State Rep. Paul Froelich, who saw several formerly solid Republican seats in his own backyard go to the Democrats last month, presents a road map to the future for the GOP.
Demographic math makes it clear that Republicans in the blue state of Illinois will not regain majority party status until the GOP attracts a sizable segment of minority voters. It isn’t happening at the moment, so the party has to change. The question is how?
I propose bringing back the traditional Republican emphasis on pursuing justice and providing equal opportunity. Lincoln said the Republican cause is “to elevate the condition of men, to lift the artificial weights from all shoulders, to clear the path of laudable pursuits for all, to afford all an unfettered start and a fair chance in the race of life.”
Froehlich wants more emphasis on social justice issues and he lists several problems with the GOP’s current approach.
Blunt crusades against illegal immigrants and affirmative action, which are easily (mis)interpreted as racist.
A blind attachment to the death penalty, despite the high wrongful-conviction rate of minority defendants.
The lack of serious Republican effort (except for Ken Mehlman) to earn support from African-Americans.
Opposition or indifference to issues important to Latinos and African-Americans, such as rooting out racial profiling and closing the nation’s biggest disparity in public education funding.
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