The Republican Party is standing on the precipice of a bright future, staring at an opportunity to utilize the sudden goodwill bestowed upon it.
With the disastrous unraveling that the Obamacare rollout has wrought, Republicans have been given a real chance to seize control of Congress in 2014.
But there are other longer-term stakes as well, not just for the presidency, but in the attempt to capture the hearts and minds of voters across the country – particularly young, left-leaning or utterly independent young Americans.
In order to truly take advantage of this current situation presented before them, and to establish themselves as the dominant party of reason and sanity, Republicans need to ease up – and completely ditch, in some cases – the impassable fight against certain social issues.
This, of course, takes into account that a great deal of the party is comprised of people with strict religious beliefs that wholeheartedly forbid gay marriage, abortion, etc. under any and all circumstances.
But maintaining that segment of the voting base does not create much of a sustainable future; securing young voters is.
Fewer and fewer young people attend church or even identify themselves as anything close to being religious. They are champions for equal rights, especially gay marriage. Speaking as someone relatively young, there is an inherent desire in many young Americans to not be known as the generation that allowed bans on gay marriage to survive or, worse, thrive.
And speaking in generalities, we’d like our freedom to smoke our weed, too.
With a strong emphasis for social rights, many young voters simply side with the Democratic Party because they identify the left as the compassionate party that supposedly stands up for the little man.
But what the Obamacare disaster has done is shed a light on the implausibility of Democratic economic policies, the importance of which many young voters realize as those decisions affect them more with age.
So yes, a fundamental shift is in order; this isn’t to undermine the magnitude of such a move or to underestimate these particular social values. But, at the very least, there needs to be a softening of views on some social issues – not all.
The harm in extending gay rights, having men generally shut up instead of trying to explain how a woman’s body should work and at least waiting to see how the taxation of marijuana shakes out at the state level is so miniscule that the fear it instills in the right is baffling, unfounded and antiquated.
These are the things consistently used as legitimate ammunition against the Republican Party. Eliminating them from the equation turns the focus to plausible economic recovery and, perhaps, a discourse on how to really reform health care in the United States.
This isn’t to say there aren’t logistical nightmares to consider. Candidates often base huge portions of their campaigns around these issues, whether it’s a tough stance on drugs or being unabashedly pro-life. In some cases, these are ingrained viewpoints that may seem impossible to overcome.
But, in terms a Republican can surely understand and appreciate, all of this requires just a little leap of faith.
Or just a candidate who gets it.
The Tea Party can be the champions for whatever moral code deemed fit for saving, but the current landscape of American attitudes toward many social issues suggests that a truly secular candidate is exactly what is needed.
This will read like a championing for the libertarians and, to a degree, it is. But not to that moderate extreme.
There is a happy middle ground for the Republicans, which should be sought out in this time of nearly unprecedented political opportunity. Since 2008, conservatives have been lying in wait for the real Obama Administration to be outed in a way that would actually put the entire country on notice, and it was served up on a silver platter with the Obamacare rollout.
The Democrats themselves may be the reason for their own undoing in 2014 and beyond, but it’s up to the more socially progressive, enlightened Republicans to begin a movement to truly regain the country’s support and restore economic freedom to the United States.