP really wants to regain the majority of American voters, they’re going to have to implement changes that go way beyond the surface. Let’s see a genuine shift in ideology. Let’s see some proof that this party actually cares about human beings. Let’s see some policy changes.

Until then, they should know that American voters are smarter than falling for new branding slapped on top of the same old product.

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Follow Alexandra Le Tellier on Twitter @alexletellier

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